BALI UPDATE #386 - 02
Visa On Arrival -
Some Delays Reported
at Bali's Airport on First Day of New Visa Policy.
The introduction on Sunday, February 1, 2004,
of the new pay for a visa on arrival system at
Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport caused
some delays, mostly met with good humor by arriving
The new policy, requiring many foreign nationals
who formerly received 60-day stay permits without
charge to now pay US$ 25 for a 30 day non-extendable
visa and US$ 10 for a 3 day visa, caused some
delays in Bali. Guests disembarking their aircraft
in Bali went first to a booth to pay the applicable
fee, another booth to show their receipt and have
a visa-sticker applied in their passport, and
yet another visa for a quick "chop" and final
inspection of their passport. Once this process
is done, guest went to the custom's area for luggage
retrieval and bag inspection.
Depending on the traffic levels of inbound flights,
total processing time of up to 2 hours were reported
with hotel representatives saying it was taking,
on the average, twice as long as usual for passengers
to process through immigration and custom's clearance.
A number of passengers happily reported they experienced
"express service" a courtesy apparently being
extended to the elderly and visitors traveling
with small children who were ushered through special
lines to hasten the time spent in line.
A Lack of Information
Many visitors complained that they had not been
informed of the visa requirement before departing
for Indonesia. This failure was underlined in
a report in the English-language Jakarta
Post that told of "dozens" of passengers
scheduled to fly on a Singapore to Lombok Silk
Air flight being unable to board the
flight due to a lack of visa. Lombok is not one
of the official gateways stipulated for the "visa-on-arrival"
facility meaning visas must be obtained from the
Indonesian Embassy before departure.
In Bali, local officials were on hand at the airport
to monitor arrivals on the first day of the visa
change. Among those keeping a watch were Bali's
new Chief of the Bali Tourism Authority,
Mr. Gde Nurjaya, and the Chairman
of Provincial People's Consultative Assembly,
Mr. Ida Bagus Wesnawa.
Dr. Pitana Leaves
Top Tourism Post
Plans To Return to
Teaching Role at Bali's Udayana University.
After nearly three years as the Chief of the Bali
Tourism Authority, Dr. I Gede Pitana
Brahmananda, Ph.D. is leaving that post to resume
a position with the Agriculture Faculty at Bali's
A graduate of the Australian National University
where his research thesis was entitled "In
Search of Difference: A Sociology of Contemporary
Bali," Dr. Pitana also holds a Master's degree
in Social Development from the Manila University
in the Philippines and a Bachelor of Arts degree
in rural sociology from Udayana University.
Dr. Pitana's was thrust into the number one post
in Bali tourism during the local industry's most
challenging period when Bali's tourist arrivals
suffered wave after wave of setbacks resulting
from 9-11, a terrorist attack in Bali, the war
in Iraq, SARS, changes in the national visa policy
and the latest challenge Bird Flu.
On leaving his post, Dr. Pitana metaphorically
thanked the Governor for providing him with a
"soccer field" on which to play while apologizing
to the public if injury time prevented
him from scoring goals.
Dr. Pitana said he was looking forward to returning
to campus where he can once again undertake research,
write and teach.
Stay tuned to balidiscovery.com and Bali
Update for details on Dr. Pitana's successor
as Chief of the Bali Tourism Authority.
Travelers Not at
Serious Risk From Bird Flu
Bird Flu Update:
Government Takes Steps to Curb Disease. WHO Says
Flu Not a Realistic Threat to Travelers.
PATA Says Travelers Not at Risk
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
welcomed an assessment from the World
Health Organization (WHO) that says bird
flu at its current stage poses no realistic
health threat to travelers visiting Asia. According
to the WHO, there is no sign
that the virus passes from human to human.
Saying they have no plans to issue a travel advisory,
the WHO emphasized that H5N1
avian influenza ("bird flu") can only be
caught by direct contact with contaminated poultry.
Travelers are not at risk of catching bird flu
by eating cooked chicken or eggs.
WHO spokesperson, Mr. Peter Cordingley,
told PATA: "The World Health
Organization does not at this moment see bird
flu as a serious public health threat." He added:
"This is not an urban problem. It has only been
detected in farms and wet market environments."
Mr. Cordingley confirmed that there was "no sign"
that bird flu was changing its genetic structure
and becoming transmittable between humans. He
said there were no known cases of health workers
contracting the disease from patients.
Thousands of Chickens Culled in Bali
Local press report that Bali poultry farmers destroyed
thousands of infected chickens on Bali on Monday,
January 26. 2004.
Meanwhile, Bali Governor, Mr. Dewa Made Beratha,
confirmed that the Government was importing 50,000
vaccines dosages against the disease from China
to be given to those bird still unaffected by
Since August, an estimated 5 million chickens
have died or been destroyed with the Government
claiming that 60% of that total was due to Newcastle's
disease, an ailment fatal to poultry but of
no threat to human populations.
