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Sun-filled Skies Greet Nearly 300 Athletes at Very Successful Inaugural Bali Internation Triathlon.
Shortly after dispatching a troupe of a Bali lifesavers from the shore to assume their posts in Jimbaran Bay, Badung's Regent A.A. Agung sounded the starting signal at 8:00 on Sunday, June 24, 2007, that sent a large group of swimmers on a 1.5 km swim in the calm waters of Jimbaran Bay and marked the start of the inaugural Bali International Triathlon.
Just 22 minutes later, the first swimmers emerged from the sea to dash to the designated transition area where they mounted bikes for a fast and sometimes furious 40 km race down the Ungasan peninsula to Nusa Dua and back. Urged on by large enthusiastic crowds, the lead bikers averaged more than 40km per hour and were back at Jimbaran Bay in less than an hours where they parked their bicycles before speeding off on the final 10 km foot race through the villages of Jimbaran.
During the second phase of the race, while the triathletes cycled through Bali's South, a second group comprised of more than 110 runners left on a 5 km fun run through Jimbaran village.
The Four Season's Resort's Coconut Grove served as race central for the triathlon and home to a central command post coordinating security service provided by more than 400 police offices, and over 500 volunteer from local communities and workers at leading Bali hotels who guided the races down Bali's roads and byways.
Race Central was also home to a lively bazaar where musicians entertained throughout the morning; local businesses sold merchandise and offered delicious food and drink; ice cream vendors sold their home-made confections; and masseurs provided free massages to the public and athletes. To ensure the health and safety of the race participants, the Bali International Medical Center established a fully-equipped field hospital providing complimentary medical services throughout the race.
With the Regent of Badung, A.A. Agung acting as the official marshal of the race and sounding the starting horn, the event was widely covered by both local and national media with Radio Republik Indonesia and other electronic media hosting live broadcasts from the starting line.
2nd Bali International Triathlone June 2008
Echoing the enthusiastic support of Badung's Regent, race organizers from Generic Events, Bali Discovery Events and Bali International Triathlon LLC declared Bali's first triathlon an overwhelming success and immediately announced plans to hold a similar event in the second half of June 2008.
For those who couldn't join the fun at Jimbaran beach, balidiscovery.com features some snapshots from race day in Bali.
The overall winner of the Bali International Triathlon was Daniel Plews, competing in the 25-29 year old class who covered the 1.5 km swim, 40 km cycle race and 10 km run in just 01:58.30. He was followed by Taipei-based Craig Johns who turned in a time of 2:04.36.
In the corporate relay team division a team of 3 local athletes from the Discovery Kartika Plaza won first in that division, turning in a total time of 2:04:41.
Lion Air Now has 100 New Aircraft on the Order Books in Order to Exploit Open-Skies Policies Set to be Introduced in ASEAN in 2010.
Indonesia's Lion Air has placed an order for 40 next-generation Boeing 737-900ER aircraft with an estimated value of US$ 3 billion. Aiming to become a player on the international and regional aircraft industry scene, Lion Air now has 100 new aircraft on order for delivery through 2013.
The most recent purchase contract was signed at a ceremony held at Le Bourget Airport during the Paris Air Show 2007. The President Director of Lion Air, Rusdi Kirana, told the press that the purchase was part of the Company's strategy to remain competitive in the face of the liberalization of ASEAN skies in 2010. "Perhaps some people see our increase in armada as overly-ambitious for Lion Air, but when 'open skies' come (in 2010) the 100 aircraft we've ordered will still prove insufficient to satisfy the development of the national aviation market," explained Kirana.
New Routes Planned
As part of its future growth plan, Lion Air plans to introduce new regional routes by the end of the current year including Jakarta-Hong Kong, Surabaya-Hong Kong, Medan-New Delhi, Medan-Madra, and Medan-Mumbai.
The Boeing 737-900ER aircraft ordered by Lion Air can carry 220 passengers.
Garuda Eyeing a Return to Europe
Confident That Loads of 70-80% Can be Achieved Flying to Amsterdam, Garuda Looks Aircraft to Resume Service to Europe.
Garuda Indonesia's President Director, Emirsyah Satar has signaled that, barring unforeseen difficulties, the national carrier could resume service to Amsterdam as soon as 2008.
