Minister: Freeze New Accommodation in Denpasar & Badung
Over Supply of Accommodation Reaches Critical Stage in Bali.
Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, recently told a business meeting in Bali that the construction of new accommodation in Badung and Denpasar must come to an end with current rooms on offer far exceeding market demand.
Quoted in the Indonesian-language BisnisBali, Wacik said, "stop the building of tourism accommodation in Badung and Denpasar." He said the Government must stop giving new permits for new accommodation in these two areas of the island as the current over-supply in rooms is creating unhealthy competition. Moreover, according to the Minister, the hundreds of unlicensed villas are increasing stealing a share of the hotels' business resulting in the anomaly of lower hotel occupancies in the face of growing tourist arrivals numbers.
The Minister urged investors to build new accommodation in Singaraja, Karangasem or Negara, but not in Badung or Denpasar.
Separate Demand for Island-Wide Halt to More Accommodation
In separate comments, the Head of the Indonesian Chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI). Ir. Tjok Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati said new accommodation development should be halted across the Island.
According to Sukawati, the "real" occupancy level of Bali hotels now averages around 30%, meaning Bali has a 60% over capacity of rooms. He went on to explain that based on an estimated 52,000 available rooms in Bali, one can extrapolate an annual availability of 18 million available room nights against an estimated current demand of 3.8 million room nights.
How to Finance the Bali Tourism Board
Bali Chamber of Commerce Chairman Calls for Private Sector Involvement in Collecting Hotel & Restaurant Taxes as a Means to Raise Funds for the Bali Tourism Board.
Money, or more precisely the lack thereof, continues to plague efforts by the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) to launch an effective tourism marketing organization for the Island. Repeated efforts in the past by the tourism stakeholder organizations that comprise the BTB to seek financial support from Bali's Government have all come to naught.
As reported in the Indonesian-language BisnisBali, the Chairman of the Bali Branch of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, Gede Wiratha, recently told a meeting of BTB officials that an organization without funding was little more than a "toothless tiger." According to Wiratha, "without money, BTB can do nothing to advance Bali's tourism."
Examining the various options available, Wiratha is suggesting that BTB establish a Yayasan or Foundation empowered to raise funds for BTB's tourism promotion activities. Among some of the possible funding avenues that Wiratha feels the proposed Yayasan BTB could investigate is seeking a share of the current Hotel & Restaurant tax (PHR) collected on the island.
Wiratha pointed out that the current PHR tax collected by the Government is only a small fraction of the actual tax potential. By involving the private sector in the tax collection process, according to Wiratha, the amount of tax collected could grow dramatically, allowing a profit sharing arrangement with the proposed Yayasan BTB.
Bali Tourism Workers' Union Unite Behind Minister Wacik
Bali Tourism Union Chief Calls for President Not to Replace Minister of Culture and Tourism in Coming Reshuffle.
The Indonesian-language Bali Post reports that the Bali Tourism Workers Union (SP-PAR) have called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to exempt Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik from any reshuffle of the Presidential cabinet expected in early May.
According to the Bali Chairman of SP-PAR, I Ketut Karda, tourism's prolonged crisis can not be the only parameter against Minister Wacik's performance is measured. "To do so," explained Karda, "would be to over-simplify the problem, because the crisis in tourism pre-dates Jero Wacik's appointment as a Minister."
Karda went on to say that any objective and fair assessment of the current tourism situation reveal evidence of growth, even though that growth may be below our expectations. Current arrival figures covering the first quarter of 2007, according to the Union Chief, demonstrate that Minister Wacik's programs are making headway.
Karda added. "the current crisis does not only touch tourism, but affects the Indonesian economy as a whole."
Karda also said that the role of Bali's government also plays a deciding role in Bali's tourism fortunes. Calling for more decisive action from Bali's leaders, Karda said, "until now we have not seen any proactive and creative steps to bring Bali out this crisis."
Dyatmika Annual Bazaar Sunday, May 27, 2007
A Day of Family Fun at Annual School Bazaar.
A popular annual event enjoyed by both local residents and Island visitors alike, the Dyatmika Annual Bazaar will be held at the Dyatmika School Campus on Sunday, May 27, 2007.
