Government Taking Steps that Would End Tax Paid by Indonesians and Residents Traveling Overseas.
According to press reports carried in most major Indonesian papers, the Rp. 1 million (approximately US$ 111) advance tax payment levied on all Indonesian citizens and local residents traveling abroad will cease to exist sometime in 2005.
Just a Matter of Time
State Secretary, Bambang Kesowo, told local press last week, "It (the abolition of the departure tax) is just a matter of time."
In anticipation of this step, the Government is preparing a presidential decree to abolish the departure tax and the 2005 state budget is being compiled without a revenue line for the departure tax, known locally as the surat fiskal.
Technically a pre-tax payment that can later be deducted on personal and company income tax payments, the fiskal was introduced by the Government in 1994 as a means to discourage foreign travel and the resulting loss of foreign exchange. The ability to claim back the fee against income tax payments was also introduced to encourage personal and corporate tax registration.
The tax measure has been widely criticized by the national travel industry and among Indonesia's fellow members in the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) who saw the policy as inimical to efforts to foster inter-regional travel and tourism.
Current revenues produced for the Government by the fiskal tax are reported to total Rp. 1.2 trillion a year (approximately US$ 133 million).
Chasing the Meeting and Conference Market
Winning Edge's Bert van Walbeek in a Special 2-Day Seminar on How to Sell and Manage the Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition Market.
Renowned guru on travel operations and marketing, Bert van Walbeek of The Winning Edge in Bangkok, Thailand, will return to Bali for an exciting and informative 2-day seminar on MICE Money Making, September 14 & 15, 2004.
To be held at the Bali International Convention Center (BICC) in Nusa Dua, the two-day event will be comprised of 12 modules exploring the nature of the meeting and conference industry; the planning, management and control of events; event production and logistics; the supply chain among MICE stakeholders; successful strategies and tactics in selling MICE events; and the very topical subject of crisis management within the MICE industry.
With nearly four decades of tourism industry experience to his credit, Bert van Walbeek is widely sought out for his insightful and entertainingly delivered views on problem solving and opportunity creation in the areas of tourism management and marketing. Active in a number of regional and international tourism organizations, Bert van Walbeek participated in the Pacific Asia Travel Associations (PATA) Bali Recovery Task Force conducted in the months following the October 2002 terrorist attack. A special session conducted by Van Walbeek in September 2003, communicating the findings of the task force was oversubscribed and left local tourism managers asking for a return visit.
Conducted by Bali Discovery Tours in cooperation with Travel Works Communications, the two-day seminar on securing the meeting and conference market, November 14 & 15, 2004, costs Rp. 1.5 million (plus VAT) and includes all course materials, 4 coffee breaks, two lunches, a completion certificate, and a post-event cocktail reception. Additional discount is available to Companies registering more than one participant at the event.
8th Annual Festival Promises to Be Bigger than Ever With More Local Community Participation.
The 8th Annual Nusa Dua Festival 2004 (NDF) will be held over 9 days in the Nusa Dua Complex on Bali's southern tip with organizers promising a bigger and even better event than the successes recorded in years past.
This Year's Theme
This year's festival has adopted "Udiana Lelanguan" as its theme an ancient story of Sutasoma who lived in a magnificent garden and achieved a peaceful life through sincere sacrifice. Accordingly, the NDF 2004 will increase its efforts to hold events that foster strong relationships within the community and among the various stakeholders of the Nusa Dua Complex.
9 Days of Memorable Activities
The Festival will open on Wednesday, September 8 with a massive Peed Agung - a parade of cultural troops, floats and performers that will wind itself through the complex and past a VIP reviewing platform.
Other activities spread across the 9 days of the Festival include: traditional Gambuh, mask dances and Calonarang performances; puppetry performances presented by Ida Bagus Arjawa; Gandrung performances from Klungkung; competitions between local gong orchestras; special performances of Bali's famed warrior Baris dance; and modern dance performances by Bali's internationally renowned choreographer Nyoman Sura.
