Government Moving Boldly on Several Fronts to Halt the Spread of H5N1 Avian Flu. No Bird Flu Cases Reproted in Bali.
Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has specifically instructed governors in every province of the nation to take concrete steps to prevent the spread of bird flu or H5N1 avian flu - a lethal virus that has reportedly already claimed four lives in Indonesia and may have caused the illness in 28 others. "Measures will be taken by the provincial governments to avoid the spread of the virus," the President told a press briefing on Friday, September 23, 2005, adding, "the government has taken a decision to conduct stamping out in heavily (affected areas)."
Limited Area Affected
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) is cautioning Indonesia to expect more confirmed cases of the potentially fatal disease, the WHO has confirmed that the disease is currently restricted to a 70 kilometer radius around the capital of Jakarta.
Following the discovery of the disease among some captive birds at Jakartas Ragunan Zoo, the Government took the dramatic step of closing the zoo for 21 days and ordering that financial assistance be given to farmers who poultry stocks are culled as a precautionary step.
In order to prevent the spread of the disease among the populace, the government is providing free medical care for anyone showing symptoms consistence with H5N1 Avian Flu.
President Urges Calm
President Yudhoyono has called on friendly governments and the press not to exaggerate the cases found in Indonesia and to tell the world of the strong preventative steps being taken by his government.
Health experts, while urging caution and preventative steps, suggest there is little evidence to support proof of human-to-human contagion at this stage, suggesting that "very, very close contact" between humans is needed to facilitate human contagion.
Indonesia's Minister of Health, Siti Sufari Fadilah, has made available 10,000 tablet of Tamiflu, a medicine proven effective in treating bird flu in humans, in keeping with recommendations of the World Health Organization.
Bird flu has killed 64 people in four Asian countries since it was detected in 2003.
RCI Asia-Pacific Time Share Conference in Bali Make Generous Donations to Local Charities.
The 4th Annual Resort Condominium International (RCI) Conference was held at Bali's Le Meridien Nirwana Resort September 22-23, 2005, attended by time-share professionals from the entire Asia-Pacific region.
In keeping with the conference theme of "Charity and Power," the group paused in its busy schedule of workshops and meetings to make two separate generous donations to two aregional charities.
Each receiving a US$10,000 donation from RCI were:
Project L.I.F.E. Foundation - Founded in 1983, Project L.I.F.E. Foundation has been involved in helping poor and vulnerable members of Thai society, particularly children and women. With programs that focus on restoration, rehabilitation, and development, L.I.F.E. stands for "Love in a Family Environment" with all of its charitable work reflecting that theme.
A registered Thai charity, L.I.F.E. now helps 700 children in Bangkok and six of Thailands poorest provinces.
Kupu-Kupu Foundation - Founded in Bali in 2000 by Spanish social worker Begonia Lopez, the Kupu-Kupu Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization working to improve the lives of physically and mentally disabled people in Bali.
Focusing its activities in two of Bali's 9 regencies, Kupu-Kupu Foundation now touches the lives of nearly 3,000 people providing wheelchairs, crutches and other mobility aids to handicapped people; providing educational opportunities to the handicapped; providing food and other assistance to low-income families with handicapped household members; creating social contact opportunities and educational outings for the handicapped; paying for corrective and remedial surgical assistance; and helping handicapped people achieve subsistence through the manufacture and sale of handicraft items from a shop in Ubud.
Jimmy Barnes in Bali
Australian Rock 'n Roll Legend in Exclusive Concert for Air Paradise Passengers at Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday, November 19, 2005.
The man cited in some circles as the lead singer of the "best band Australia ever produced" Cold Chisel - is coming to Bali for a one-night-only-performance exclusively for passengers flying to Bali on Air Paradise International.
Jimmy Barnes in Concert in Bali
Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1956 and reared in the outskirts of Adelaide, Jimmy Barnes has been singing to a devoted circle of hard-core rock 'n roll fans during each of the last 4 decades, managing to record 19 popular albums of music along the way. Bidding farewell to Cold Chisel in 1984, Barnes embarked on a successful solo career including recording gigs in both Australia and the U.S.A.; soundtrack numbers for the movie "Lost Boys"; a collaborative recording with Tina Turner and Diesel; a shared concert tour with Bon Jovi; and becoming the subject of the biography "Too Much Aint Enough."
Bali's only home-grown airline, Air Paradise International will be presenting Jimmy Barnes in a one night live concert in Bali at The Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday, November 19, 2005.
"Barnesy", will be performing old favorites such as "Khe Sahn" together with new singles from his latest album "Double Happiness". That album has achieved platinum sales and includes duets with stars like Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, John Farnham and Jimmy's five children.
