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Bali Contact
Bali Discovery Tours
Komplek Pertokoan
Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Tel:
++62 361 286 283

Fax:
++62 361 286 284

U.S.A. Fax:(toll free)
1-800-506-8633

U.K. Fax:
++44-20-7000-1235

Australian Fax:
++61-2-94750419

24h:
++62 812 3819724

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #937 - 18 August 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


Anchors Aweigh!
Bali Hai Cruise Welcomes its 100,000 Guest of 2012

Bali Hai Cruises welcomed its 100,000th guests for 2012 on Thursday, December 20, 2012.

the gangway were Mary Theron and her husband, Franchois, from South Africa. To mark the milestone from a very successful year for Bali Hai Cruises, the celebrated couple were awarded a basket of prizes and given a complimentary cruise.

With the pizes presented at a ceremony held before the management, crew and boarding guests, Mary Theron was later to remark: “People we congratulating us throughout the cruise, it was simply amazing.”

Impressed with all the attention and their cruise to Nusa Lembongan island, the Theron’s, who were on their first trip to Bali, pledged they would return to the Island and take another Bali Hai Reef Cruise.

The South African couple booked the cruise on the enthusiastic recommendations of friends who had experienced the program during their Bali holidays.

The management of Bali Hai Cruises also invited the couple to experience the new Bali Hai Cruise Aquanauts that allows even non-swimmers the chance to walk across the ocean’s floor to commune with fish and other sea life.

[Bali Hair Lembongan Island Beach Club Cruise]


Sophieís Choice
Sophie Digby Wins Two Round Trip Tickets to Sydney at Annual SKAL Ball in Bali.

On Saturday, December 15, 2012, SKAL Club Bali held its annual travel industry ball at the Nikko Bali Resort and Spa in South Bali.

A sold out affair, the over 300 in attendance, were entertained by stage acts, a live band and a program of Christmas music by the Bali Community Choir.

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of many door prizes, including the Grand Prize of a 2 round-trips tickets to Sydney on Virgin Australia. The prize was won by Sophie Digby, co-founder and managing director of The Yak Magazine in Bali.

Shown on Balidiscovery.com is Sophie holding her prize certificate at the SKAL Bali Ball.

The SKAL Club Bali is ranked among the top 5 clubs in the world of SKAL International, which now counts 20,000 members in clubs established in 450 cities worldwide.


Capsules with Dangerous Side Effects
Bali Customs Officials Arrest German National Martin Robert Mollers with 288 grams of Hashish at Bali Airport

Seputarbali.com reports customs officials at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport thwarted the efforts of a 41-year-old German national to smuggle 22 capsules filled hashish into Bali on Friday, December 14, 2012.

Martin Robert Moller had reportedly swallowed the drugs concealed in plastic capsules in order to bring them into Indonesia as he arrived on Thai Airways TG 431 from Bangkok.

Customs Inspector became suspicious of the German and compelled him to undergo medical imaging that showed the 22 capsules inside his digestive system, concealing a total of 288 grams of hashish.

The head of the Ngurah Rai Airport Customs Office, I Made Wijaya, said, “Narcotics in the form of hashish in this amount has a street value on the illicit market of Rp. 172 million.” (US$17,750).

Moller, who lists his profession as a graphic designer, told police he had brought the hashish in Bangkok for Rp. 8 million (US$US$824) and that he intended to consume the drugs personally over the coming three months.

Wijaya said Moller can now be charged under Indonesia's 2009 Narcotics Law that carries a maximum sentence of death plus fines of Rp. 10 billion ((US$1 million).


No Parking on the Paddocks
Tanah Ampo Residents Refuse Regency Plans to Build Parking Facility on Farm Land for East Bali Cruise Terminal

The Bali Post reports that residents at Tanah Ampo on the eastern coast of Bali at Karangasem are refusing to surrender their farming lands to permit the construction of parking facilities for the Tanah Ampo International Cruise Terminal.

Local farmers are concerned that they will be separated from ancestral farming lands in order to accommodate a parking lot for a cruise terminal that, in the end, will not be favored by the cruise industry.

The farmer’s refusal to surrender their lands was confirmed by Tanah Ampo village chief, I Gede Suyadnya, on Saturday, December 15, 2012, who confirmed his efforts over separate three meetings to persuade local farmers to sell their lands to the port project have been unsuccessful.

