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Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
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Tel: ++62 361 286 283
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BALI UPDATE #402 - 24 May 2004

Bali Arrivals January - April 2004
Bali by the Numbers: Detailed Breakdown January April Arrivals Show General Pick Up from 2003 But Still A Way to Go to Equal 2001 Totals.

Number Crunchers, start your engines!

Detailed breakdowns of direct foreign arrivals via Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport for the first four months of 2004 are providing an increasingly clearer picture of where Bali's tourism fortunes are headed.

Overall, A Stellar Performance

Climbing out of the depths of despair that characterized arrivals in the first four months of 2003 following the Bali bombing and leading up to the Iraqi invasion, arrival figures for January-April 2004 improved 57.02%. When, however, compared to the same period in 2001 this year's figure continue to lag by -9.54%.

Asia Pacific - Largely Recovered

Asia-Pacific visitors are returning to Bali in droves, improving 82.15% in the first four months of 2004 from the same period a year earlier. Among the key performers in the region only Japan revealed some hesitancy towards recovery - up 59.82% for January-April but still 19.4% below 2001 totals.

On the other side of the coin, both Taiwan and Australia are logging major strides forward, suggesting those two markets may well and truly be off the "critical patient list." Taiwanese travelers increased 40.57% in the January-April 2004 period with totals virtually equal to the numbers produced in 2001. Meanwhile, Australian arrivals jumped a staggering 158.18% as travelers from Down Under shook off the after effects of the Bali Bombing in totals that even managed to exceed 2001 totals for the same period by 5%.

ASEAN Slow and Steady

ASEAN direct arrivals improved 20.82% in the first four months of this year, recording a 94% overall increase in visitors between 2004 and 2001. Malaysian was the star performer in ASEAN, up 40.29% with 13,786 visitors in the first four months of 2004. Singapore's figure dropped 11.08%, down to 11,955 possibly reflecting the lack of special price offers from that market present in 2003 as part of Singapore Airline's rescue package for Bali.

The America's Better, But Far From Good

Direct arrivals from The Americas jumped 50.41 % for January-April 2004 from just a year earlier. U.S. citizen arrivals improved 68.26% for the period - totaling 15.049 tourists, a figure still 41.9% behind 2001 when 25,917 yanks visited Bali between January and April.

Europe A Slower Path to Recovery

As a whole, European arrivals improved, but only by 25.36% in the first four months of 2004, totaling 89.916 visitors. Compared, however, to the same period in 2001 (136,173 visitors) European arrivals are lagging by -33.97%.

Despite negative travel advisories the U.K. travelers were up 32.87% year to date but were down 20,000 visitors as compared to the first four months of 2001.

German travelers improved 26.05% but still not enough to make up for the 23.56% shortfall from the same period in 2001.

Finally, the Dutch decreased 1.05% for January-April 2004 as compared to a year before, down 26.47% from the 12,841 who visited in the same period in 2001.

balidiscovery.com has created a detailed breakdown of arrivals for the period January - April 2001 through 2004 - which can be downloaded without charge at the end of this report.



A New Office for Garuda in Tuban
Relocated Kuta Sales Office Promises Upgraded Customer Service.

Garuda Indonesia has moved its Kuta area sales office from the Inna Kuta Beach Hotel to a new location at the Kuta Paradiso Hotel in South Kuta.

The move, effective from May 16, 2004, will offer ticketing, reservations as well as city check-in for both international and domestic passengers.

The telephone contact for the new office is ++62-(0)361-751179.


Aviation Fuel Costing More
Passenger Borne Fuel Surcharges Seen as Having Minimal Impact on Travel Demand.

A world-wide surge in the price of crude oil to prices in excess of US$ 40 per barrel is making itself felt on international air travelers.

The majority of the international air carriers, with varying amounts of fanfare, are adding fuel surcharges to cover their increased cost of fuel, estimated to account for anywhere between 10 to 30 percent of an airline's total operating costs.

The major inbound carriers to Bali among them Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Garuda Indonesia and Air Paradise have reportedly all introduced or confirmed their intention to add fuel surcharges in the near future.

Jet-Fuel prices stand at more than US$ 48 a barrel, an increase of over 26% from the price in late 2003 and represent a four year peak.

Despite the higher fuel costs, demand for air passenger seats across Asia remains buoyant, with demand up nearly 15% from a year earlier.


Government to Stop New Domestic Carriers?
Parliament Commission Calls for a Halt to New Start-Up Domestic Carriers.

Commission IV of the National Parliament (DPR) have requested the Government stop issuing new operating licenses scheduled for domestic air carriers.

Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, Commission IV member Maman Sulaiman said, "the Department of Communications must stop freely issuing new flight operating licenses and consider the sustainability of those carriers already in operation in order to create a healthy, competitive business environment."