Each of the hotels that operate the more than 4,000 hotel rooms within the Nusa Dua Complex will host booths at the Festival, demonstrating cultural and culinary skills. Handicraft stands, provided without cost to local community vendors, will offer goods and products for sale.
Some 44,000 visitors attended the Nusa Dua Festival 2003, a record attendance for the event.
Fine Wine and Dining at The Legian
Special 5 Course Dinner with Distinguished Wines on Thursday, August 26, 2004.
In keeping with its established reputation as an innovator in fine dining experiences, The Restaurant at The Legian is hosting a wine dinner on Thursday, August 26, 2004.
An evening presented by the Hotel's Executive Chef, Nam Nguyen, with wines personally presented by Monsieur Philippe Blanc, Managing Director of Château Beychevelle, the evening will feature Chef Nam's carefully presented 5 course menu complimented by wines from Château Beychevelle, Château Beaumont and Domaine Hetszolo - including the famous Tokaj Aszu 5 Puttonyos.
Château Beychevelle - Established by the powerful Duke of Epernon under Henri III, local legend contends that passing ships were expected to lower their flags in homage to the Duke. Thus, "Baissse-Voille" or "lowering the flag" evolved into the name of the region - Beychevelle. Today, passing ships might pause to sample some of the 40-50,000 cases of fine wine produced each year by the 85 hectares of grapes under cultivation at the Château, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by Merlot and a small quantity of Cabernet Franc.
Château Beaumont - Located on the left bank of the Garonne River, between the regions of St. Julien and Margaux, this Château specializes in the Cabernet Sauvignon grape so well suited to the coarse, gravelly soil found there.
Domaine Hetszolo - One of the world smallest producers of wine, the rare Hungarian wines of this domain were once declared "Vinum Regum Rex Vinorum" ("The Wine of Kings and King of Wine") by Louis XIV. Almost destroyed by pestilence in the last century and in semi-seclusion for 40 years under Communist rule, Domain Hertszolo is quickly re-establishing Tokai Wines as one of the world's best vintages. Harvested as "noble rot" somewhat shriveled on the vine in late October and November, the grapes are then hand sorted and fermented in oak barrels for several years in the caves of the region.
Confit of Foie Gras with Glazed Baby Carrots, Grapes and Roasted Cantaloupe
Domaine Hétszölö Muscat de Tokaj 2001
Pan Roasted Fillet of Sea Bass, Spanish Ham, Manchego Cheese, Beans and Black Truffles
Château Beaumont 2000
Rib Eye with Oyster, Celeriac Ravioli, Spinach, Porcini Sabayon
Château Beychevelle 1995
Bavarois of Roquefort
Château Beychevelle 2000
Citrus Fruit in Fresh Lime Jelly, Margarita Sorbet
Domaine Hétszölö Aszu 5 Puttonyos
The cost of the 5 course menu including wines is Rp. 850,000 per person, (approximately US$ 94), including 21% government tax and service.
Seating is limited. For reservations call Mr. Dino Lokollo, F&B Coordinator at 730 622 (ext. 768) or Email via the link provided.
Estimated 8.000 Indonesians Employed in International Cruise Industry.
According to Mr. Hughes Lamy, a Director of Cruise Management Consulting based in Monaco and quoted in Bisnis Indonesia, more than 8.000 Indonesians are employed on foreign flagged cruise ships around the world.
Of that total, nearly 60% or 4,800 are employed on board ships operated by Holland America Lines; followed by 1,200 working with Costa Cruise Lines; 1,000 with Carnival Cruise Lines; 800 with Star Cruises; 235 on board Princess Cruises; and 140 with Windstar Cruises. Another 2,841 Indonesians are reportedly employed in shore jobs provided by foreign cruise line operators.
Mr. Lamy went on to describe that wages on board these ships range from US$ 564 per month for a cleaner, to US$ 1,079 for a waiter, to US$ 1,198 per month for a cook, and US$ 1,548 for a section chief.