Suyadnya explained that the refusal was in part prompted by the inability of Karangasem authorities to actually put the cruise terminal into operation. Past efforts to lure international cruise ships to the port have had very mixed results due to poor planning and the malfunction of the pontoon erected to receive ships’ tenders at a port that offers no protection to the open seas.

Moreover, local citizens point out that in recent months no ships have come to the port, preferring instead to berth at the southern port of Benoa that is able to bring large ships alongside a pier in a protected harbor.

The lack of business for the port has also made the Karangasem regency’s offer of a 70% - 30% split in parking fees between the village and the regional government less than compelling.

The lack of promising returns from the proposed parking facility and the desire to preserve their agricultural lands have united the villagers in rejecting the plan put forth by the regency for the proposed parking lot.

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[Who’s in Charge?]
 


A Collection Inspired by Love
John Hardy Classic Collection Exhibition at Ganesha Gallery at Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay December 27, 2012 Ė January 10, 2013

The Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay, Bali is hosting an exclusive exhibition of custom jewelry from the John Hardy Classic Collection.

bition will run from December 27, 2102 until January 10, 2013 and will feature John Hardy craftsmanship from the Bambu, Kali, Dot, Bedeg, Naga, Classic Chain and one of a kind Cinta Collections.

The one-of-a-kind Cinta Collection symbolizes the deepest expressions of love and individuality, fusing various forms and compositions while maintaining the signature John Hardy design aesthetic. Cinta is remarkable for its juxtaposition of precious gemstones and organic materials from around the world, distinguishing the unique line from other fine jewelry collections.

Cinta means “love” in Bahasa Indonesia.

John Hardy is a luxury handmade jewelry brand founded on a synergy between designers and artisans who create objects of beauty in an environment of respect for people and the natural world. The company’s signature collaboration between designers and artisans yields jewelry that unites the mastery of the talented jewelers who served Balinese kings with modern design interpretations. The John Hardy team is committed to its core values of authenticity, transparency, accountability and diversity, reshaping the world of luxury through love of design, love of nature and love of life.

Ganesha Gallery is open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay, Bali

For more information telephone ++62-(0)361-7010 or [Email


One Lump or Two?
Baliís Best ďHigh TeaĒ Served Everyday at Biku in Kerobokan

A relaxing, popular tradition awaits Bali residents and visitors alike each afternoon at Biku – a unique combination of a tea lounge, restaurant, antique gallery and bookstore located in Kerobokan, Bali.

dash; a “High Tea” to be more precise, is served every day at Biku. A sophisticated tradition traced in its origins to the Duchess of Bedford who sought a pick-me-up each late afternoon.

Servants brought the Victorian era Duchess pots of tea that, with time, were supplemented with bakery items. Later,  following the European tradition, the Duchess invited friends joining her tea parties at Belvoir Castle to partake in an afternoon meal at 5:00 pm where cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, sweets and teas were served.

The rejuvenating qualities of afternoon tea and cakes quickly established this repast as an English tradition, with the upper classes taking the ritual a step further, presenting “high teas” at which an exotic range of teas and lavish snacks are tastefully presented.

The rustic sophistication of Biku with wooden dining tables set amidst antiques and a bookstore is home to a daily sumptuous “high tea” served there throughout the day.

For Rp. 85,000 plus tax and service (US$10), those taking tea can sup on a selection of fine teas; scones served with jam and cream; finger sandwiches of cucumber, salmon and cream cheese; ham and mustard; mini spinach quiche and a range of sweets.

Underlining Biku’s commitment to detail and to families, a children’s tea menu costing Rp. 40,000 plus tax and service (US$4.80) features a pint-sized version of “high tea” substituting fruit tea or juice as the beverage with a presentation of enchantingly presented side plates of cakes and sweets.

Those on holiday or celebrating a special occasion can also select from a range of limited edition teas and order Champagne by the glass.

Reservations recommended. Call +62-(0)3610 8570 888 or [Email

[Biku Website
 


The International Connection for Tourism
Indonesia Launches an Official Tourism Website

The Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy have launched an official tourism website.

"http://www.Indonesia.travel">[www.indonesia.travel]  is intended to offer comprehensive information on Indonesia’s many tourism options, including news, links and other travel resources.

“We are aiming to expand our network and to connect to tourism businesses to help tourists, for example, to find accommodation and car rentals in their destinations,” said Ratna Suranti, the ministry’s digital and electronic media division head.