In a general abandonment of its European route network, Garuda stopped flying to Amsterdam in 2004.
According to local press reports, Garuda is in the process of applying for the necessary traffic rights to fly to Schiphol and determining what type of aircraft from their current armada or other surces is best suited to serve this route.
The Commercial and Marketing Director of Garuda, Agus Priyanto, told the Bali Post that he feels confident that the Airline can achieve traffic loads of between 70-80% on flights between Amsterdam and Indonesia. Priyanto added that Garuda will, however, have to address branding issues in the European market in order to secure its share of the lucrative premium and business segments. Equally important, according to Priyanto, is a system of strategic alliances with European carriers willing to provide a feeder-network of passengers from other destination within continental Europe.
Industry observers believe Garuda's most fundamental obstacle to resuming European service will be securing an aircraft at a price it can afford to fly the route.
Changes and New Faces at Bali Hotels
New Bali Appointment at Nusa Dua Beach Hotel, Discovery Kartika Plaza and The Westin.
Jeremy Cooper Promoted to EAM at Nusa Dua Hotel & Spa
Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa have promoted Jeremy Cooper to Executive Assistant Manager, effective June 1, 2007. Promoted from his most recent role as Director of Food & Beverage at the Hotel, Cooper's new role will see him managing operations at the Hotel and assisting the Resort's General Manager, Reto V. Torriani. Jeremy Cooper joined Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa in 2001, initially serving as Executive Chef at the 381-room 5-star property at Nusa Dua.
Prior to joining the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa Jeremy Cooper worked at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.
Amy Lingga in Charge of PR at Discovery Kartika Plaza
Amy Lingga has joined Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel & Villas as that property's public relations executive.
A Balinese native who spent her childhood in Jakarta, Amy returned to Bali where she studied at Bali's Tourism Academy before seeking a bachelor's degree at the Sahid Bali International Institute of Tourism Management.
Prior to her latest appointment, Amy Lingga worked at The Legian Hotel, Seminyak as Guest Relations Officer and the Kayumanis Private Villa & Spa, as Secretary to the General Manager.
Dario Orsini is EAM at The Westin Resort
The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua, Bali have announced the appointment of Dario Orsini as Executive Assistant Manager for the Resort and the adjacent Bali International Convention Center.
Born in Naples, Italy, Dario is a Catering and Hotel Management graduate of the Instituto Professionale Alberghiero di Stato Ippolito. Fluent in 4 languages, Dario began his international hospitality career 20 years ago as a restaurateur in Germany. This was followed with a variety of food and beverage positions with Starwood Hotels including a stint at the Sheraton Imperial, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Garuda Adds Sydney-Bali Flight to Meet Growing Demand.
More Australian-Bali Flights Now Available to Serve Rebounding Demand from Oz Holidaymakers.
With Australian arrivals still lagging some 30% behind numbers recorded during the heydays of the tourist boom just 3 years ago, improving year-on-year arrivals have prompted Garuda Indonesia to increase seat capacity with a new Wednesday flight from Sydney to Bali, effective June 20, 2007.
Australian arrivals to Bali January-May 2007 totaled 65,561 which represents a +56.34% increase from the same period in 2006.
The new flight, GA 717 brings the total number of Garuda Indonesia services between Sydney and Bali to five non-stop flights per week with departures daily, except Tuesday and Friday.
GA 717 departs on Wednesday mid-morning at 10:00 a.m. arriving in Bali mid-afternoon at 2:35 p.m. Inbound to Australia, GA 716 allows holidaymakers to maximize their holiday time in Bali, departing in the early hours of Wednesday morning at 1:00 a.m. and arriving the same day at 0830hrs in Sydney.
"The introduction of the new service results in a doubling of capacity from Sydney since the end of March which, along with capacity increases from Perth and Melbourne earlier in the year, put Garuda Indonesia in a good position to handle the increasing demand for Bali," said the airline's Regional General Manager, Southwest Pacific, Suranto Yitnopawiro.
Garuda Indonesia has the greatest number of non-stop flights to Bali, serving Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Darwin.
A Bridge Too Far?
Estmated Costs and Exicting Rules May Make Toll Bridge Connecting Sanur and Nusa Dua Non-Viable.