Sorry, but accusations of musical nepotism just won't fly in this instance, Barnes is the father of David Campbell who recently wowed audiences during the Australian tour of "Sunset Boulevard" and the Australian TV program "Dancing with the Stars."
Performing on a special stage constructed on the Hard Rock Hotel's Sand Island, the Bali concert is being used to mark Air Paradise's launch of "Hot deals to Paradise" - specially priced fare and accommodation packages to Bali from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth which must be booked through travel agents before November 25, 2005.
Exclusive to Air Paradise Passengers
Tickets to the Jimmy Barnes Bali concert are on sale in Australia exclusively to Air Paradise International passengers and at a special price of only AUD$23. Any passenger traveling with the airline can purchase tickets to the concert by calling in Australia toll free 13 66 66.
Beware: The concert, like the Airline, is expected to sell out.
Tickets in Bali
A very limited number of advance sale Bali tickets will be available from the Hard Rock Hotel for the November 19, 2005 concert on a first-come-first-served basis for Rp.150,000 (approximately US$14.65), including a first drink charge.
Bali ticket enquiries via the e-mail link provided.
Bali by the Numbers: August Arrivals Soar Past 1 Million with Some Market Numbers Suggesting Demand May Be Approaching a Plateau.
Statistically two-thirds of the way through 2005, foreign direct arrivals to Bali have set new records for arrivals with recent performance in some markets suggesting that demand may have peaked and is now entering into a plateau.
January-August 2005 foreign direct arrivals totaled 1,044,656, an increase of 9.8% over the same period in 2004 (951,764). By any standard, these are excellent results for Bali suggesting the hope that Bali could end the year well over the 1.5 million foreign tourist arrival mark and ahead of the 1.45 million record set in 2004.
Bali's inbound tourist market remains worryingly under-diversified with the four top inbound markets Japan, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea representing 56.7% of all arrivals. Such under-diversification, especially with Japan's 21.9% and Australia's 17.6% market share of all arrivals, make the island extremely vulnerable to disturbance that could deter inbound travel from any one of these key source markets.
While Australias aggregate arrivals are setting new records improving year-to-date by 6.4% over the record-setting performance of 2004, the fact that on a month-to-month basis for August 2005 versus August 2004 Australian arrivals dropped 4% suggests that demand from Australia may be entering a plateau.
Similarly, Japanese travelers to Bali are ahead 11.8% for the period January-August against the previous year. However, month to month for August, arrivals declined by 4% in 2005, indicating softening demand from that market as well.
South Korea continues to boom, up 14.5% for 2005 as compared to the first eight months of 2004. Mirroring the disturbing trend in other markets, however, August arrivals slipped 1.6% on a month-to-month basis in 2005 results that are likely to temper the final level of improvement for the year if the current slowdown continues.
Taiwanese travelers, lured away from Bali by easier access to Mainland China, have decreased markedly by 29.5% for January-August 2005 as compared to the same period in 2004.
Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands are gradually demonstrating a "comeback," achieving numbers that are reminiscent of the excellent arrivals from those markets in 2000 and 2001.
Meanwhile, travelers from the U.K. and the Americas, although improving dramatically on a year to year basis, have not regained the momentum lost from the "golden days" of 2000 and 2001.
Regionally, Malaysian and Singapore, fueled on by cheap fares, have emerged as important sources of short-stay visitors to Bali. However, for reasons that are not immediately clear, Thailand's arrivals to Bali have slipped by a massive 39.5% for January-August 2005 as compared to the first eight months of 2004.
Bali Meeting Outlines Plan to Save Oceans
'Bali Action Plan' for Marine Conservation Adopted at Meeting of APEC Maritime Ministers in Bali.
At a meeting of Ministers of the 20 member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Group (APEC) held at the 2nd APEC Ocean-related Ministerial Meeting in Bali September 16-17, 2005 a "Bali Plan of Action" was adopted to help save the world's oceans.
The meeting, co-chaired by Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Geoff Regan and Indonesia's Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Freddy Numberi, approved a plan calling for urgent steps to be taken to make the world's oceans environmentally and economically sustainable.
Outlining three main areas of concern, the "Bali Action Plan" provides for balancing conservation and sustainable use; providing for sustainable economic benefits from the oceans; and, enabling sustainable development of coastal communities.
Specific performance points of the Action Plan approved by APEC's Maritime Ministers include:
Address the role of oceans for food security and economic prosperity, especially for coastal communities;
Stress the reform of fisheries and oceans management as the key to future prosperity;
Address the threats of marine invasive species, pollution, and marine debris - as well as illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing;
Encourage the use of science and other tools to integrate an ecosystems approach to fisheries and oceans management and designate marine protected areas.