As in the past, there will be entertainment, handicraft sales, food, refreshments, and games of chance.
The Sekolah Dyatmika is currently celebrating its tenth anniversary and continues to provide quality educations to in both English and Indonesian using innovative Western teaching methodologies. The school, is a major registered Cambridge International Centre in Bali.
The Dyatmika Campus is located in Banjar Tangtu, - just minutes from Sanur on the South side of the new Gianyar Road (Jalan Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Mantra). Entrance is via Jalan Pucuk Bang.
The Bazaar runs all day from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
For more information, telephone Sekolah Dyatmika at ++62-(0)361-461874.
Bad News for the Chooks
Colonel Sanders Opens His 9th Kentucky Fried Chicken Outlet in Bali.
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) opened its 9th Bali outlet on Thursday, April 26, 2007 in the new Carrefour market on Jalan Sunset.
Struggling hard against the onslaught of fast food outlets opening across the Island, the KFC Carrefour is offering various incentives to lure the public to their newest outlet including drink bonuses with selected menus and collateral gifts ranging from bum bags, table clocks and umbrellas for customers whose total bill exceed pre-set price targets.
Owned and operated by PT Fastfood Indonesia the KFC Brand was first introduced to Indonesia in 1978 and now boats 282 branches nation-wide employing more than 10,000 people.
Bali Gets its First Condom Shop
The Guard - Sells Only One Product in a Large Range of Colors, Textures and Even Flavors.
The Discovery Shopping Mall in South Kuta recently saw its newest shop open - The Guard specializing only in condoms.
Occupying a small 4 x 12 meter space, but painted bright red to help catch the attention of the shoppers visiting the busy mall, The Guard offers both male and female condoms in a mind-boggling array of styles imported from around the world.
The marketing manager of the shop told the local press that the decision to locate in a busy mall was to try to remove the embarrassment and social stigma sometimes associated with purchasing condoms, cautioning that "every 10 minutes someone new is infected with HIV."
Garuda Unaffected by U.S. Aviation Warning
Garuda Chief Says System-Wide Q1 Load Factors Average 77%.
As reported on balidiscovery.com,
[U.S. Gov't Questions Safety of Indonesian Domestic Air Space] the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has issued a formal caution to U.S. citizens discouraging the use of Indonesian domestic flight services following findings by the Indonesian Government that no domestic carrier currently meets its highest standards of safety.
Garuda Domestic Loads Remain Unaffected by U.S. Caution
Speaking to the Indonesian-language Kompas, the President Director of Garuda Indonesia, Emirsyah Satar, said the U.S. warning would have no significant effect on Garuda's domestic and international services, quickly adding, however, that he hoped no other country would issue a similar cautions.
Speaking to the press in Bali, Emirsyah explained: "There will be no significant effect because the number of U.S. citizens flying Garuda is not more than 3 percent of all passengers carried. Nonetheless, we have to be careful that there is no impact on passengers from other countries, especially if those countries put out similar warnings."
Emrisyah told the press that overall load factors remain relatively stabile, even after the March crash of a Garuda flight in Yogyakarta. In fact, overall load factors for the first quarter of 2007 have increased to 77% from an average 70% just one year before. While load factors on international services vary widely, domestic loads are averaging above 90%.
Carrefour Opens in Bali
Following Several Bureaucratic Delays, Bali Largest Hyper-Market Now Open for Business.
After numerous delays while local and provincial officials argued over the legality of operating permits, the French hyper-market Carrefour finally opened for business Thursday, April 26, 2007 on the Sunset Road.
The massive shopping complex is open daily from 09:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.
Biggest Sporting Event in Bali's History Planned for October 2008.
Bali is hoping to draw some 5,000 athletes from at least 45 counties to compete in 13 separate beach sport competitions at the 1st Asian Beach Games in Bali October 18-26, 2008.
Organizers say the event which will include beach handball, beach soccer, beach sepak takraw, beach volleyball, body building, dragon boat races, jet ski competitions, marathon swimming, paragliding, sailing, triathlon and wood ball would take place at various venues along the beaches of Kuta, Sanur, Serangan, Benoa harbor and Jimbaran.