The ministry has also established a Facebook page, a Twitter account and has a mobile version of the site under development.


Change of Command at the Bali Police
General Arif Wachyunadi Replaces General Budi Gunawan After Short 10-Month Reign as Baliís Top Cop

According to various reports in the Bali press, the Chief of Police for the Island of Bali, Inspector General Budi Gunawan, has been formally shifted out of his position as the island’s top cop in November with little fanfare or public notice.

Changes in top command positions in the Indonesian police force are enacted via “secret telegrams” issued by the National Police Headquarters.

The official spokesman for the Bali police, Commissioner Hariadi, confirmed to the Bali Post that the subject telegram has been received confirming the transfer of Guawan to a new post and his replacement by Inspector General Arif Wachyunadi from his former role as expert staff on social and political matters at police headquarters.

Gunawan new assignment is as the head of the educational institution for the Indonesian police (Kalemdikpol) and represents a promotion to a post that informally puts him in contention for the role of National Police Chief that becomes vacant with the retirement of General Timur Pradopo in January 2014.

Prior to his short 9-month assignment as Chief of the Bali Police, Budi Gunawan served as an adjutant to (then) President Megawati Soekarnoputri.

Gunawan’s (show on balidiscovery.com) name was also mentioned  widely in the press in connection with suspicious, sizeable bank accounts held among leading police officials, charges Gunawan has vehemently and repeatedly denied.


 


Green Protests Continue in Bali
Bali Environmentalists Threaten Legal Steps Against Governor to protect Mangrove Forests

Environmental activists, united under the banner of Bali Friends of the Earth (WALHI), continue to try to close down the private development of the publicly owned South Bali Mangrove Forest (Tahura).

In what has proven to be a highly controversial move, Bali’s governor granted a 55-year license to a private firm (PT TRB) to develop tourism within the Tahura. That decision provoked street protests by WALHI and a letter threatening legal action (Somasi) sent to the governor if he did not withdraw the licenses he granted to PT TRB.

According to the Bali Post, WALHI has sent a second Somasi warning the governor that they will file legal actions against the province and the governor in the case if the permit to develop the forest is not withdrawn before December 23, 2012.

The first Somasi was sent on December 10, 2012.

WALHI insists that plans to build tourist accommodation at Tahura violates the provinces moratorium on new accommodation development in Bali and threaten the remaining 22% of forested land in Bali, a figure that falls fare below desired minimum of 30%.

WALHI says they cannot understand the Governor’s reluctance to withdraw the permits, especially given protests from the traditional communities surrounding the Tahura site who oppose the presence of an outside investor and a recommendation against the license by the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali).

The Governor’s office is yet to formally respond to WALHI’s Somasi.

According to Radar Bali, WALHI is also threatening legal action against the Governor in connection with the ongoing construction of the Benoa to Nusa Dua toll way that environmentalists claim violates the project's environmental impact study and is destroying Bali’s mangrove forest.

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[A Gangnam Style Protest]

[Saving the Forest for the Trees]

[Spare the Tree, Save the Island]

[Swamped with Questions]
 


Seeking a Share of the VOA Action
Bali Renews Efforts to Snag a Share of Visa Fees Paid by Foreign Visitors

Once again a movement has been launched in Bali to secure a share of the visa-on-arrival fees (VOA) paid by visiting tourists to Bali that is now entirely remitted to Jakarta.

As reported by Radar Bali, the chairman of Commission IV of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD Bali), Nyoman Parta, confirmed that he would soon outline steps that should be taken for Bali to get a fair share of these revenues.

Parta is calling for the establishment of a Special Commission in 2013 to examine the distribution of VOA revenues.

He claims the struggle to obtain a share of VOA fees paid by foreign visitors is realistic.

Nyoman Parta has estimated the total VOA fees collected at Bali’s airport totals Rp. 6.5 trillion (US$670 million).

Bad Math?

The legislator’s calculations on the size of the fund at stake are inaccurate based on the mistaken assumption that 2.5 million foreign tourists pay Rp. 250,000 each for VOA. Parta’s calculation are flawed in that the cost of the VOA is closer to Rp. 242,0000 (US$25) and fails to consider that visitors from ASEAN countries do not pay the VOA fee.