Under the terms of the "Bali Action Plan," the Ministers from the participating governments have agreed to be held accountable for benchmarking the current status of their surrounding sea environments and achieving measurable progress towards cleaner, healthier oceans by the end of the current decade.
Great Place to Work; Great Place to Stay!
Bali's Sheraton Nusa Dua Voted Tops By Both Employees and Guests.
Bali's Sheraton Laguna Nusa Dua recently earned "2004 Best in Class" honors in the Star Voice Starwood Engagement Index, a world-wide benchmarking effort to measure work environment and job satisfaction among the Company's staff.
A 'Top 25%' score was achieved by the Bali property in the 2004 survey of Starwood Hotels & Resorts worldwide. The Human Resources Development program measures employee satisfaction, confidentially seeking individual associates views on their working environment within their individual hotels. Achieving such a high score is considered to offer definite proof that that Sheraton Laguna Nusa Dua employees are happy in their jobs and work environment. As an added bonus, the Bali resort also received the highest Guest Satisfaction Index Scores, demonstrating the highest level of guest satisfaction.
"This is a wonderful accomplishment and something which you and your team should be truly proud," said Starwood Hotels & Resorts Chief Executive Officer Steve Heyer in a letter of recognition to Stephen Ford, Vice President - Area Managing Director PT Starwood Hotels & Resorts Indonesia & Managing Director of the Sheraton Laguna. "Hard work and dedication to your associates has translated to an engaged workforce, which we know makes Starwood a better place to work and a better place for our guest to stay," Heyer added.
"Maintaining happy staff generates happy guests," Ford concurred.
Sheraton Laguna Nusa Dua is currently completing a US$6 million facelift to its meeting facilities and rooms. Due for completion in October 2005, the Ballroom capacity will double to 720 square meters. Complete renovations of all of the resort's 270 rooms and suites will be completed by June 2006. Indoor and outdoor furnishings, soft furnishings and d้cor will be completely replaced with more contemporary, muted tones, in keeping with the traditional Balinese atmosphere.
Jimbaran Bali Branch of McDonald's Restaurant Sanctioned for Pollution Violations and Given Two Months by Local Government to Repair Damage and Correct Violations.
According to reports published in the Indonesian-language DenPost, the McDonald's Restaurant branch in Jimbaran, South Kuta has been given a final deadline of two months to clean up a local river bed which they have polluted or face the threat of strong administrative sanctions from local environmental agencies.
Efforts over the past two weeks by the restaurant's management to stop the overflow of graywater (i.e. water from hand wash basins) from the restaurant flowing into an adjacent river have been unsuccessful. Acording to the press report, while the flow of waste water into the river has been halted, exterior holding basins meant to retain the gray water while a new septic system is built and dredge sewage residues from the river bottom adjacent to the restaurant have resulted in complaints regarding the resulting malodorous atmosphere. Restaurant management told the DenPost that they have hauled away 5 tucks loads of dredged effluent from the river bottom since September 20, 2005.
Following an inspection visit by South Kuta District officials on Wednesday, September 21, 2005, the restaurant was given a final two month's deadline to establish a new septic system to contain waste water in conformance with local environmental and building codes and to succesfully complete the dredging of waste materials from the river bottom in adjacent riverbed.
Strong Bali Contingent at PATA Travel Mart
Bali Travel Operators Head to Kuala Lumpur Looking for Business September 27-30, 2005.
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) will be hosting its annual international travel mart at Kuala Lumpur's Convention Center September 27-30, 2005.
Following an extended stay in Singapore, PATA Mart is back on the road hosted by Tourism Malaysia following a successful hosting in Bangkok, Thailand in 2004.
The Mart is the Asia-Pacific's premier travel event hosting influential buyers from around the world to meet with PATA members promoting destinations, hotels, tourism attractions, and ground services.
In all, some 345 global buyers representing 309 organizations from 45 countries will be in Kuala Lumpur to meet with 720 seller delegates representing 342 organizations from 37 countries.
A Strong Balinese Contingent
The following Bali travel companies have registered to participate in the travel event and will be available for travel trade meetings during the course of the Mart:
Bali Discovery Tours
Bali Dynasty Resort
Discovery Kartika Plaza
Floressa Bali Tours
Jayakarta Hotels & Resorts
Le Meridien Nirwana Resort
Maya Ubud Resort & Spa
Meditours Travel & Tours Operator
Melia Bali Villas & Spa Resort
The Oasis Beach Resort & Spa
Santika Hotels Indonesia
Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel & Suite, Bali
Tauzia Hotel Management
More Parking Restrictions Coming for Kuta?
