"This was the first time we had booked on the Internet and we were a little apprehensive when we first started looking for accommodation options. However any fears we had were soon overcome with the wonderful service we received from the Bali Discovery team."
Editorial: In the Midst of Much Ado About Recovering Bali'’s European Market, Not Much will Happen without Improved Air Access and a Better Welcome to Bali.
Having just returned from World Travel Mart (WTM) in London, it seems increasingly clear that ambitious plans to accelerate steadily improving arrival totals from the U.K. and European markets will be stymied by the continuing lack of air seats from those markets to Bali.
Garuda's complete and utter retreat from Europe has resulted in not only fewer Bali-bound seats but also a lower presence overall in the European marketplace. Where Bali was once a destination in its own right ex-Europe, it has now become little more than a secondary "extension stop" on a holiday to another competing destination in the region.
This lack of seats operating to Bali means that the hotels and tour operators from Bali who invested heavily in participating at WTM would have found it problematic to address any genuine enquiry for a large group conference or incentive actively considering Bali as a destination. In the absence of more flights to Bali, the island will remain marginalized in its effort to seek the more lucrative group and conference markets from Europe.
More Realistic Thinking Needed
While government officials, including Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, continue to publicly call on Garuda, or other Indonesian carriers, to commence service between London and Bali, such "posing" must be seen as more politic than practical. Given Garuda's precarious current financial footing and the substantial "start-up" costs, in terms of marketing and infrastructure, to commence European service it's highly unlikely that an Indonesian carrier will be landing anytime soon in Heathrow or elsewhere in Europe. Not to labor the point, but Garuda's recent abrupt withdrawal from the European market almost guarantees that major wholesalers would withhold support from any proposed scheme to restart European service, choosing to "wait and see" if the Indonesian carrier was really going to stay the distance before including its flights in any costly brochure offering.
In the Meantime, the Island's Tourism Continues to Suffer
Difficult times, such as these, require strong leadership and focused thinking – both commodities in scant supply when it comes to the current state of the Country's tourism.
With World Bank reports suggesting that the very future of the Island is threatened by rising drop-out rates at local schools where parents are no longer able to pay school fees, Bali desperately needs dramatic, short-term remedial action to prevent the complete derailment of its tourism-dependent economy.
Some of the steps that would help bring relief to the current plight, include:
▪ An "open skies" policy for airlines carrying "long-haul" passengers to Bali in order to regain these longer-staying, higher-spending tourists from Europe and the U.S.A..
▪ Personal visits by Bali Tourism Board and representatives of the Culture and Tourism Ministry on air carriers already flying to Bali and on potential new carriers asking what specifically can be done to encourage more flights and more seats to Bali. Richard Branston's Virgin Airlines once publicly expressed a desire to fly to Bali; Shouldn't someone be seking to rekindle that desire?
Similarly, that there are airlines asking for expanded passenger rights to Bali that continue to encounter refusal from Indonesia's Civil Aviation Authorities is unconscionable, given the current state of Bali's economy.
▪ Urgent changes must be made in the administration of the current visa-on-arrival policy to once again encourage Europe's graying market to stay in Indonesia for more than the current limit of 30 days, permitting visits to the more remote regions of the Country worst hit by the new 30 day maximum stay visa.
▪ Undertaking an urgent and critical independent review of Bali's airport to ensure that both the cost and quality of ground services are competitive in every way with other destinations in the region. Such a review should address cost of landing rights and support services as well as an assessment of comparative security standards vis-à-vis other airports in the region.
▪ An urgent management review of Bali's airport that strives to provide much needed "calm" and a better total travel experience for the passengers traveling via Bali's international gateway. In a region that has become home to some of the world's most sophisticated airports, Bali must take a hard look at an airport that has become a disorderly and chaotic "morning market" for porters, unscrupulous officials, and time-share salesmen preying on the holidaymakers who provide the very bread and butter of the Island's main industry.
In the end, the most critical step in improving Bali's travel fortunes is to offer a genuine welcome to airlines and passengers passing through its single international gateway.
As dismal arrival figures and the sad state of the local economy bear witness: it's high time something was done!
A Christmas Memory to Last a Lifetime
Unique Christmas Tour Offering Exclusively from www.balidiscovery.com
For many Christian families – Christmas celebrations would not be complete without attendance at worship services on the blessed day marking the Christ Child's birth.