Despite initial enthusiasm by local leaders and Bali legislators for a bridge that would connect Sanur's Serangan island with the Benoa peninsula, plans for a span that would reduce the current 30-45 minute strip from Sanur to Nusa Dua to just 5 minutes appear to be on indefinite hold.
The Figures Just Don't Add Up
With estimated costs of the bridge put at nearly US$99 million, financial analysts are finding it difficult to devise a schedule of fees that would provide sufficient revenues to service the debt needed to build the bridge and still remain attractive to those expected to travel the new toll-bridge.
Further complications to the proposed project are current regulations that prohibit motorcycles from traveling on Indonesian toll roads when, in fact, two-wheeled vehicles predominate in the mix of Bali vehicles traveling between Sanur and Nusa Dua.
Local legislators, pressing for the bridge project to move ahead, are calling for a larger financial contribution from the provincial government to reduce the burden for potential investors and changes in toll-road regulations to allow access by motorcycles on the potential toll bridge.
Bali Branding 'Shanti Shanti Shanti' Launched by President Yudhoyono.
As promised, Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono launched Bali's new tourism branding campaign when visiting Bali to officiate at the opening of the Bali Arts Festival on June 16, 2007.
Shanti Shanti Shanti
While the physical representation of the branding slogan has yet to be widely distributed to the media, the new marketing image of Bali will reportedly include the phrase "Bali Shanti Shanti Shanti" presented against a tri-colored background of red, white and black reflecting sacred colors of the Bali Hindu religion.
"Bali Shanti Shanti Shanti" which translates into "Bali Peace Peace Peace" was selected by a team of branding experts after six months of interviews with a wide cross-section of the local community and reflects the wishes of the people of Bali for both their home island and the rest of the world.
As reported by TTG, the Bali branding team coordinator, Ms. Teguh Mahasari explained the branding decision, saying: "The branding was initiated by the Bali governor not just to attract international tourists, but it also aims to inspire the Balinese themselves to achieve the ideal Bali...We cannot deny the fact that the island is facing problems, such as with environment, infrastructure and excessive commercial development. This is something locals need to address to achieve what Hinduism teaches us: "Shanti, Shanti, Shanti."
Some local tourism observers have questioned the wisdom of the new branding program, claiming it is over-ambitious to think a single panacea exists that will simultaneously solidify Bali's self-image while serving at the same time as its promotional image to the larger world.
Perhaps more fundamentally threatening to the eventual success or failure of the "Bali Shanti Shanti Shanti" campaign is the continuing reluctance of Bali's government to provide a promotional budget that would make the branding campaign known to a larger audience.
Culture and Tourism Department Will Curtail Trade Show Support and Concentrate on TV Advertising Due to Lower-than-expected Marketing Budget for 2008.
The Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia reports that the Department of Culture and Tourism will obtain official funding in the 2009 State budget in excess of Rp. 1 trillion (approximately US$111 million).
Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik expressed his thanks to Commission X of the House of Representatives (DPR) in Jakarta saying the promised funding will allow his office to pursue 9 key programs. Included among these key programs are funding for Visit Indonesia Year 2008, the World Culture Forum, a national tourism awareness campaign and a national cultural congress. Wacik's Department also intends to enter into a cooperative program with the national carrier Garuda Indonesia to set up Indonesian Promotion Offices at 21 overseas offices of the airline in the coming year.
The Budget Breakdown
Despite words of thanks from the Minister to the legislators, the 2008 budget did not include an additional Rp. 298.3 billion (approximate US33.1 million) in supplemental marketing funds requested to help his Department achieve higher tourist arrival numbers.
Resizing the promotional budget for tourism to only Rp. 158.5 billion (approximately US$19.2 million), the Minister told the press that promotions would focus on television advertisements. Explaining his decision to spend promotional funds on the electronic media, the Minister explained: "compared with neighboring countries, this is what Indonesia is lacking. Media advertising has proven to be powerful in boosting the interest of travelers in a destination."
According to reports in the Indonesian press, the lower level of funding means the Department of Culture of Tourism will cut down on familiarization trips and trade show participation.
A Delicate Balance of Power
Dependency on the Problem-ridden Java-Bali Power Grid Again Places Bali at Risk of Widespread Power Outages.