At a recent meeting of the Indonesian Air Carrier Association (INACA) in Yogyakarta, that organization also called on the Government to curtail or cut back on the issuance of licenses to new domestic airlines.

Unsympathetic to calls to shrink the air travel market and commenting in a separate forum, the Director General of Air Communications, Cucuk Suryo Suprodjo, insisted that his office would continue to issue operating licenses to new carriers who fulfill the stated requirements and can demonstrate financial viability.

According to Bisnis Indonesia, the Government has issued 27 airline operating licenses, 23 of which remain in business.

Prior to the recent deregulation of the Indonesian domestic air carrier environment, five airlines dominated the Country's skies. Now, with the introduction of many new carriers, passengers are enjoying competitive air fare levels that, in some cases, rival the cost of trains and bus travel over the same sectors.


Garuda to Convert Merpati Loans to Shares
Step Needed to Assist Cash-Strapped Carrier.

According to statements made by Garuda Indonesia's (GA) President Director, Indra Setiawan, before Commission IV of the Parliament (DPR), his airline has agreed in principle to convert loans made to Merpati Nusantara Airlines (MZ) equal to Rp. 250 billion (approximately US$ 27.8 million) into mandatory convertible bond (MCB).

Equivalent to a capital investment in the company, the conversion will increase the current 7% stake held by GA in MZ. Just how many shares GA will net from the transaction is open to final negotiation with the Government the other shareholder in MZ.

As reported at balidiscovery.com, MZ's current balance sheet reflects negative equity with debts totaling more than Rp. 1.3 trillion (approximately US$ 144.5 million) against assets worth only US$ 88.9 million.

Approval for the restructuring of MZ's finances via the conversion of debt to equity must receive final approval from the Agency for State Owned Enterprises (BUMN).

Once approval is in hand, MZ's management will then move forward with plans to find a new investor able to inject the estimated Rp. 1 trillion (approximately US$ 111 million) needed to put the airline on a sound financial footing.



A People's Street Bazaar
ASITA To Host Three 'Bazaar Murah.'

The Bali Chapter of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA) is hosting a series of three separate 'Bazaar Murah' or 'People's Street Bazaars' to create a fun-based activity in Bali that will contribute to the economy of the general public.

Bazaar Murah ASITA

Each Bazaar will host some 60 booths selling both new and used items at bargain prices. Community members with items to sell can rent a space for Rp. 150,000 for ASITA members and Rp. 200,000 for non-ASITA members.

The scheduled dates for the Bazaar Murah ASITA are:

Sunday, June 13, 2004, from 0700 1600 hours.

Sunday, September 5, 2004, from 0700 1600 hours.

Sunday, December 5, 2004 from 0700 until 1600 hours.

The location of the Bazaar Murah ASITA is in the yard of the Provincial Parliament Building (DPRD Propinsi Bali) in Renon, Denpasar.

Registration and Details

For more information or to register for a booth contact:

Secretariat ASITA

Gedung Diparda (ex. Kanwil Parpostel)

Jl. Raya Puputan No. 41, Renon Denpasar

Contact person: Ms. Ana or Mrs. Rus


Cigars Under the Stars
Cuban Cigars, Champagne, 7 Course Gourmet Dinner and 5 Wines at Bali's Ritz Carlton May 28, 2004.

Back by popular demand, Ritz Carlton Bali, Resort & Spa is presenting an evening of gourmet dining, fine wines and hand-rolled Cuban cigars on Friday, May 28, 2004.

Banned in America and increasingly frowned upon in a smoker-free world, cigars aplenty smoked by both men and women will take center stage at this special event. Master cigar roller Lazaro Cullazon Rodriguez, Head of the Rolling Room at Cuba's Partagas Factory will be in attendance demonstrating the arts of tobacco selection and rolling. Guest will be encouraged to light up and puff on a Cuban Carona and the new Cuaba Distinguidos Cigar while sipping Veuve Cliquot Champagne starting from 7 p.m..

Aperitif completed guest will adjourn to a 7-course gourmet dinner featuring 5 specially selected wines with service punctuated by 3 premium cigars.

Space is limited for this special event costing Rp. 950,000 per person including 21% tax and service (approximately US$ 105).

Reservations and full payment must be made prior to Wednesday, May 26, 2004.

For more information or bookings call ++62-(0)361-702222 extension 7165.


Legislators Call for More Tourism Funding
Commission VI of DPR Says More Financial Support Needed for Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Commission VI of the People's Consultative Assembly (DPR-RI) have called for a major increase in the amount of government funds made available to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Saying the 2004 budget allocation of Rp. 310 billion (approximately US$ 34.4 million) was insufficient, the Chairman of Commission VI, Mr. Taufikirahman Saleh, told a recent meeting of the Ministry that he is "asking the budget to be increased from the 2004 level of Rp. 310 billion in order that the Ministry can complete its duties and achieve the targets set for it by the Government and restore the image of national culture and tourism."