Parta insists that, whatever the actual total collected, Bali needs a share of the tax fees collected for VOA in order to maintain the island’s infrastructure and improve the state of the Balinese tourist attractions.


Lower Occupancy in Higher Places
Ubud Hotel Association Complains Holiday Occupancies 20-25% Below Average

The Bali Post reports that hotel occupancies in Ubud over the year end holiday period for 2012-2103 have declined by between 20-25%.

The chairman of the Ubud Hotel Association Heri Sumawan, who is also the general manager of the Nandini Hotel, revealed this predicted downturn to the media.

Sumawan links the decline in business to global economic conditions, global weather and the overbuilding of commercial villas in and around Ubud.

Several steps are being taken to bolster occupancies, including forays into the large domestic market by inviting national artists to visit and stay in the hill and arts community of Ubud.

The head of the Gianyar tourist office that include Ubud, A.A. Ari Bagus Brahmanta, says the downturn is a common situation, happening at the same time to Bali as a whole. He said his office was coordinating with the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) and the provincial tourist office to improve occupancy levels.

Brahmanta pledged that if occupancies do drop over the Christmas and New Year’s period his office wpuld be taking collective steps with the local tourism industry to improve visitors’ numbers to Gianyar and Ubud.
 


Can You See What I See?
Donate $25 and Save the Eyesight of a Balinese this Holiday Season

If you’re visiting Sanur, Bali over the Christmas and New Years holiday, make a point of stopping by The Glass House Restaurant.

r spot for a meal, light refreshment or drinks, The Glass House Restaurant is also home to a miraculous “wishing tree” – conceived by Australian Elizabeth Travers as a means to reach out and touch her surrounding Balinese community during the holiday season.

Customers, friends and passer-bys stopping by The Glass House can, at their option, purchase a US$25 Christmas ornament that will be hung on the “Wishing Tree.” Each ornament has the name of the donator inscribed upon it before being placed on the tree.

Donators can also receive a photo of Balinese receiving a cataract operation .

Funds raised from the sale of ornaments are donated to the [John Fawcett Foundation]  to defray the cost of sight-restoring cataract surgery for underprivileged people in Bali.

Elizabeth told balidiscovery.com: “Those of us living in Bali know of the remarkable difference made in the lives of the Balinese by John Fawcett with his mobile eye clinics that brings teams of doctors and nurses to remote areas where they perform surgeries that return site to people blinded by cataracts. If Christmas is a time of miracles, what can be more miraculous than making a contribution that allows the light of the world shine once more for blind Balinese?”

Aguably another miracle of the season is the strength of the branches on the Christmas tree supporting the growing number or ornaments “purchased” for The Glass House’s tree.

Stop by to make a donation as long as the tree stays up or go on line to the John Fawcett Foundation to make a real difference this holiday Season.

The Glass House
Jl. Danau Tamblingan No.25 A
Sanur, Denpasar, Bali

Telp:  +62 812-3874-136

[John Fawcett Donation Link
 


Baliís Booming Population
Bali Becoming One of Indonesiaís Most Crowded Islands

The Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports that Bali’s population is growing at an alarming rate.

The latest population totals from the provincial authorities show 4.22 million people living on Bali, an increase of 8% from the 3.89 million reported just two years ago.

Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika says: “Currently, the island’s population has reached 4.22 million. This is a remarkable increase. I’m sure that it is not only due to the birth rate, but also urbanization. Many people move to Bali because of its promising economy.”

In the ten years 2000-2010 Bali’s population grew from 3.15 million to 3.89 million – an average annual increase of 2.15%.

In the preceding four decades the island’s annual rate of population growth had never exceeded 2%.

In terms of population density, Bali now stands at 673 people per square kilometer making the island quite crowded in comparison to the national average of 124 people per square kilometer.

Fearing the indigenous Balinese are becoming increasingly marginalized in their own homeland, Pastika continued: “Our economy keeps growing. At least this indicates that we are improving, although we agree that we need to further minimize the economic gap existing between the island’s different areas.”


Fatally Fatigued
Singaporean Tourists Dies While Climbing Baliís Mount Batur

A 40-year old Singapore tourist died on Friday, December 21, 2012, while climbing Mount Batur in Bali.

The dead man is Suresh Perumal Ramaswamy who collapsed after walking only 1.5 kilometers from the starting point. The man told his guide he felt unwell and died on the trail a short time later.

Ramaswamy was part of a group of 6 Singaporeans climbing the volcano accompanied by two guides.