As an annual holiday tradition, balidiscovery.com offers a unique once a year tour program certain to provide a life-long memory for island visitors wishing to celebrate Christmas as a family and among the fellow Christians in Bali.
Hidden away on the lush mountain slopes of Bali's westernmost mountains on the very border of the Bali Barat National Park are two picturesque communities - Belimbingsari and its near neighbor Palasari. These two villages were established in the late 1930's by Balinese who had converted to Christianity and who no longer felt at ease in the traditional setting of a traditional Balinese banjar. In the intervening years these two villages have flourished with Belimbingsari serving as home to a large Protestant community and their central place of worship while, just a few kilometers away, Roman Catholic Balinese live in a community built encircling their dramatic and architecturally eclectic church.
Oh Come, All Ye Faithful!
This exclusive Christmas morning offering includes an early morning pick up at any hotel in Bali, the air conditioned transportation and the services of a licensed guide to and from either Belimbingsari or Palasari, morning worship services, a Christmas morning brunch at the magnificent Taman Wana Resort and a scenic drive back to your hotel along Bali's rugged western coast.
While the ride to and from the services takes the better part of two hours each way, distance was never a problem for wise men and women seeking to honor the Child.
We hope you’ll join us for a very special Balinese celebration of the special day!
Shown on balidiscovery.com is a painting by the late Balinese painter, I. Wayan Radjin's "Natal di Pulau Dewata" - depicting the birth of Jesus Christ in a Balinese setting. From the private collection of J.M. Daniels
Westin Resort Nusa Dua Announces Full Calendar of Holiday Programs.
The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua, Bali has announced a full program of special entertainments and culinary events to mark the coming Christmas and New Year's holidays.
▪ Daily Buffet Theme Dinners - Daily, from December 26 2006 through January 4, 2007, a daily themed buffet will offer Latino Churrascaria, Seafood, Italian, and Asian BBQ specialties accompanied by traditional Balinese cultural performances.
▪ Fiesta Tropicale at the Ikan Restaurant - From December 28, 2006 through January 14, 2007 the Fiesta Tropicale Band will perform at the Ikan Beachfront Restaurant every evening. The atmosphere and the music will reflect a Latin tropical party band atmosphere guaranteed to have diners dancing in the sand.
▪ Portraits Modern Dining - The sounds of a live jazz band will accompany a festive holiday menu from December 28, 2006 through January 14, 2007 at Portraits.
▪ Christmas Eve Dinner – December 24, 2006. - A traditional four-course Christmas dinner, prepared by Chef Markus, will be on offer at the Ikan Restaurant from 7:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. on December 24, 2006. Priced at US$60 for adults and US$30 for children ages 10-15, plus 21% tax and service. Children under 10 dining with adults are free.
▪ Christmas by the Water – Sunday, December 24, 2006. Ocean-side family-oriented dining on Christmas Eve. Diners can create their own menu from a lavish buffet. Entertainment from the Resort's house band mixed in with traditional Balinese music throughout the evening ending with a special stage show will be provided. Santa is also scheduled to put in a special appearance. "Christmas by the Water" from 7:00 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. priced at US$60 for adults and US$30 for children ages 10-15, plus 21% tax and service. Children under 10 dining with adults are free.
▪ Christmas BBQ Under the Stars – Monday, December 25, 2006 A special beachside BBQ of island fresh seafood and fine wines make for a casual Christmas dining experience from 7:00 p.m. until 10:30p.m. priced at US$40 for adults and US$20 for children ages 10-15, plus 21% tax and service. Children under 10 dining with adults are free.
▪ Copacabana – New Year's Eve Gala Dinner- Sunday, December 1, 2006 - Slated to be the party of the year to end the year, a Latin carnival kicked off by a pageant of Balinese dances followed by a "night at the Copa." From 7:00 p.m. until sometime early "next year" priced at US$185 for adults and US$92.50 for children ages 5-12 years, plus 21% tax and service. Children under 5 dining with adults are free.
▪ Westin Kids New Year's Eve Celebration – Sunday, December 31, 2006 - especially for the kids and adjacent to the Nusa Indah Hall where Mom and Dad will be partying, a special menu, games and drinks catered exclusively with kids in mind. From 7:00 p.m. until 30 minutes past midnight, priced at US$35, plus 21% tax and service for kids between 3 and 12 years of age.