Health Monitoring Teams Formed
Indonesia's Ministry of Health has deployed special
monitoring teams at poultry production centers
across the Country. The team are examining bird
populations and taking blood samples from poultry
breeders to determine if any of those working
with infected birds have contracted the illness.
To date there have been no confirmed cases of
human catching bird flu in Indonesia.
David West: Master
in Residence at The Bal้
Yoga Master to Teach
in Bali Through March 04, 2004.
The founder of the Omsense International School
of Yoga in 1999 and the author of two books
- "The Hatha Yoga Handbook" and "Yoga
for Surfers," - Mr. David West is a recognized
world authority on Yoga helping his students embark
on a life-long journey of health and happiness
through exercise, concentration, and meditation.
According to Mr. West, "happiness for most of
us is rarely attainable." Mr. David West turned
to Yoga in India after his studies helped him
beat life-crippling Lymes Disease.
Swami Shyam Yogi, a Yoga master, told David, "People
in the west have learned life back to front -
often concentrating on worldly wealth at the expense
of their inner happiness." David absorbed these
teachings for a year as his body fought off his
illness with Yoga, herbal therapy and a positive
mental attitude. The experience changed his attitudes
to body, mind and spirit.
In the ten years since recovering from his illness,
David has studied the holy science of Hatha
Yoga based on the teachings of Swami Sivananda
of Rishikesh, India.
As part of the ongoing commitment of Sanctuary
Resorts to provide stimulating guest
experiences through their "Masters in Residence
Programs," Mr. David West will be sharing
his wisdom of Yoga and meditation through March
4, 2004 at The Bal้ Sanctuary Spa.
During this period, Mr. West will teach the traditional
form of Hatha Yoga from the heart of India
while offering training of Yogic techniques for
relaxation and stress management, power Yoga and
Yoga for surfers.
For more information call The Bal้
at telephone ++62- (0)361-775 111 or fax to ++62-(0)361-775
A Tree Grows in Bali
Businessman Gives His Favorite Frangipani Tree
a New Lease on Life and Moves our Editor to Poetry.
Mr. Nigel Mason, the well known and environmentally
active owner of Bali Adventure Tours
clearly has "a thing
" for trees.
Over his many years in Bali he has been a major
force in mangrove preservations and is credited
with having planted in excess of 100,000 mangrove
trees in the wetlands surrounding his South Bali
office and home. As you might expect, trees are
nurtured and lovingly cared for at his Elephant
in Central Bali with special
efforts made to ensure the elephants can't denude
and destroy the trees living in the Park.
That Nigel is a man who will go to almost any
length to save a tree was aptly demonstrated when
he recently discovered that a favorite white frangipani
tree hanging over his swimming pool was about
to collapse, its trunk eaten away by dry rot
Frangipani trees at various stages of growth are
readily sold by garden shops across the Island
and replacing the tree near his pool should not
have been a problem. The tree, however, was a
and Nigel wasn't going to
give up the fight so easily.
After cleaning away the decayed portions of the
trees trunk, Nigel installed stainless steel poles,
driven two meters into the ground, then welded
stainless steel rods to 'cantilever' and support
the tree through holes bored into the tree's residual
trunk. Finally, a frame was welded on and a mesh
wire frame was added. Cement was then used to
fill up the two thirds of the tree that had rotted
away and fashioned by local artists to resemble
the trunk that was missing.
Not prepared to be outdone by nature's handiwork,
Nigel then brought in an air brush artist to paint
in the original colors and texture of the old
frangipani tree's bark.
Nigel and his wife, Yanni, are understandably
proud that their "old
" frangipani tree
still graces their poolside. Nigel says that he
hopes the tree will now outlive him and that his
family can continue to enjoy it's beauty for many
years to come.
Nigel's heroic efforts to save the tree are truly
remarkable and have moved our Editor to poetry.
Accordingly, with full apologies to the late Joyce
Kilmer, we offer the following ode to Nigel and
An Ode to Nigel's Frangipani
I thought that I would never see
Aluminum inside a tree.
A tree whose trunk stands firm and true
Made fast and strong by bolts and screws.
A tree that wears its bark as art
Confusing dogs who pause to mark.
A tree whose heart entombed by cement,
Art? Or Nature's breach with fraudulent intent?
A tree once doomed to wither and die,
Whose perennial flowers do now death defy.
While Only God can make a tree,
It's Nigel who does the surgery.
Tourism Promotion Funds Focused on Region
Scarce Promotional Funding Means Short and Medium Haul Markets to See Most Promotional Spending.
The Government has earmarked Rp. 63 billion (approximately US$ 7.4 million) for tourism promotional and marketing activities in the region.