Bali balances on the precipice of large scale brown-outs following malfunctions at a 5 major power generating stations in Java. Those malfunctions have left Bali facing a potential power deficit of 500 megawatts and prompted National Electrical Board (PLN) officials to ask consumers to reduce power consumption between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m..
As an additional precautionary step, PLN has asked hotels with stand by power to use their systems to reduce the drain on limited power supplies.
The power deficit - traced to mechanical malfunctions or a lack of fuel supplies at power plants in Cilegon, Suralaya, Muara Tawar, Cilacap and Paiton - made itself first felt on Wednesday, June 20, 2007 and caught Indonesia's Minister of Energy Purnomo Yusgiantoro completely unaware. When asked about the power deficit by the Indonesian daily Bisnis Indonesia, Purnomo claimed he had not been informed of the major deficit in the Jawa-Bali power grid.
Bali PLN officials were working hard to avoid large scale power outages in Bali, trying to maximize the use of an estimated 200 megawatts of hidden reserve at Bali hotels with back-up power generating systems.
While it is not clear how long Bali's power supply will remain in a precarious position, there was some good news in the midst of the latest electrical crisis as the Asian Development Bank and World Bank have just announced plans to make fund available for a five year plan to add 10,000 megawatts in power generation to the Java-Bali power grid.
Is it Safe Yet?
Worldwide Peace Index May Cause You to Re-examine Traditional Views of Which Countries are Safest to Visit and Live in.
The Global Peace Index, recently published by the Economist Intelligence Unit, has ranked 121 countries in terms of their overall "peacefulness."
In dispensing its peacefulness ratings, The Economist Intelligence Unit evaluated 24 separate indices, including availability of weapons, military expenditures, local corruption, and the level of respect for human rights.
The researchers also sought out patterns of peacefulness discovering that countries that placed a premium on democracy, governmental transparency, education and material well-being were generally more tranquil places to live. The U.S. which ranked high in many of these areas lost out to other countries in the final tally, including Indonesia, because of its engagement in external conflicts and high level of military spending, as well as its high rates of incarceration and homicide.
The index, created by Australian IT entrepreneur and philanthropist Steve Killelea, is intended to provide a systematic exploration of the "texture of peace" while inspiring world leaders to work for a more peaceful world. Numbered among those who have lent enthusiastic support for the index and its findings are former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sir Richard Branson and Harriet Fulbright of the Fulbright Center.
These influential leaders have lauded the index saying it broadens the definition of peace while at the same time providing a road map for world leaders seeking to achieve peace. In the words of Harriet Fulbright, "Peace isn't just the absence of war; it's the absence of violence."
How Does Your Country Rank?
121 countries were evaluate by The Economist Intelligence Unit using nearly 3,000 data points plus another 4,000 tied to "drivers of peace."
Here's the Global Peace Index for 121 countries and their scores out of a total potential 6,897 points with the most peaceful countries achieving the lowest score:
1. Norway 1.357
2. New Zealand 1.363
3. Denmark 1.377
4. Ireland 1.396
5. Japan 1.413
6. Finland 1.447
7. Sweden 1.478
8. Canada 1.481
9 . Portugal 1.481
10. Austria 1.483
11. Belgium 1.498
12. Germany 1.523
13. Czech Republic 1.524
14. Switzerland 1.526
15. Slovenia 1.539
16. Chile 1.568
17. Slovakia 1.571
18. Hungary 1.575
19. Bhutan 1.611
20. Netherlands 1.620
21. Spain 1.633
22. Oman 1.641
23. Hong Kong 1.657
24. Uruguay 1.661
25. Australia 1.664
26. Romania 1.682