▪ New Years Day 'Salsa by the Beach' Brunch Monday, January 1, 2007 - A special Salsa brunch on the beach with Salsa lessons and demonstrations by qualified instructors. At the Ikan Restaurant from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. priced at US$25 for adults and US$12.50 for children ages 10-15 years, plus 21% tax and service. Children under 10 dining with adults are free.
▪ Westin Black & Gold Night – Saturday, January 6, 2006 - A wrap up to the festive season with a sunset celebration featuring refreshing cocktails and a sumptuous buffet dinner. Music by the Batak Quartet, traditional Balinese dance performance and music until the early hours by the Resort’s resident DJ. Beachside from 7:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. priced at US$85 for adults and US$42.50 for children ages 10-15 years, plus 21% tax and service. Children under 10 dining with adults are free.
Garuda Warned that Fewer Flights and Fewer Tourists May Impact on Ability of Local Tourism Players to Repay their Loans.
The Indonesian language Bisnis Bali reports that Garuda's plans to stop direct international flights to Bali may cause tourism transportation operators to default on their bank loans.
The Owner of Serasi Transport, Made Kondra, told Bisnis Bali that the cessation of direct overseas flights by Garuda "will cause businesspeople operating the tourism sector to fail in making repayments to the bank." He described how the policy of the National Carrier will affect the two largest inbound market sources of tourists for Bali and render current recovery efforts useless.
Kodra, who is also a member of the Regional Parliament, called on Garuda to review its decision to stop direct flights to Bali, especially in light of indications that tourism recovery efforts are beginning to bear fruit, with arrival numbers showing improvement over recent months.
Data from the Bali branch of Bank Indonesia demonstrate that unpaid loans in the tourism sector increased by 3% in the first quarter of 2006 while occupancy dipped to below 30% at many island hotels following the October 2005 bombing. However, in recent months, a brighter economic picture has begun to emerge with the number of unpaid loans decreasing.
According to Bank Indonesia, as of October 2006 local banks have outstanding loans totaling Rp. 8.9 trillion (approximately US$967.4 million).
Bali Art & Culture on European Tour
Balinese Art and Music on 5 Country Swing to Promote Tourism in Europe November 11-27, 2006.
The Gigir Manuk Cultural Dialogue in cooperation with the Indonesian Department of Culture and Tourism, the Bali Tourism Authority and the Bali Tourism Board are conducting a road tour of Balinese Art & Culture to Europe from November 11-27, 2006.
Land Under the RainbowThe cultural program, entitled "Land Under the Rainbow", will form the backdrop for a series of cocktail receptions hosted for the international travel industry, during which art & cultural performances by the renowned Bajra Sandhi Group will be presented during visits to the following European cities:
▪ Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium
▪ Den Haag, The Netherlands
▪ Paris, France
▪ Aachen, Germany
Bajra Sandhi Performance Troupe
Founded in 1991, the Sanggar Seni Kreativitas Bajra Sandhi, more commonly known as Bajra Sandhi, is a group of Balinese artists who emphasize the spiritual connection between God and the arts. Striving for purity, truth and beauty through the arts - the troupe is comprised of 14 performers who alternate roles as dancers, musicians or singers – depending on the number being presented. Past performance have brought the group to Athens, Greece where they performed in events paralleling the opening of the 2004 Olympic Games; to Hanoi where they helped celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Vietnam; and to numerous performance venues across Indonesia.
Among the highlights of the coming European tour, the group will present:
▪ Gender Wayang - Music normally reserved as the accompaniment of a shadow puppet performance or for performance at a Balinese rites of passage - the Gender is based on a technically demanding rhythm motif, blending intertwined melodies with lively contrapuntal movements. Resonations created give a shimmering and vibrating quality, extremely rich in overtones, emanating from bronze keys struck with bare wooden mallets utilizing the pentatonic 'Slendro' tuning.
▪ Baris Tunggal Dance - Inspired from the original Baris "Warrior" Dance, the name of this dance derives from the word "baris" meaning rows but also meaning troops of soldiers. With its recent development into a solo performance, the dance now describes the strength and grace of heroic movements of a soldier marching off to war.
▪ Legong Keraton Dance - By legend, the Legong is the heavenly dance of divine nymphs. Of all classical Balinese dances, it remains the quintessence of femininity and grace. Girls from the age of five aspire to be selected to represent their community as Legong dancers.