The Singaporean’s body was carried down the mountain by Search and Rescue personnel in a heavy rain and then brought to Denpasar’s Sanglah hospital for further examination.

An officer from the Kintamani police precinct said the man apparently died of fatigue, contributed police believe by a history of heart problems.

Thousands of visitors climb Mt. Batur each year in the company of local guides. While the trek can be arduous, no formal mountaineering experience to do the climb that normally starts in the early pre-dawn hours in order to arrive at sunrise at Batur’s caldera.
 


Customís Declaration
Airport Officials at Bali Airports Says Drug Arrests Down in 2012

The Ngurah Rai Airport Customs office report that drug smuggling cases detected at Bali's airport decreased in 2012.

Quoted by the National News Agency Antara, I Made Wijaya, the head of supervision and services for the Bali Airport Customs office, said: ďThe trend (of narcotics cases) is declining, and we like that. I hope that next year there are no cases.Ē

According to Wijaya, the decline in narcotic smuggling cases shows that Customís officers are maintaining a close watch over Baliís only international air gateway.

Customs officials report 9 cases of drug smuggling in 2012, down from 2012 (12) and 2010 (17).

The 9 cases in 2012 involved 10.45 kilograms of narcotics while the 12 cases in 2011 accounted for 17.318 kilograms of drugs.

The most common types of narcotics confiscated at Baliís airport are methamphetamines and cocaine.

The number of people arrested on narcotics charges at Baliís airport in 2012 also reduced with 9 arrests made in 2012, 19 in 2011, and 24 in 2011.

Wijaya rejected a questions from the press asking if the reduction in arrests in 2012 was due in part to the massive renovation being carried out at the airport, insisting that his team had the facility under tight supervision.


Hotel Rooms as Cancerous Cells
Uncontrolled Overbuilding of New Hotels in Bali Crippling Islandís Tourism Earning Capacity

The Jakarta Post quotes the chairman of the Indonesian Tourism Business Association (GIPI), Ngurah Wijaya, as blaming the escalating price war among Bali accommodation providers on overbuilding of new hotel projects facilitated by lax control by regional administration in issuing new business licenses.

The growing trend for property investment in the form of new hotel investment in Bali has resulted in oversupply that feeds the current extremes in price competition. According to Wijaya: “This shifting trend has worsened hotel price wars. Many property companies build new hotels, then they offer a cheap promotional tariffs to attract tourists.”

Wijaya say that lax rules and the propensity of regional official to ignore the laws of supply and demand in issuing new permits has created a hotel industry in Bali that no longer focuses on hospitality and service, but more on price.”

Wijaya cites further woes, saying the largely unregulated building spree in which building codes are largely ignored has changed the face of Bali, disrupting the island’s spatial and environmental condition.

The chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Association of Hotels and Restaurants (PHRI), Tjokorda Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace) is sounding the same warning, saying the overbuilding in Bali needs attention to avoid unhealthy business cooperation.

Cok Ace is calling for a consultative role for PHRI in the granting of new accommodation permits in Bali.

Research conducted by Knight Frank predicts Bali will have 10.466 new hotel rooms by 2014 resulting from 60 new hotel projects. Nearly 40% of these new rooms are expected to come on line by the end of 2012.

According to the same report, 52.8% of the new rooms are in the four-star category with 23.9 % in the five-star category and the remaining 23.3% in the three-star range.

The most popular area for new hotel investments is in Kuta with 3,358 new rooms under construction. Nusa Dua will soon welcome 924 new rooms, 72% of which are in five-star hotels.

Meanwhile, new rooms in the Seminyak (691), Sanur (1,025) and Legian (671) areas will be dominated by four-star hotels.

Related Link

[Indonesia Hotel Investment Conference]

 


Leave Your Car at Home this New Yearís Eve
Bali Police Planning to Make Three Areas ĎCar Free Zonesí on New Yearís Eve

Leaving their final decision until the last minute, Bali police are warning that that they will likely introduce “car free nights” on New Year’s Eve in anywhere from one to three areas of Bali in order to reduce traffic congestion.

Seputarbali.com reports that the outgoing police chief for Bali, General Budi Gunawan, said on Friday, December 21, 2012: “We will introduce ‘car free nights’ in Kuta, Nusa Dua and Renon. But, in terms of Nusa Dua, we’re still discussing the exact location.”