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism have set a target of 5 million foreign visitors in 2004, achieving 1.03 million visitors in the first quarter of the year. Those same targets project foreign exchange proceeds from foreign visitors will equal US$ 5 billion.

Meanwhile, reflecting the Ministry's new focus on supporting and promoting domestic tourism is estimating the value of the domestic tourism business to equal Rp. 16.97 trillion (approximately US$ 1.9 billion) in 2004.


Benoa Harbor Set for Rapid Upgrade?
New Port Administrator Hints that Major Improvements Coming to Port in Bali's South.

On Friday, May 14, 2004, a reception was held at a local hotel to bid farewell to Benoa's Port Administrator (ADPEL) Mr. Pieter Nababan and welcome his successor, Drs. M. Effendy Syarif. At that gathering, suggestions were made that preparations are well underway that will soon see a rapid re-development of Bali's only port facility serving the southern sections of the Island.

According to reports in the local press, the Master Plan for the Benoa Port has been submitted by the operating authority for the port, PT Pelabuhan Indonesia (PELINDO), to the Provincial Government for its approval.

Once that approval is received and ratified by the Department of Sea Communications, Mr. Effendy says investors are in place that will make it possible to widen and deepen the current port basin, lengthen piers, and upgrade marina facilities at the port.

In the past, plans to improve the port have met opposition from local groups concerned that any development in the area will destroy the environmentally-fragile Mangrove forest that surround the port.


Tourism Seeks an Additional US$ 8 M for Promotion
Additional Funds Needed to Launch International TV Advertising Campaign.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is reportedly preparing a supplemental budgetary request for the current year equal to US$ 8 million.

Speaking at a tourism fair in Jakarta on May 20, 2004, and quoted in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, Udin Saefudin, Deputy Chief of Marketing for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, told the press that the current promotional fund of Rp. 90 billion (approximately US$ 10 million) is inadequate to undertake international tourism promotion and a successful launching of his department's new "Indonesia Ultimate in Diversity" campaign. He indicated that discussions were underway with CNN, BBC and CNBC for media an advertising campaign on those international television channels.

Mr. Saefudin expressed some optimism that the supplementary budget allocation from the Government would be approved and the fund available in August.

The Ministry is targeting that 20% of all revenues collected under the recently introduced visa on arrival scheme be earmarked for tourism promotion projects.


Not Only For Profit
Culture and Tourism Minister Calls on Tour Operators to Put the Nation Before Profitability.

Mr. I Gede Ardika, Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, has publicly expressed his disappointment with several major national tour operators who only seek to sell overseas tour programs while neglecting to promote domestic tourism.

The Minister made his observations at the opening of a major domestic tourism exposition he opened in Jakarta on Thursday, May 20, 2004. He said that tour companies that only sold overseas programs lacked the soul to develop their own national culture and the ethical values to help develop the Nation.

The Minister, quoted in the Indonesian-language Bali Post said: "Frankly, Indonesia is rich with a wide variety of tourism objects, but these people would rather promote the attractions of another nation over those of their own country."

The Minister pointed out how recent changes in Government policy providing for a number of extended weekends had helped contribute to the estimated 145 million domestic tourists now generated every year. This factor has helped Indonesia recover quickly from the last downturn in visitors and created a new sense of nationalism and pride among Indonesians experiencing the beauty and splendor of their country for the first time.

Minister Ardika also reminded his listeners of the huge potential for tourism to create jobs and new businesses, pointing out that domestic tourism also fosters greater unity and mutual appreciation among all Indonesians.


A Memory of Images
Photographs by Gill Marais at The Ganesha Gallery June 8 July 1, 2004.

Based in Paris, Gill Marais is a photojournalist who has published books and articles specializing in culture, travel, and medical topics - including a recent book on Tibetan medicine.

Her world journey with an ancient, but much loved Leica M6 SLR Camera has brought her to India, Pakistan, China, Tibet, Europe, her native Africa and finally Bali for her latest photographic exploration.

"A Memory of Images"

In her one-woman show of Balinese images at the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay, Gill Marais has managed to record moments and images of ritual and mysticism rarely captured on film. Photographs taken in Bali over frequent visits over a 10 year period, "A Memory of Images" will manage to mesmerize and amaze both Balinese and those who have adopted the island as home, demonstrating that there are still new facets of paradise that await inspired revelation.

Gill Marais' one-woman exhibition of photographs runs from June 8 until July 1, 2004, at the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay.

For more information call the Resort at ++62-(0)361-701010.
 
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