Foremost among the Legong repertoire is the Legong Kraton - formerly reserved for presentation only at Bali's royal courts. Highly stylized, the palace version of the dance enacts a drama performed by three dancers: the 'condong' - a female attendant of the court, and two identically dressed Legong dancers who adopt the roles of royal persons.
▪ Jauk Dance - Taken from Bali's rich tradition of masked dance, the Jauk depicts a crooked and wicked giant king.
▪ Sutasoma - A Balinese tari drama or dance-drama, the Sutasoma tells the story of the birth of Jinapati – the pure soul that arrives on earth with the birth of each newborn baby. Deriving his power from wisdom and peace, Sutasoma defeats the evil giant Purusadha through goodness and enlightenment.
The musical accompaniment in the dance drama derives from the rhythms of traditional lullabies for babies and children, where it at the same time also serves as a divine summon for the unseen 'good' forces to guard the infantile pure souls in this chaotic world.
Shown on balidiscovery.com are pictures of the Bajra Sandhi group in performance.
MICE Director Promised Before End of Year
More Cities Slated to Get Share of Convention and Conference Business Starting from 2007.
The Secretary General of the Department of Culture and Tourism, Sapta Nirwandar, told the Indonesian language Bisnis Indonesia that the appointment of a Director responsible for Conventions in the Directorate of Marketing could take place as soon as this month.
Sapta told Bisnis Indonesia, "if there are any delays, at the very latest the end of December will see an officer appointed to handle the convention business as all procedures (for that appointment) have been completed and approved."
The Chairman of the Indonesian Association for Congresses and Conventions (INCCA), Iqbal Allan Abdullah has long lobbied the Government to reinstate a specific director in charge of conventions, as was the case under previous governments. Somehow, he explained, the convention directors post disappeared in the shifts of tourism and culture from becoming a ministry to a department and then back to a ministry in recent years.
Iqbal explained how the MICE (meeting, incentive, conference & exhibition) sector was booming in former time, experiencing average yearly growth of 11%, a figure that dropped by nearly half in the years following the monetary and political upheavals dating from 1998.
Saying that whoever is eventually appointed to the top MICE job at the Culture and Tourism Ministry, he or she must have a demonstrated ability to cooperate with the travel industry in order to garner Indonesia's fair share of the billion dollar MICE market.
Explained Iqbal: "I recently joined the group of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to China where the President repeatedly called for the convention tourism sector to be intensified and declared that Indonesia was ready to act as the hotel of a number of international events."
In keeping with Government plans to expand the national destinations open to MICE events, Iqbal said there are 10 destinations in Indonesia that have been identified as having meting facilities capable of handling at least 200 participants and which enjoy international air access.
While conventions and conferences have been limited in the past to cities like Jakarta, Bali, Surabaya, Medan, Makassar, and Yogyakarta, Iqbal announced that in 2007 five additional cities would be positioned to welcome this lucrative market comprised of Batam, Mataram, Manado, Padang and Pontianak.
Indonesia's Attorney General Gives Convicted Bali Bombers Until End of Year to File any Appeal. In the Absence of an Appeal, Execution to Move Ahead.
Indonesia's Attorney General has given the three Bali bombers a deadline of December 31, 2006 to file any judicial reviews of their death sentences. Quoted by Tempo Interaktif, Attorney General Abdul Rahman Saleh said, "if, by that time (the end of the year), they do not file a formal appeal, we will move ahead with the execution of the three."
The three Bali bombers - Amrozi, Imam Samudra, and Ali Ghufron are all under death sentences imposed by the Bali Courts for their pivotal roles in the October 12, 2002 bombing of two Bali night spots that resulted in 202 deaths.
The Indonesian Attorney General has ordered his subordinates to closely monitor any possible filing of an appeal with the Denpasar (Bali) District Court, the court of record for death sentences given the Three. Expressing his personal frustration with various delaying tactics engaged in by the Bali Bombers, Saleh warned, "no convicted person can interfere in the carrying out of an execution."
The Attorney General's comments were made following an announcement by the "Muslin Defense Team" – the name adopted by the Three's team of defense lawyers, that they would file an appeal sometime in 2007. Denying that waiting until 2007 to file an appeal represented another delaying tactic, Wirawan Adnan - representing the bombers' defense team, accused the Attorney General of being in a rush to kill his clients.