According to many cruise managers, Indonesia crew are popular because of their friendly personalities, work discipline and reputation for minimal complaining.
A number of foreign cruise operators maintain offices in Jakarta and Bali involved in the recruitment and training of ship's crews.
Visa on Arrival a Success?
Minister of Justice and Human Rights Insists Visa Fee Has No Negative Impact on Arrivals.
Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Yusril Ihza Mahendra, was recently quoted in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia as proclaiming the visa-on-arrival (VOA) facility a success based on the substantial revenues the policy has produced for national coffers and the continuing increase in tourism numbers.
According to the Minister, "there's no longer any pro and contra regarding the implementation of the VOA. The VOA will continue; I gave it a six month test period after which I would cancel the policy if it failed. The reality is that tourism arrivals have increased sharply. In six months the revenues created have been very large. All this was outside the predictions of many people."
The Minister went on to explain that through the end of July Rp. 156.32 billion (approximately US$ 17.4 million) had been collected from some 830,593 foreign visitors nation-wide.
A Contrasting View
While overall tourism arrivals continuing to soar to record levels, the statistics on current arrivals do not fully support the Minister's arguments in support of the VOA policy.
Arrivals are extremely strong from ASEAN countries, which are exempt from the visa on arrival fee. However, with the notable exception of Australia which is setting new records for visitors to Bali, arrivals from those countries compelled to pay the visa fee still lag significantly behind totals achieved in Bali arrivals as far back as 2001.
These figures suggest that it is too premature to conclude that the VOA fee is having no impact on tourism arrivals.
Head of STP Reports Japanese Travel Experts Give Low Marks to Balinese Tour Guides.
At the opening of a Japanese language course for Kuta area residents, the Head of the Higher School for Tourism (STP), Drs. Bagus Putu Sudiara reported that research carried out in 2002 by the Japanese Tourism Board showed that local Japanese-speaking tour guides were failing to make the grade in the eyes of Japanese visitors to Bali.
The results of that study, according to Sudiara, showed that Bali's Japanese-speaking guides fell short in their Japanese language skills and understanding of Japanese protocol and etiquette.
The tourism educator's remarks were made at the opening of a Japanese language course organized by the Community of Kuta in cooperation with the Kuta Small Business Association and supported by the STP. The 2-day course in survival Japanese for tourism operators was attended by 30 representatives from various Kuta companies.
Her Excellency, Ambassador Christine Hakim
Indonesian Film Star Named UNICEF Ambassador.
The star of more than 30 films and numerous TV series and one of a handful of Indonesian screen actors who has won both national and international accolades, Christine Hakim was named on Thursday, August 19, 2004, as an official ambassador of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). This latest appointment puts Christine in the same league with fellow ambassadors, including Robbie Williams, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman all selected for their leading roles in their chosen fields of endeavor and their commitment to improving the welfare of children worldwide.
In announcing Christine Hakim's appointment, Steve Allen the UNICEF Representative in Indonesia cited the actresses' well-known commitment to children's welfare through a foundation operated in her name that distributes milk to malnourished children in West Java and in Aceh, and a separate fund that supports children in the development of artistic gifts. Commenting on the appointment, Mr. Allen said, "I'm sure we will make real progress with Christine's support for UNICEF."
Christine Hakim has pledge to use the prestige and access of her appointment as a UNICEF Ambassador to focus her energies on child protection, education, the prevention of child abuse and putting an end to child trafficking.
At the press conference announcing the appointment in Jakarta, Allen pointed out that nearly half of all Indonesian children do not have official birth certificates, a situation that creates numerous problems throughout their lives. These "floating children" encounter problems in obtaining health and social services.
In 2003, Christine Hakim was named by TIME Magazine (Asia Edition) as an "Asian Hero." One of the Country's most respected artists for her numerous classic film roles, she is the only Indonesian to ever serve on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival (2002). She is also the recipient of a Bintang Budaya Parama Dharma - a national cultural honor from the Republic of Indonesia and the Nikkei Asia Prize, presented by the Nikkei Shimbun newspaper in Tokyo, for her many cultural achievements.
