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Bali by the Numbers: Denying Bali a Record 2 Million Visitors for 2008, November Arrivals Suggest a General Softening in the Tourism Market.
Total foreign tourist arrivals to Bali for the month of November 2009 are now in and lending credence to the view that the rapidly declining world economing has finally hit Bali’s shore. November 2008 arrivals stood a 141,841 and, although the “best ever” November on record were only 0.05% ahead of the totals for November 2007 (141,768). With January-November cumulative arrivals at 1,801,864 expectations of breaking the psychological barrier of 2 million visitors for the entire year are all but dashed. Balidiscovery.com’ revised projections for the year are that the Island will end the year with a total near 1,925,000. That figure, if achieved, will represent a 15% improvement in arrivals for the year and a new "personal best" for the Island. A quick glance at main market performance January-November reveals: JAPAN - Still Bali's top producing market at 333,030 arrivals January-November, Japanese arrivals are only 1.75% ahead of the same period in 2007. The Japanese market share for Bali is down from 21.57% in 2007 to 18.48% this year. AUSTRALIA - Australian arrivals continue to amaze with 282,343 Australian visitors to Bali in the first eleven months of 2008. Representing a 15.67% market share, Australian numbers are up 54.88% over the same period in 2007 (182,301). SOUTH KOREA - The declining value of the Won has caused the South Korean market to shrink 0.07% totalling 121,767 January-November 2008. TAIWAN - The Taiwanese market is down 9.54% in 2008. totaling 119,551 for the period January-November 2008. The same period in 2007 saw 132,165 Taiwanese visit Bali. MAINLAND CHINA - The Chinese market has boomed remarkably in 2008, up 50.10% for January-November 2008 (116,468). MALAYSIA - Malaysian number also improved in 2008, up 22.21% at 113,354 for January-November 2008. GERMANY -German arrivals increased 20.25% in the first eleven months of 2008, hitting 76,392. Signs, however, are that arrivals may be softening from Germany and the rest of Europe as a recession economy overtakes all of Europe. UNITED KINGDOM - U.K. visitors improved 16.89% through November 2008 (75,141). Expect this market to soften over the coming months. FRANCE - French arrivals January-November 2008 totalled 70,462 – that’s an imporvement of 22.38% over the previous year. France teeters on the edge of recession meaning these numbers are likely to soften over the months ahead. U.S.A. - The lifting of the U.S. travel warnings have prompted U.S. arrivals to increase 24.30% January-November 2008 (62,024). The sudden burst in U.S. visitors are expected to soften over the coming months.
Arrivals January - November 2000-2008 Click image to enlarge
Fiskal Tax Increases to Rp. 2.5 million January 1, 2009.
NPWP Tax Number Holders Now Exempt from Paying Fiskal Tax When Departing Indonesia.
As reported on balidiscovery.com [See: Fiscal Tax to End?], the onerous Rp. 1 million (US$90) fiscal tax paid by all Indonesian nationals and registered residents will end on January 1, 2009, providing travelers can present proof of an official tax registration number (NPWP). That's the good news, but for those registered residents and Indonesian nationals who have failed to obtain an official tax number they will soon be obliged to pay a fiscal tax of Rp. 2.5 million (US$225) each time they travel abroad after January 1, 2009. The increase in the fiscal tax has been reported in The Jakarta Post and Kompas.com. The exemption from paying the fiscal tax will remain in place as an incentive to those participating in the tax system via an official tax number until December 31, 2010, at which time the policy will be reviewed. Exempted from both the requirement to have a NPWP or pay the fiscal tax are citizens under the age of 21, foreign nationals who have spent less than 183 days in Indonesia over the past 12 months, diplomats and the staff of international organizations.
All Was Calm, All Was Bright in Bali
Police and Community Volunteers Join Forces to Keep the Peace over Christmas Holiday.
A massive police and security presence over the Christmas period ensured the peace for Christian worshippers and other visitors to Bali. Thousands of worshippers who crowded to Denpasar's Cathedral on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day suffered some delays as security personnel used metal detectors and other equipment to screen all those entering the church. Parking lots, basement areas and church yards at Christian churches across the Island were converted to accommodate the huge number of devotees seeking to attend religious services. According to beritabali.com 1,500 police personnel were deployed to area churches, including personnel sent in the days leading up to Christmas to sterilize and sweep the venues beforehand. According to police, the high security alert will remain in place at most churches until January 5, 2009. Assisting the police in keeping the peace at local churches were traditionally dressed security volunteers from Bali's Hindu communities, locally known as pacalaqng.