Amrozi, Imam Samudra, and Ali Ghufron were sentenced to death by firing squad, originally scheduled to take place on August 24, 2006. That execution, however, was delayed when the three withdrew their original refusal to file any appeal in the case, declaring suddenly they would seek a judicial review of their sentence in an effort to avoid their date with an Indonesian firing squad.
Bali's Lights Go Out, Again.
Generating Plant Failures in Java Cause Second Massive Electrical Power Failure for Bali in 3 Weeks.
The fragility of the Java-Bali power grid was once again emphasized when large areas of the two islands suffered "brown outs" or temporary suspensions of power on Wednesday evening, November 8, 2006, when the interconnecting power system experienced a 500 mega watt power deficit.
The latest power system failure follows by approximately 3 weeks an island-wide outage that occurred on October 16, 2006.
According to Tempo Interaktif, the deficit occurred when the Cilegon Power Station (240 MW) shut down due to a lack of gas supplies and the Cirata Power Station at Purwakarta (8 x 125 MW) reported insufficient water at its dam sites to drive its water turbines.
Other power stations reporting technical difficulties included Unit #8 at Paiton (600 MW), Unit #2 at Cilicap (300 MW), Unite #1 Muara Tawar Steam Turbine (180 MW) and Unite #2 Gresik Steam Turbine (170 MW).
Those areas affected by the staggered "brown outs" in the Bali-Java power grid were Ponorogo, Madium, Jember, Malang and Pasuruan in Java. Meanwhile, Singaraja, Badung and Jembrana were among those areas affected in Bali.
Where the Bali Hell Are You Campaign Draws Worldwide Media Attention.
As reported on balidiscovery.com,[See: Where the Bali Hell Are You?]a group of creative and enterprising Australian and Balinese hoteliers and tourism service operators recently launched a tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign aimed at helping to kick-start Australian visits to Bali.
While hoping to draw a share of media attention to Bali via the campaign, the co-founder of the Little Bali Hotel & Resort Company (LBHRC), Brett Morgan, who launched the campaign, confessed to being 'absolutely gob smacked' by the overwhelming industry reaction to the ad only available via Internet download.
In the first days following the launch of the program on Thursday, November 2, 2006,, Morgan said the LBHRC website had received close on 20,000 unique visitor and his office has been inundated by requests from agency groups, wholesalers and airlines requesting access to LBHRC's campaign footage for promotional purposes. "It's obvious everyone was waiting for someone to do something," he said.
Morgan said further requests also included contact from travel specialists located in India, Japan, the US and particularly in the UK where its originators claim the video clip is fast achieving 'cult' status.
"Apparently the Brits face similar problems marketing the destination," he said.
In describing the response from the U.K,, Morgan explained, "I've heard from several product managers and company owners who have told me they too are massively frustrated about the lack of support for the area in the UK market which shifts tens of thousands of Brits to Bali every year."
The campaign has also received strong response from Bali with hotel membership numbers, currently eight, expected to rise following direct contact from several small hoteliers and two locally-based event organizers.
"It's been amazing – we've also been approached by The Lonely Planet Group in Melbourne which has applauded our effort and offered to support us via the provision of a number of its 'Best of Bali' guide books to give away as promotional prizes."
"We've also heard from a small Pacific-based destination which has asked us if we can help it do something similar as well as several non-travel oriented companies, including a baggage handling company, which have asked if we can apply the concept to its products," he said.
"While we expected some form of knee-jerk reaction, we didn't quite expect this."
Will Garuda Reconsider Dropping Bali as Direct Flight Hub?
Looking ahead, Morgan said, "We're also hoping this campaign will play a role in helping Garuda Indonesia to change its current extreme stance regarding its plans to cut direct Denpasar services ex-east coast Australia which is obviously going to have a major effect on the destination."
The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali Dedicates an Entire Week to Sharpening Safety and Environmental Skills.
From October 20 – 31, 2006, The Westin Resort Nusa Dua undertook a hotel-wide review and conducted refresher workshops addressing ways to ensure their guests enjoy a safe and relaxing stay on the world's most preferred holiday island.
Throughout the week, safety teams from the various departments in the hotel participated in a comprehensive training workshop to refresh their knowledge of safety procedures and renew skills in cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid. Additional training sessions were also held covering procedures when responding to fire emergencies, emergency drills and evacuation exercises, basic first aid, life guard procedures, and earthquake & tsunami disaster situations.
In response to a current national blood shortage at donor centers, members of the Hotel's staff also donated blood to the Red Cross.