Kuta Community Leader Calls for Complete Parking Ban in Front of Hard Rock Hotel.
The head of the Kuta traditional village shore patrol, I Gusti Ngurah Trisna, has cited parking in the area in front of the Hard Rock Hotel as a major source of the traffic congestion prevalent along Kuta's beachfront.
Speaking to the Indonesian-language DenPost, Trisna said parking in front of the Hotel, which often includes cars parked illegally on both sides of the road and at the corner turn leading to the beach, block the free flow of traffic on the road which serves as the main traffic conduit for Kuta.
Tresna, the Kuta traditional village leader charged with beachside matters, has called on Bali's traffic authority to consider banning completely parking on the road leading into Kuta beach and in the area directly in front of the Hard Rock Hotel as a means of reducing traffic congestion in Kuta.
Questions Arise Over the Care and Management of Bali's Bombing Monument.
On the eve of the third commemoration of Bali's tragic bombing of October 12, 2002, the regional government of Badung has been asked to clarify who is responsible for the care and management of Bali's Ground Zero Monument built to honor the 202 people who died in the terrorist attack.
Calling for clarification on the lines of responsibilities surrounding the monument, the village chief (Lurah) of Kuta, I Made Suardika, told the Indonesian-language DenPost, "a clarification on who is responsible for the monument's management is important given its role as a new tourist attraction in Kuta."
Of concern to the Kuta village leader is the care, cleaning, maintenance and security of the bombing memorial and surrounding areas.
Growing Level of Complaints
Local leaders report an increasing number of complaints from monument visitors regarding poor supervision at the attraction addressing non-functioning fountains and the presence of beggars, street traders and unlicensed guides surrounding the area.
Suardika has also called for the establishment of an information center at Ground Zero to supply visitors with background on the monument and the tragedy that prompted its construction.
Who's in Charge?
As regards the bombing memorial, Suardika has asked if the local community government, provincial tourism office, local community associations, or the traditional village structure bear final responsibility for Ground Zero's management.
The Kuta district leader (Camat), I Nyoman Predanagga, has downplayed Suardika's concerns and criticisms saying his office has handled cleanliness and security at the monument with maintenance still in the hands of its builders and developers. According to the Camat, day to day security at the monument is provided by a Kuta district security force.
Minister Wacik Calls for More MICE
Minister Wacik Calls for Bigger Push for More Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition (MICE) Business.
Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik has called on national sectors - including political parties - to push for more MICE business (i.e. meetings, incentive, conference and exhibition) and for the inclusion of cultural and art attractions in every event.
Speaking before the first examination for students majoring in MICE studies at the Jakarta Politenik University, Minister Wacik underlined the need for the services of professional event organizers in public gatherings, including political meetings and sporting events. "I hope that all parties will support the MICE industry and work for Indonesia to be appointed as host for international conferences in order to have the widest positive effect on the economy."
Touching on the tourism potential of Indonesia's newly invigorated system of party politics, Minister Wacik mentioned recent PDIP, Golkar and Democratic Party congresses held in Bali as proof of the substantial business in accommodation and other services that can be generated by this sector and coordinated by professional event organizers.
Are You Game to Be Wild?
Take a Walk on the Wild Side with Game Dishes at the Conrad Bali Resort's Spice Restaurant October 4-13, 2005.
Gary Rosen, Executive Chef at Conrad Bali Resort & Spa has gone wild by creating an exciting menu of ethnic game style dishes, including some of the great dishes of provincial cuisine together with classic cuts grilled over charcoal.
Rosen, an outspoken devotee of the Slow Food Movement, [See - Gary Rosen: In Praise of Slow Food], is in his natural element preparing natural food comprised of country fresh game free ranging, lean, naturally reared and free of cholesterol.
October 4-12, 2005 Only
Available only from October 4 12, 2005 in the Resort's Spice outlet, appetizers and entrees include:
Roasted Rabbit with Spring Vegetables and Couscous
Roasted Partridge with Glazed Chestnuts
Venison Carpaccio with Porcini Mushrooms
Saut้ed Breast of Pheasant with morels.
Reservation Highly Recommended
Insiders at the Conrad Bali Resort suggest Chef Rosen may be absent from his kitchen in the period leading up to wild game week, having ecently hung a Gone Hunting sign on his door, Remember, Wild Game Week happens only once each year and lasts for only eight days.
Reservations are therefore highly recommended.
Reserve you table via the e-mail link provided or by calling ++62-(0)361-778788.