Made Mangku Pastika – Bali's Mr. Clean
Failure of Governor's Daughter to Win Government Post Seen as Proof of Pastika's Pledge to Run a Clean Government.
Offering irrefutable proof that Bali's Governor Made Mangku Pastika is a "man of his word" as regards his pledge to fight corruption and nepotism in the provincial bureaucracy, is the news that Pastika's own daughter, Mayang Sari, recently failed to pass an official "civil servant test" (CPNS) required to qualify for a much sought-after government posting. Radar Bali reports that members of the Governor's inner circle were feeling somewhat nervous at the prospect of having to bear the disappointing news of his dughter's failure to the Island's Chief Executive, only to discover that the Governor took his daughter's defeat in stride, saying she could always try again in next year's testing. Mayang Sari, a law school graduate and the wife of a ranking police officer at police headquarters, ranked #4 among 90 test participants who were vying for a single positing as a government lawyer.
A Scented Paradise
St. Regis Bali Resort Offer a Master Class in Perfume Led by Nicolas De Barry.
The St. Regis Bali Resort is presenting its first Aficionado Program featuring Master Perfumer, Nicolas de Barry from France. The Master Class of Natural Perfume will be held from January 13-17, 2009 at The St. Regis Bali Resort. Aficionado Program The Aficionado Program is unique to St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, reflecting the company's commitment to creating custom-tailored guest experiences via access to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and events. Through exclusive partnerships with some of the world's most acclaimed trend-setters and brands, including Chef Jean-Georges, architect David Rockwell, the PGA TOUR and Ferrari - St. Regis provides access to world premier collections and auctions; tasting never before available vintages; and a chance to engage a passion for Art & Design, Food & Wine, Golf and adventure. Master Perfume Class by Nicolas de Barry The St. Regis Bali Resort is taking bespoke to new levels with the St. Regis Aficionado Program via an extraordinary opportunity to experience of joining a Master Perfume Class led by Nicolas de Barry. Over the course of three days, guests will learn the basics regarding the origins of essential oils, and the techniques and processes used to create perfumes. From bath salts to perfumes, using 150 essential oils, participants will immersed in the time-honored tradition of combining these ingredients to achieve unique scents via step-by-step lessons taught by Nicolas de Barry. Guests will be able to keep their own creation of a small bath salt box and their personal signature sent presented in a 20ml perfume bottle. On the third day, in addition to learning to create personalized massage oils, the program expands its scope by combining cuisine with perfume. Using a menu personally designed by Executive Chef Oscar Perez, guests will have the hand ons experience of carefully cooking a recipe that culminates with a final dash of perfume to blend and enhance the taste and aroma of the dish. Guests can enjoy a Perfume Tasting Menu Dinner held in the evening, or, alternatively, can choose to join in a sumptuous Gala Dinner accompanied with wine pairingf at the Astor Ballroom. Nicolas de Barry Nicolas de Barry is an extraordinary French perfumer. He has created historical perfumes such as George Sand, La Reine Margot, King Louis XV and Marquise de Pompadour. He has also authored several books on perfume including: "The Abcdaire Perfume "(Flammarion)," Des Parfums to Oneself "(Minerva)," and India Perfume "(Garde-Temps). He is also the Secretary General of very select Francois Coty Award, widely considered the "Nobel" for perfumers.