Last year the police banned all cars from entering Kuta, resulting in miles of roads crowded with parked cars on all routes leading to Kuta.

“We are still considering what to do. We don’t want to create a balloon where we put pressure in one area only to see bulge emerge somewhere else,” explained Commissioner I Wayan Sunartha of the Denpasar police precinct.

Thousands of domestic and international tourists are expected to flock from sundown until the following morning on New Year’s Eve for a night of traditional revelry.


Bali Police Offer Candlelight Service
ĎOperation Candlelightí to Deploy 1,700 police and 1,300 Support Staff to Maintain Peace over the Christmas and New Years Holiday 2012-2013

The National News Agency Antara reports that the Bali police will deploy 1,700 officers backed up by 1,300 members of the armed forces, provincial enforcement agencies and other government departments to keep the peace and maintain public order during the Christmas and New Year period 2012-2013.

Outgoing Bali Police chief Budi Gunawan commented at a practice exercise in anticipation of the coming holidays held in Renon. “The target of our operations during the coming Christmas and New Years period is to ensure all runs smoothly, safely and conducive.”

According to Gunawan, the deployment of personnel and equipment over the holiday period will be concentrated in key areas surrounding churches, protocol avenues, shopping areas, entertainment centers, tourist attractions and main traffic areas.

The police have also prepared 32 special police posts and service centers for the holiday season.

The special operation by police over the holidays has been given the code name “Operasi Lilin 2012” (Operation Candlelight 2012) that will run from December 23, 2012 until January 1, 2013.


Primal Instincts
Monkey Attack on Four Klungkung Residents Brings Armed Police Contingent to Hunt for Primate

The National News Agency Antara reports that four resident of Selat and Koripan in Bali’s Klungkung regency have suffered injuries following an attack by a large monkey on Friday. December 21, 2012.

According to one of the victims of the attack, Ketut Widia (50), he and the other 3 villagers bitten by the monkey are now concerned that they may have been infected with rabies.

Widia explained how, while tending to his fields, a monkey suddenly attacked him. The bites he suffered in the attack severed an artery in is leg. He was rushed to the Klungkung General Hospital where, because of the extent of his injuries, he was transferred to the main general hospital in the Capital, Denpasar.

30 police personnel armed with rifles and assisted by local villagers are now hunting the monkey in the forested areas near the location of the attack.

Also attacked by the monkey was Ketut Srati (60) who was also savaged by the monkey while working in her fields. Her husband, Made Wardi (62) eventually managed to chase the attacking monkey into making a retreat.
 


Bali Hotels Being Hung Out to Dry
Hotel Association Chairman in Bali Suggests International Crime and Money Laundering Behind Current Building Boom in New Hotels

The chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (Cok Ace), has publicly stated his suspicions that some of the funding of new hotel projects is link to international crime and money laundering.

As reported by Beritabali.com, Cok Ace’s concerns are linked to the fact that the large-scale funding of new hotel projects in Bali is detached from any rational calculation of the actual need for new hotel rooms.

The PHRI leaders said that from a business standpoint, the current building boom made no sense. He explained that although the amounts being invested in these hotels is large, the actual rooms rate at which these rooms will be sold is very low.

In comments made on Tuesday, December 18, 2012, Cok Ace said: “If we look at the value of the investment in comparison with the (room) selling price it all makes no business sense. For instance, an investment of Rp. 6 billion per room (US$619,000)  that same room is sold for Rp. 300,000 (US$31) a night. This is an impossibility. How are they calculating their break even point?”

Tjokorda Sukawaiti also revealed that foreigners own many hotels being built in Bali but registered their businesses in the name of locals. He also said that while the PHRI officially estimates there are 65,000 hotel rooms on Bali, the “real” figure is probably closer to 98,000 rooms.


Match Your 10 and Raise you 5!
Bali Officials Predicting 15% increase in foreign arrivals in 2013

The total number of foreign tourists “officially” expected by the province of Bali is officially predicted to increase 15% - despite more modest predictions of only 10% being put forth by members of the private sector.

The 15% increase is argued as achievable by its proponents because of a number of important international meetings scheduled to be held on the Island next year, including the APEC Summit of Asian-Pacific leaders that will converge on Bali in October 2013.

As reported by Beritabali.com, the chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (Cok Ace), said other factors supporting the 15% rate of growth were improvements in Bali’s infrastructure that will become operational in 2013.