All safety sessions were conducted by qualified local and international instructors. The Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club from Western Australia worked in conjunction with Bali’s Badung Surf Life Saving (Balawista), in providing courses for the Hotel’s pool and beachside workers while the National Meteorology and Geophysics Department assisted in programs covering emergency response procedures for earthquakes and tsunamis.
Conducted in an annual basis by the Hotel as part of the annual Annual Starwood Safety, Security and Environmental Health Week, General Manager Jan Bundgaard opened this year's safety review and upgrade with a speech emphasizing unrivaled importance of safety of guests and employees at the Nusa Dua 355-room Resort.
Just in Time for the Holidays – A Gala Auction of Fine Gifts and Services to Aid the East Bali Poverty Project.
A gala auction offering valuable gifts and services will be held on Sunday, November 26, 2006, starting at 5:00 p.m. at The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua. Conducted in a professional, auction-room format, bids can be made either in person on the day of the event or in advance via the auction website at [Bali Auction for Action].
To Aid the East Bali Poverty Project
In 1998, thousands of people in a village of 19 isolated hamlets set on the steep and arid mountains of North-East Bali lived in abject poverty without roads, water, sanitation, adequate nutrition, and health and education facilities. In that same year, life began to slowly improve for these people living in these isolated hamlets through the efforts of The East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP) established to affect sustainable, long-term change through programs of hygiene, nutrition and education.
On January 5, 2005, The East Bali Poverty Project launched its 5th integrated education program in the mountain village of Jatituhu, providing 52 illiterate children, aged 5-15, with an education sponsored by Alila Hotels and Resorts and Amankila. One of several educational projects operated by the EBPP, now some 61 children attend this school.
Creating hope in isolated regions of Bali, children now dream of someday becoming teachers, policemen, doctors and nurses. The dreams and the children are sustained through community and international funding which support the educational and nutritional programs supported by EBPP.
Join the Fun – Join the Auction
The East Bali Poverty Project in cooperation with Bali Discovery Tours, ALiLA Hotels and Resorts, Amankila and The Westin are sponsoring the Charity Auction to be held on Sunday, November 26, 2005 at The Westin Hotel. The goal for the evening will be to increase awareness of the plight of remote villages in East Bali and raise a targeted US$35,000 to fund the educational programs already operated by the EBPP.
Auction items are still being sought for this event for regional and local companies.
Indonesia Ambassador to U.K. Calls on Garuda to Resume Service to London.
Indonesia's Ambassador to Great Britain and Ireland, Dr. Marty Natalegawa, has called on Garuda Indonesia to re-establish flights between Jakarta and London in order to increase tourism flows from Europe.
In comments made at opening of he Indonesian Pavilion at World Travel Mart 2006 on November 6, 2006, and quoted by the National News Service Antara, Natalegawa said, "now is the time for Garuda to re-open flights to London."
At the major travel event held for 4 days at London's Excel Exhibition Center, some 30 representatives of Indonesian hotels, ground operators and provincial promotional bodies joined in the Indonesian Pavilion which was dominated by a massive model of Java's ancient Hindu temple of Prambanan.
Ambassador Natalegawa's comments, calling for the re-establishment of flight services between Indonesia and London, comes following the absence for several years of the National Carrier on flight routes to the U.K. and Europe. "In terms of European tourists," explained the Ambassador, "the English rank second only to the Germans." Adding, "if direct flights (to Indonesia) were recommenced hopefully the number of English tourists to the country would increase."
The Indonesian Ambassador, who served as the Director of International Organizations at the Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs prior to his London posting, also explained that the total number of U.K. visitors to Indonesia in 2005 totaled 214,000 people, nearly doubling the totals achieved in 2004, but still a small portion of the estimated 10 million U.K. residents who travel abroad every year.
In describing the traveling habit of U.K. tourists, the Ambassador describe the extended preferred period of travel stretching from the end of Summer through the following Spring and the tendency to include Australia and New Zealand in combination with an Indonesian holiday.
The Ambassador, who also once served as the Spokesman for the Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs, has tasked his Embassy staff to endeavor to provide detailed information on Indonesian travel to the numerous niche markets found in the U.K., including travelers with keen interest in diving and history.
"I am optimistic that Indonesia can expand the desire of English and European tourists to visit Indonesia providing all parties are prepared to work hard," added Ambassador Natalegawa.
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.