Master Class of Perfume by Nicolas de Barry 13 January to 17 January 2009
13 January 2009 10:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Introduction: How to create a perfume? 12.30 p.m. - 01:30 p.m. Lunch 02:00 p.m. - 15:30 p.m. The quality of the products: origin of the essential oils, synthetic and natural products, organic labels 03:30 p.m. - 15:45 p.m. Coffee Break 03:45 p.m. - 04:45 p.m. Creation of bath salts and other products 14 January 2009 10:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Creation of Eau de Cologne and Eau de Parfum 12:30 p.m. - 01:30 p.m. Lunch 02:00 p.m. - 03:30 p.m. Creation 03:30 p.m. - 03:45 p.m. Coffee break 03:45 p.m. - 04:45 p.m. Creation 15 January 2009 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Cooking Class: Perfumed dishes 01:00 p.m. - 03:00 p.m. Massage Oil class 07:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Perfume Tasting Menu Dinner 16 January 2009 06:30 p.m. – 07:00 p.m. Pre Perfume Menu Cocktail 07:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Gala Dinner with Perfume Menu with Wine Pairing 17 January 2009 06:30 p.m. – 07:00 p.m. Pre Perfume Menu Cocktail 07:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Gala Dinner with Perfume Menu with Wine Pairing Cost Day 1 to Day 3: Cost Per Day RP. 1.500.000 Day 3: Perfume Tasting Menu Dinner RP. 950.000 (Available only to course participants) 3 Day Course and Perfume Tasting Menu Dinner: RP. 5.000.000 Day 4 / Day 5 Gala Dinner with Perfume Menu RP. 1.600.000 (Open to public) All Prices are INCLUSIVE of 21% Government Tax and Service Charge
Imprudent Nusa Dua Security Guard Dies After Being Bit by 'Pet' Snake.
A 21 year-old security guard at a hotel in the Nusa Dua complex, Wayan Budiartana, died in the Intensive Care Unit of the Sanglah General Hospital on Saturday, December 20, 2008, after being bitten by a snake. According to Radar Bali the guard found the snake on the grounds of his place of employment and proceeded to play with the serpent for nearly three hours. Mislead by the tame nature of the black snake, he allowed the reptile to coil about his arm and neck. A subsequent bite inflected by the snake to the guard's right arm caused the man to become confused and lose his balance, before falling unconscious. Despite
being rushed to the intensive care unit of the hospital, the young man died at 1:30 p.m.. There are an estimated 450 species of snakes in Indonesia, only a handful of which are considered dangerously poisonous. Most snakes, in Indonesian, when given advance warning of human encroachment, will choose to flee rather than confront engage in a confrontation. As a general rule, if we leave snakes alone, they will return the favor.
Balancing Modernity and Balinese Culture
Boldly Challenging Cultural Trends, Governor Proposes Raising Height Restrictions, and Building Expressways and Tunnels to Help Bali Face the Future.
At a recent provincial planning meeting held on Saturday, December 20, 2008, Bali's governor boldly floated the idea of revamping regulations with prohibit buildings of more than 15 meters in height. Following a presentation by the Chief of the Provincial Planning Board (Bappenda), Made Subagiarta, the Island's Chief Executive bemoaned the rampant loss of surface land in Bali. Calling the loss of hundreds of hectare of land every year as "extremely crazy,"
he cited the current limitation on building height to only 15 meters as a major factor in the depletion of surface lands. Quoted in Radar Bali, Pastika said that by increasing the permissible height of buildings a more economical use of the ever-diminishing amount of land in Bali would be achieved. To illustrate his argument, Governor Pastika said that if a building of 1 hectare's size were allowed two sub-ground levels and 10 above ground levels, some 11-12 hectares of land usage would be preserved. The governor said he found it hard to understand why buildings are limited to 15 meters in height in Bali, pointing to the Grand Bali Beach Hotel with has 11 stories and, according to the governor, causes no problem. The current rule limited buildings to 15 meters or "the height of a coconut tree" have their links to the public outcry that occurred when the Grand Bali Beach Hotel was opened in the mid 1960s. Governor Pastika also used the occasion to openly explore how Bali can answer the problem of growing traffic congestion. Despite widespread opposition from local cultural and religious groups, Pastika said that traffic congestions and land usage issues would be assisted by the introduction of suspended highways and underpasses. Responding to traditionalist Hindu elements who object to the idea of "unclean individuals" or "unclean acts" taking place above their heads, Pastika challenged: "If elevated highways are unacceptable, consider airplanes flying overhead where people are defecating and which sometime carry dead bodies, so what's the problem?" Pastika went on to blame the Governor's decree No. 15 of 1988 which he feels limits tourism development to three regencies/cities. This policy was introduced to preserve the other areas of Bali from the negative effects of tourism. Insisting that times have changed, Pastika said steps are needed to provide economic opportunities for the people living in West Bali, North Bali , East Bali and Central Bali. Radar Bali said that there are many potential tourism investors eagerly waiting for a change in the height limitation building code.
The Left and Right Hand of Planning in Bali's South
Plans to Build a Sanur-Tanjung Benoa Toll Bridge at Odds with Plans to Turn Benoa into a Cruise Terminal.