This amount represents the lion's share, or nearly 70%, of all monies to be spent on the promotion of tourism and reflects a swing by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to strategic regionally-based promotion necessitated by the small total allocation in the final state budget.
Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, Mr. Udin Saifuddin, the Deputy Director of Marketing in the Ministry said, "promotion and marketing of Indonesian tourism at this time will focus on the region, primarily ASEAN, East Asia, Oceania (Australia), and the Middle East."
Indonesia a Low Spender on Promotion
In total, the Government has set aside Rp. 90 billion (approximately US$ 10.6 million) for promotion and marketing in the current year.
This amount is minimal in comparison with the funds being spent by competing destinations in the region. According to Saifuddin, "if compared with other Southeast Asian countries, like Malaysia who allocate US$ 100 million and Thailand who spends US$ 120 million, Indonesia's allocation is very small."
The Minister of Culture and Tourism had originally
requested an allocation of US$ 41.7 million for
tourism expenditures in 2004, but after several
budget slashing sessions were eventually only
funded US$ 13.3 million for total Ministry expenditures
Lombok Laments New Visa Policy
Lombok Operators Fear Lack of Visa-On-Arrival in Lombok Will Cause Island Tourism to Decline Further.
During a regional meeting of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA) held in Lombok on January 29, 2004, tourism leaders said they feared Lombok's non-inclusion on the list of ports where visa-on-arrival can be issued will represent another painful setback for the Island's already ailing tourism industry.
According to Mr. Misbach Mulyadi, the Chairman of ASITA for Nusa Tenggara Barat, Lombok had gradually managed to attract investors during the period 1990 -1998, only to see those efforts retreat following the World Trade Center tragedy, the Bali bombing of 2002, and the SARS scare. He claimed that a number of hotels in Lombok have been forced to close off large sections of their room inventories and of the 86 travel agents registered there only 50 continued to operate.
Fears for Silk Air
At the same meeting, Mr. Misbach presented his fear that the new visa rules requiring most tourists arriving directly on international flights in Lombok to organize a visa before departure may cause the twice-weekly Silk Air service from Singapore to be reduced to one time a week or, perhaps, he feared, to be cancelled completely.
Call for Visa Facility for Lombok
Representing the Governor of Lombok, the Provincial Secretary, Mr. Nanang Samodera, confirmed that the Governor's office was approaching the Government to introduce the visa-on-arrival facility at Mataram's Selaparang airport.
The Chairman of the Lombok Hotel Association, Casa Grande, Mr. John Halpin, said he could not understand why Lombok had been left off the list of airports able to provide the new visa facility. He said the oversight will only help to further destroy Lombok tourism, make the situation more difficult for local businesses, and reduce the tax revenues collected by the Government.
Bali Bird Park Statement on Bird Flu
Bali's Bird Park Issues an Official Statement Declaring Park Free of Avian Influenza.
Bali Bird Park - the home to over 1,500 birds from over 250 species has issued a formal statement in connection with the outbreak of avian influenza, or bird flu, in the region.
The statement issued by Mr. Chris Hubbard, the Curator at the Park, states:
Avian influenza is a viral disease that has been detected in Southeast Asia amongst commercial poultry farms under intensive conditions only.
The disease has not been identified in any pet or ornamental birds and neither has the disease been identified in any zoo, wildlife park or breeders establishment catering for exotic or pet birds.
The disease is spread by contact with the affected bird and/or their feces. Bali Bird Park houses no chicken or other commercial poultry on its property and cancelled the use of all fresh chicken products for the past 6 weeks.
The World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson, Mr. Peter Cordingley, has advised "that the WHO does not at this moment see bird flu as a serious public health threat." To date there have been no confirmed cases of human beings catching bird flu in Indonesia.
Bird's affected by the disease usually die within a short time after contracting the illness. Bali Bird Park has had no losses from its collection from sudden death over the past few months which might indicate an avian influenza outbreak at the Park.
E-Commerce and Search Engine Marketing in Bali
PATA Chapter Hosts E-Commerce Learning Seminar on February 17, 2004.
Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Chapter for Bali and Nusa Tenggara is hosting an educational seminar on e-commerce and search engine marketing on Tuesday, February 17, 2004.
The seminar, led by Mr. Krish Purnawarman, will cover the following topics:
E-commerce and e-business in the information age.
Online and on-sale.
Front end & Back end of the business.
Introduction on E-marketing & search engine marketing.
Forecasting search engine results.
Search Engines: the feeder, the collector and the users.
Success stories on e-commerce.
The seminar will be held on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 at The Gianyar Room of the Patra Bali Resort from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.. Cost of participation is Rp. 115,000 (approximately US$ 13.50) for PATA members and Rp. 140,000 (approximately US$ 16.50) for non-members.
Price includes the course, all materials including an educational CD, coffee break and lunch.