According to The Bali Times, the cost of staging the event is estimated at US$45 million with US$30 million expected to be underwritten by the Central Government and the balance by the private sector.
Organizers of the event are reportedly in the process of setting up an office in Bali to coordinate planning and the estimated 4,000 volunteers who will be needed to run the 8-day event.
Wine For Water Charity Auction At The Viceroy Bali
May 20th Wine Auction to Help Bring Clean Water to Remote Bali Villages.
The Viceroy Bali in Ubud is hosting the "Wine for Water" charity auction on Sunday, May 20, 2007 with all profits from the evening being donated to the Ubud Rotary Club's project to help remote villages in Bali to gain access to clean drinking water.
During the course of the auction, a significant collection of wines suiting a broad spectrum of palettes and budgets will be auctioned in lots of 12, 6 and 2 bottles. Registration of bidders begins at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 20th, half an hour prior to the 5 p.m..
"It is an absolutely pure and clean project from the givers to the receivers, just as pure as the water flowing from the mountain spring," says Alisa Chazani, organizer of the water project and member of the Ubud Rotary Club.
Executive chef Jean-Francois Brouck of The Viceroy Bali's famous CasCades Restaurant is preparing a special seven-course degustation menu paired with wines by sommelier Harald Wiesmann for guests choosing to dine or just enjoy a drink at the bar after the auction.
Space is limited and for reservations or more information telephone Ms. Siti at ++62-(0)361-971777 or follow the email link provided.
Ritz-Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa Introduces iPod Butlers
iPod Butlers Serve Cool Music to Guests at Ritz-Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa's Ocean Beach Pool.
Another innovation to make a perfect holiday in Bali even better, The Ritz-Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa has launched an innovative music-on-demand service for guests enjoying their Ocean Beach Pool.
Introducing the iPod Butler
iPod Butlers now offer guests an iPod Shuffle on a silver tray presented by a uniformed butler as you lay on a pool lounge next to the 80-metre square natural beach pool set against the backdrop of the magnificent Indian Ocean..
All iPods are fully pre-programmed with a wide selection of different musical styles, from Cool Jazz to Japanese Pop, Chill Out, RnB and Easy Listening. Guests simply select the category they want and sit back to enjoy the music while taking in one of the world's most dramatic ocean views.
"iPod Butler is the perfect complement to the magical Ocean Beach Pool as it combines the latest personal lifestyle technology with revolutionary construction concepts incorporated into the design of the pool," said resort general manager, David Wilson.
Featuring fresh seawater drawn from the underlying Indian Ocean pumped and UV filtered to impart only the purest of saltwater minerals and particles, the Ocean Beach Pool contains only water that is channeled and filtered daily via sophisticated sub-ocean technology.
Designer inbuilt ergonomic reclining water-beds molded into the pool's unique infinity edged interior have been shaped to offer the most indulgent pool experience so that guests may recline to read, sunbathe and now enjoy music with a cocktail while semi-submerged in the pool's aquamarine waters.
Masterminded by a team of civil engineers, the remarkable Ocean Beach Pool affords both mountain views and an180-degree majestic ocean-view.
Beachside Landmark in South Kuta to Close its Doors on May 20, 2007.
The 200-room Bali Hai Resort & Spa, located on the beach in South Kuta, will be closing its doors on May 20, 2007.
While officially citing "circumstances related with Indonesian law" as the cause of the closure, the hotel was in the process of a final handover from its previous owners to new owners, fueling speculation that the finalization of the sale fell through when the new owners were unable to obtain unencumbered ownership of beachfront property.
The popular General Manager of the Resort, Jean-Charles Le Coz, said that the 260 employees of the Resort were all being granted severance packages in accordance with the Indonesian labor law. Le Coz, who only learned of the decision to close in late April, expressed his thanks to the past supporters of the Balihai Resort & Spa
The Resort's Website ominously states that "Balihai Resort & Spa has to close its doors definitely by 20 May 2007, with no certainty to open again."
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