As reported on balidiscovery.com, plans to build a toll bridge connecting Serangan Island (Sanur) and Tanjung Benoa have been put on indefinite suspension by the refusal of Bali's Governor to include a yearly budget "installment" that would allow the project to proceed. [See: A Troubled Bridge over Balinese Waters]. The future of the toll bridge was called into further question when the Benoa port managers, Pelindo III, recently pointed out that the current plans to build the toll bridge over the Benoa port's entrance would automatically put to an end to plans to develop the port for cruise shipping. Radar Bali quoted the
Benoa Port Administrator, I Wayan Suarta, as telling a group of visiting legislators that the height of the proposed bridge would create a barrier to visiting cruise ships. Suarta explained: "Cruise ships would be barred by the toll bridge. The smallest cruise ship is 35 meters high while the height of the toll bridge is only 30 meters." While on-again-off-again toll bridge, if it is ever constructed, would put an end to plans for a cruise port in South Bali, port managers are nonetheless moving ahead with developing the marina complex for yacht shipping by dredging the port area and creating supporting infrastructure. Should the toll bridge be eventually built, then all cruise ships would be compelled to seek port at the new Tanah Ampo facility neat Karangasem on Bali's eastern coast. Cruise passengers would then have to travel either by road to the southernmost past of the Island or use smaller fast ferry vessels to travel down the coats to the centrally located Benoa port. Benoa port authorities report that ten cruise ships carrying a total of 2,016 passengers called on Benoa in 2007. Through November 2008 seven cruise ships carrying 913 people called on Benoa. On another level, the planning imbroglio underlines the lack of coordination between those backing the provincial initiative to construct the toll road bridge and national plans to develop cruise shipping at Benoa.
Bali Eager to Be Declared Rabies Free
Local Official Pushes for Rapid Return of Rabies-Free Status for Bali.
BisnisBali reports that Bali plans to again seek a "rabies free status" if within six months no new cases of the disease are reported. Such a request would represent an acceleration of existing protocols which mandate a two year period of no rabies cases before any area can be declared free of the potentially lethal disease. The Head of the Animal Husbandry Department for Bali, Ir. Ida Bagus Ketut Alit, told the press: "If there are no new cases in two years, we can make a proposal (to be declared rabies free) to Jakarta. Having said that, we are hoping there are no new cases allowing us to request certification within six months." The two-year waiting period to re-qualify for "rabies-free" status is based on a known incubation period for the disease of between 6 months and one year from the time when the bite occurs. Alit told the press that Bali's ability to regain its rabies-free status will depend on cooperation from the local community, including the willingness of god owners to vaccinate their pets. To that end, 20,000 vaccines have been prepared in Bali. Any warm-blooded animal can serve as a vector for the spread of rabies to human; a list than can include dogs, cats, monkeys, bats and rodents. Related Articles [Bali Rabies Update: Massive Inoculation Underway] [Update on Bali's Anti-Rabies Offensive] [Interview: Dr. Dewa MN Dharma DV MSc PhD] [Bali No Longer Rabies Free]
Real Estate Agents Lobby for Foreign Property Rights
Constitution Bars Realtors' Efforts to Extend Property Ownership Rights to Non-Indonesians.
The Indonesian Real Estate Association (REI) chapter from North Sumatra told the national news agency Antara that there is a pressing need to extend the leasehold period for foreigners in Indonesia in order bolster the national real estate market. The Chairman of REI in Medan, Rusmin Lawin, said, "the leasehold in Indonesia of 70 years – broken down into consecutive lease periods of 25,25 and 20 years – is no longer in keeping with the current situation." He explained in Malaysia leasehold is now 99 years with Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand now granting longer leasehold periods. The real estate professional said that longer leasehold periods and accompanying rights for foreign investors would lure investment, especially in areas bordering Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, such as North Sumatra. Lawin also argue that a liberalization of leasehold rules would result in more revenues for the government through the elimination of "name-lending" arrangements in which property is held on behalf of foreign owner by an Indonesian nominee. Previous efforts to extend property ownership rights to foreigners or the period of leaseholds have been rebuffed by the Constitutional Courts which insists foreign property ownership in Indonesia is specifically forbidden by the Constitution. The REI have proposed a number of changes affecting foreign property ownership in Indonesia, including:
Ownership of property by foreigners for
a period of up to 70 years.