For bookings and more information call or fax the PATA Secretariat at ++62-(0)361-226578/9 or send an e-mail via the link provided.
Join Kerry Collison's Birthday Bash
Celebrated Australian Author Invites Friends and Colleagues to Bali to Join Celebration of His 60th Birthday.
Colorful. Multi-skilled. Often controversial. All fair descriptions of both Australian author Kerry Collison and the characters that populate his 6 novels of political intrigue and derring do, each set in Indonesia.
Kerry's Indonesian thrillers have a ring of authenticity in them, born of his long and venture-filled years of living dangerously in Indonesia. Entering the Royal Air Force in 1962 he was assigned to an Indonesian language course at Point Cook immediately after receiving a top-level security clearance. After graduation and at the tender age of 22, Kerry was named Assistant Air Attach้ at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta where he served as an interpreter during the very tumultuous years bridging the end of Soekarno's power in Indonesia and the ascension of Suharto.
In 1967, Kerry said good-bye to the diplomat's life and resigned form the Embassy staff, setting off to establish a variety of business interests in Jakarta during the early boom years of the New Order. Extensive contacts within the military and official community made Kerry extremely popular as a commercial representative for major companies seeking to establish themselves in Indonesia.
Granted Indonesian citizenship by President Suharto in 1971, Kerry went on to found more than 20 companies over the next 18 years ranging from housing estates, bars, restaurants, oil contractors, and spa/fitness centers.
In the 1990's Kerry branched out into educational ventures, promoting one of the first private universities in Australia and, later, satellite television services. He has also worked in various ventures throughout Indochina.
Kerry Collision Turning 60
On Sunday, May 9, 2004, Kerry Collison will mark his 60th birthday in Bali with his Balinese wife of 32 years, Ni Nyoman Sukasani, family and friends. Celebrating the milestone in true style, Kerry will be hosting a private birthday bash in Sanur to which he hopes many friends and acquaintances from across the region will join.
Special Travel Packages Available
Bali Discovery Tours is offering a number of specially priced accommodation packages at Sanur Hotels over the birthday weekend and free transportation to the birthday bash hosted by Kerry and his family on Sunday, May 9, 2004.
Guests joining from Australia can also take advantage of low rate air-accommodation packages on offer in connection with this special event.
Old friends and colleagues wishing to join the festivities should e-mail via the link provided for details.
The Likeness of Nature
Painting Exhibition by I Made Supena at the Ganesha Gallery, February 10 March 4, 2004.
Born in Singapadu, Gianyar, Bali in 1970, I Made Supena's bold and striking abstract works are increasing prized parts of important collections following successful exhibitions in Bali, Jakarta, Bandung and Germany.
Born into a family of artisans, Supena's grandfather is an Undagi - a traditional architect entrusted with configuring harmonious layouts for family compounds and villages, his father is a well known sculptor, and all his siblings earn their livings as either artists or sculptors.
A graduate of the Faculty of Fine Art and Design at Bali's Udayana University, Supena's immense gifts as an artist were evident even in his student days when he began to be honored with numerous prizes and awards. In 1998 and 2001 he received the Phillip Morris ASEAN awards presented in Jakarta.
Supena's one-man exhibition Likeness of Nature opens on February 10 until March 4, 2004, at the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay. For more information contact the Gallery at telephone ++62-(0)361-701010.
Bali's Transport Operators Under Strain
Illegal Transport Operators and Fewer Tourists Threatening Existence of Bali Transport Companies.
The Chairman of the Bali Land Transport Organization (Organda Bali) told the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia that the income of the Island's ground transport operators has dropped by more than 40% over the past year.
Organda's Chairman, Mr. Eddy Dharma Putra, pointed to the lack of business as the underlying cause for a "tariff war" now taking place among ground transportation operators in Bali. "If this situation is not corrected soon our tourism image will be damaged," he warned at a recent meeting of his organization in Bali.
Citing one example of the negative impact of the current transport situation, Mr. Dharma Putra pointed to the practice of "buying and selling" tourists within the Taiwanese market. Because of the depressed market, transport operators offer very low rates for transfers and tours to the mass Taiwanese operators and then avoid tourist objects, compelling their passengers to visit shopping areas that pay the transport operators exorbitant commissions.
He also warned that the situation facing tourism transport companies was made even worse by the large number of illegal, unlicensed transport operators vying for business. Officially, according to Mr. Dharma Putra, there are 239 transport companies operating some 4,444 licensed vehicles in Bali while he estimates that the number of unlicensed operators represent a number twice that large.
Calls for a Transport Crackdown
As a first step to solving the current chaos in
the transportation market, he called on the Government
of Bali and the Bali Tourism Transport Association
(PAWIBA) to join forces and conduct sweeping
raids against unlicensed transport operators carrying
tourists on Bali's highways.