27. Poland 1.683
28. Estonia 1.684
29. Singapore 1.692
30. Qatar 1.702
31. Costa Rica 1.702
32. South Korea 1.719
33. Italy 1.724
34. France 1.729
35. Vietnam 1.729
36. Taiwan 1.731
37. Malaysia 1.744
38. United Arab Emirates 1.747
39. Tunisia 1.762
40. Ghana 1.765
41. Madagascar 1.766
42. Botswana 1.786
43. Lithuania 1.788
44. Greece 1.791
45. Panama 1.798
46. Kuwait 1.818
47. Latvia 1.848
48. Morocco 1.893
49. United Kingdom 1.898
50. Mozambique 1.909
51. Cyprus 1.915
52. Argentina 1.923
53. Zambia 1.930
54. Bulgaria 1.936
55. Paraguay 1.946
56. Gabon 1.952
57. Tanzania 1.966
58. Libya 1.967
59. Cuba 1.968
60. China 1.980
61. Kazakhstan 1.995
62. Bahrain 1.995
63. Jordan 1.997
64. Namibia 2.003
65. Senegal 2.017
66. Nicaragua 2.020
67. Croatia 2.030
68. Malawi 2.038
69. Bolivia 2.052
70. Peru 2.056
71. Equatorial Guinea 2.059
72. Moldova 2.059
73. Egypt 2.068
74. Dominican Republic 2.071
75. Bosnia and Herzegovina 2.089
76. Cameroon 2.093
77. Syria 2.106
78. Indonesia 2.111
79. Mexico 2.125
80. Ukraine 2.150
81. Jamaica 2.164
82. Macedonia 2.170
83. Brazil 2.173
84. Serbia 2.181
85. Cambodia 2.197
86. Bangladesh 2.219
87. Ecuador 2.219
88. Papua New Guinea 2.223
89. El Salvador 2.244
90. Saudi Arabia 2.246
91. Kenya 2.258
92. Turkey 2.272
93. Guatemala 2.285
94. Trinidad and Tobago 2.286
95. Yemen 2.309
96. United States of America 2.317
97. Iran 2.320
98. Honduras 2.390
99. South Africa 2.399
100. Philippines 2.428
101. Azerbaijan 2.448
102. Venezuela 2.453
103. Ethiopia 2.479
104. Uganda 2.489
105. Thailand 2.491
106. Zimbabwe 2.495
107. Algeria 2.503
108. Myanmar 2.524
109. India 2.530
110. Uzbekistan 2.542
111. Sri Lanka 2.575
112. Angola 2.587
113. Cote d'Ivoire 2.638
114. Lebanon 2.662
115. Pakistan 2.697
116. Colombia 2.770
117. Nigeria 2.898
118. Russia 2.903
119. Israel 3.033
120. Sudan 3.182
121. Iraq 3.437.
Bali Diversifying Away from Tourism Base?
Australian High-Tech Firm Building Software Center in Bali.
An Australian software development company - Mitrais has declared its intentions to establish a headquarters in Bali for the outsourcing of software development work.
Press reports say the Bali facility will occupy a 4,400 square meters plot near Bali's international airport.
The new facility, scheduled to partially open in 2008, will allow Mitrais to outsource an increasingly larger share of its software development to Indonesia. At present, an estimated 34% of the Company's software work is done in Indonesia with the remaining 66% carried out in Australia. When operating at full capacity the Bali software operation is expected to employ 450 people.
Mitrais is an Australian-controlled company which provides software development and outsourced services to its clients in Australia and South-East Asia. Established in 1991, Mitrais currently employs over 200 staff with offices in Bali, Jakarta and Singapore.
May Arrivals - Higher and Higher
Bali by the Numbers: May 2007 Bali Foreign Tourist Arrivals the Highest on Record
Bali foreign arrivals for May 2007 hit 128,693 establishing it as the best month of May on record - a full +26.45% ahead of the same month one year before (101,776).
On a cumulative basis, Bali is on the way to a record year for foreign tourist arrivals clocking 600,775 for the period January-May. Compared to the same 5 months in 2006 (442,992), 2007 arrivals are running +35.63 ahead of 2006.
Presented graphically on balidiscovery.com are juxtaposed comparisons of October - May arrivals for 2002 - 2007, demonstrating a much more robust recovery in terms of overall arrivals following the October 1, 2005 terrorist attack than was the case following the October 12, 2002 incident.
In the next installment of Bali by the Numbers we look at Bali's strong arrival numbers from the perspective of key source markets for the Island.
Click Images to Enlarge
Tourist Arrivals October-May, 2000 - 2007
Bali Foreign Arrival Recover after October 1, 2005 Terrorist Attack
Bali Foreign Arrivals after Oct. 12, 2002 Terrorist Attack
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.