Establishment of clear specifications for
real estate products.
The right for individual property ownership
as opposed to current corporate ownership.
The specification of a certain number of
floors available for foreign ownership in
A revision of Property Law No. 41 of 1996
regarding foreign land ownership and leasehold
by foreigners in Indonesia. Related Articles [ Bali Property Ownership by Foreigners] [New Regulations Promised for Foreign Land Ownership] [Freehold Land Title for
Foreigners in Bali: Caveat Emptor]
[This Land is My Land, This Land is Your Land] [Stopping the Land Grab] [And Forgive Us Our Trespasses]
An Economic Strategy for Bali for 2009
Bali's Leaders Gather to Plot Strategies to Confront World Economic Crisis.
A discussion of Bali's economy for 2009 was convened on Wednesday, December 24, 2008 by Bisnis Bali including leading academics, banking officials, government officials and local business leaders. Among the highlights of those discussions:
- Bali's economy will slow in 2009, growing
at a rate of 4.5% down from a current rate
of growth of 6%.
- The ailing U.S. Economy will have direct
negative impact on Bali's exports for furniture
- Local income will decline as tourist arrivals
to Bali are expected to shrink in 2009.
- Declining tourism numbers may be offset,
in part, by lower fuel costs dipping from
highs of US$140 per barrel to US$40.
- Those in attendance called for unified
thinking and action on the part of the government,
stakeholders and the people to minimize
the negative impact of the current financial
- Business participants complained that
government policies were out of step with
the current situation. While interest rates
are down worldwide, they remain high in
- Plans to increase regional minimum salary
levels by 11% in 2009 may represent a non-viable
burden for local entrepreneurs.
- Tourism workers should focus their attention
on markets less affected by the current
economic downturn, such as Japan, China,
the Middle East and India.
- Businesses should avoid borrowing funds
denominated in U.S. dollars because of the
weak exchange rate of the Rupiah at present.
- Emphasis should be placed on using local
agricultural products to reduce reliance
- Provincial economies should be stimulated
by higher spending on local development
- Zoning and development rules must be enforced
to pave the way for future development.
Bali Goes to Court to Challenge Anti-Porn Law
Constitutional Challenge to Unpopular Anti-Porn Law to Be Launched by Bali on January 9, 2009.
Bali's People's Component (KRB) has now finalized the draft a judicial review against the new anti-pornography laws recently signed into law by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The 50-page judicial review is scheduled to be presented to the Constitutional Court on January 9, 2009, and argues that the new anti-pornography laws robs large segments of the Indonesian population of cultural rights of self-expression guaranteed under the national constitution. The review also identifies 21 separate professions that will suffer a
curtailment of creativity underthe new law. Among the "threatened" professions cited by the KRB as being "at risk" due to the new law are dancers, choreographers, poets, short story writers, novelists, actors, playwrights, directors, gymnastic instructors, tourism workers, photographers, painters, art gallery owners, sculptors, art shop owners, singers, composers, recording studio owners, models, designers, broadcasters and reporters. The Bali legal challenge argues that at least 5 separate constituional rights are trampled upon by the new anti-pornography legislation: The guarantee of a certainty under the law. The guarantee of equal treatment before the law. The right to live free of fear and intimidation. The right to derive benefit from art and culture. The right to employment and to earn a living from such employment. A member of the KRB and the former Rector of the Bali Institute of Indonesian Arts (ISI), Professor Dr. I Made Bandem, is urging all Balinese artists to take an active role in proposing and supporting the judicial review. Explained Badem: "This is a historical moment with 'history in the making' as we prove that artists and those working in culture are courageous enough to oppose those trying to trample upon the national motto of 'United in Diversity.'" One member of the KRB has estimated that the Constitutional Court will need 4 months to render a decision on the Bali appeal. Because of the long journey ahead, Nusa Bali has published an appeal for people to donate funds to the KRB via I Wayan Juniartha at telephone ++62-(0)81236131311 or via email email@example.com. Related Articles [ Bali Legislators Dish Vitriol on Minister Wacik] [ Protests & Legal Challenges to Pornography Law] [Cover Up, in the Name of the Law] [Bali Rejects New Anti-Pornography Law] [5 Thousand in Bali Protest Pornography Law] [Sexy is in the Eye of the Beholder]
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