Within Moving Shadows
An Exhibition of Paintings by Nyoman Sujana at the Ganesha Gallery August 31 September 23, 2004.
Widely seen as one of Indonesia's up and coming young painters, Nyoman Sujana, also known as "Kenyem" continues to explore the expression of his substantial talent in his current one-man exhibition at the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort, Jimbaran, Bali.
Within Moving Shadows
A graduate of Bali's Indonesian College of Art (ISI), Kenyem's latest work focuses on the world of shadows, depicting totem-like figures, some inviting some dark and ominous in their countenance. Not unlike the shadow-puppet plays that are familiar to every village child in Bali, Kenyem's figures inhabit an awesome supernatural world of spirits and ancestors.
In Kenyem's current collection the shadow puppet master or dalang has been supplanted by the painter, a master manipulator of reality and emotions.
Within Moving Shadow an exhibition by Nyoman Sujana runs from its opening on the evening of August 31, 2004, until September 23, 2004, at the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort, Jimbaran, Bali.
For more information, call the Ganesha Gallery at ++62-(0)361-701010.
Jakarta to Bali by Motorbike
Jakarta Based Photographer on Photographic Sojourn through the Heart of Indonesia by Motorcycle.
When German photographer Dieter Lotze first came to Indonesia in 1979, he knew he had discovered his spiritual home.
Living back and forth between Germany and Indonesia ever since, his attachment and love for Indonesia continued to grow. Along the way, he has seen and experienced much of his adopted home, recoding that journey in breathtaking photos. And, as with all interesting journeys, some of his Indonesian memories have been bittersweet: he married a charming and lovely Indonesian lady only to lose her to illness several years later.
Eager to regain some of the magic that first captivated him nearly three decades ago, Dieter embarked on Friday, August 20, 2004, on a sojourn on his BMW motorbike from Jakarta to Bali. At home and feeling perfectly safe among the people of Java and Bali, Dieter's vowed to avoid the main roads and tourist spots, armed with his camera, capturing the images of a less-seen Indonesia.
A well known and widely published commercial photographer, Dieter specializes in roundshot photography - a combination of special equipment and digital technology that allows viewers to view a location from a 360 degree perspective.
Involved in a number of projects including a roundshot calendar and several books, Dieter has promised to share one or two of his photos from the current journey with us in coming editions of Bali Update at balidiscovery.com.
Local Lad Marks Independence Day By Bungy Jumping with the National Flag.
Strong feelings of national pride and patriotism so moved 29-year-old Putu Gelgel that he carried the red and white national flag of the Republic Indonesia to the highest point in Kuta and then, together with his beloved flag, took a giant step forward.
As shown on balidiscovery.com, Putu proudly unfurled his flag as he made the 45-meter bungy jump on Tuesday, August 17, 2004, the 59th anniversary of the founding of the Republic. Born in Singaraja, North Bali, Putu is a veteran bungy jumper who made his first leap of faith in 1995, when the AJ Hackett bungy jump facility opened its doors to the public.
The only bungy jump located within the confines of a night club, the AJ Hackett tower at Bali's famous Double Six Club now hosts an average of more than 50 jumpers each day.
Former Pansea Puri Bali to close for 2 Months Renovation starting on January 7, 2005.
Following on the heels of the recent announcement of the amalgamation between Orient Express Hotels and Pansea Hotels, Mr. José A. Moral, General Manager of the Pansea Puri Bali, has announced that his property will close for 2 months of renovation work from January 7 through March 5, 2005.
Re-opening under its new branding as the Jimbaran Puri Bali, a Pansea Orient-Express Hotel, the hotel will undergo a revamp of its swimming pool, cottages, restaurants and other public facilities.
The new company Pansea Orient Express Hotels will operate two hotels in Bali. The Jimbaran property undergoing renovations and a new Ubud property under construction The Ubud Handing Gardens, Bali.