At the same time, Cok Ace cautioned against unbridled optimism on tourism arrivals saying that the experience of the past ten years has shown that larger visitor totals does not automatically translate into higher income, as visitors now stay in Bali for less than 4 days.

“Tourist visitors to Bali before 2002 stayed for longer than 14 days, but now stay for between 5 and 4 days. So, if you look only at arrivals, that is no guarantee that more foreign exchange revenues will grow because of large arrival numbers. People who stay for a short time have fewer transactions of a lesser value (than those who stay longer),” explained the PHRI-Bali chairman.

Related Article

[Bali Tourism Growth Expected to Moderate]

 


Bali to Lombok by Boat in 45 Minutes
Srikandi Fast Ferry Service Between Bali and Lombok

Srikandi 8 – a new fast boat offering scheduled transportation between Bali’s port of Padang Bai and Senggigi Beach in Lombok commenced operations on Tuesday, December 18, 2012.

As reported by Kompas.com, the public relations manager for the Hotel Sheraton Senggigi, Jelantik, said: “The plans are in January 2013 for the service to be increased to four times a day.” His comments were made at a launching ceremony held on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 attended 190 travel agents from Bali and Lombok who were passengers on an inaugural trip between Bali and Lombok

Jelantik describe the new ship service as offering a new, speedier connection between Bali and Lombok that that currently available by public ferry between Padang Bai (Bali) and Lembar (Lombok) or by flying between Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport and the Lombok International Airport.

Srikandi operates twice daily between Lombok and Bali. The ship has a total capacity of 138 passengers and a single passage costs Rp. 250,000 (US$26).

The boat is powered by eight outboard engines each with a power of 300 horsepower each speeding the boat at 50 knots and allowing the 62 km passing to be completed in 45 minutes.
 


Baliís Glut of Travel Agents
ASITA Calls for a Freeze on New Travel Agent Licenses in Bali

The Jakarta Post reports that the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA-Bali) is urging Bali’s provincial government and its regencies to stop issuing operating permits and licenses for new travel agents.

I Ketut Ardana, chairman of ASITA-Bali claims there is an oversupply of travel agents Bali, adding: 

“The government must issue a stronger regulation on the moratorium of new travel agencies for the next few years.

Ardana has sent a letter outlining ASITA’s position to the Provincial Investment Coordinating Board (BKPMD) mentioning a joint 2011 study carried out by ASITA and Bali’s Udayana University that confirmed the level of travel agents in Bali far exceeds current demand.

Added Ardana, “We have delivered the results to the provincial administration and have frequently asked the governor to translate the study into a policy or a regulation.”

In a random sample of 100 Bali travel agents, a majority was found to be handling minimum number of tourists and producing low revenues.

Ardana blamed part of the problem on the large number of unregistered travel agents and the intense competition between local and foreign-based travel agents.
 


Compound Sentences
Brit Paul Beales Gets Four-years in Prison for Role in Bali Drug Ring

A 40-year-old British national, Paul Beales (40), has been sentenced to four years in prison by the Denpasar Courts after being found guilty of possession 3.1 grams of hashish. The man was also fined Rp. 800 million (US$82,500). Failure to pay the fine will add two months to the four-year sentence.

Beales was arrested as part of a sweep by police precipitated by the arrest of fellow Brit, June Sandiford, caught with 4.7 kilograms of cocaine in her luggage on May 19, 2012 off a flight from Bangkok.

Two other people, Julian Anthony Ponder and Rachel Lisa Dougall, also from Great Britain, together with an Indian national, Nandagopal Akkineni, were also arrested sweep.

Nandagopal has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Ponder, Dougall and Sandiford are still under trial with the Denpasar courts.


An Insubordinate Colonel
Two Denpasar, Bali Kentucky Fried Chicken Outlets Are Unlicensed and Illegal

Two Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlets in Bali are under scrutiny from regional authorities that claim the two fast food outlets are lacking building permits and operating licenses.

According to Radar Bali, the two KFC outlets are located at Jalan Gatsu 100X on the Tonja Sub-district of North Bali and Jalan Raya Sesetan in Denpasar.

The head of the monitoring, evaluation and information section of the Denpasar permit and license office, I Komang Sugiarta, confirmed that his office has never issued building permits (IMB) or operating licenses to the two KFC outlets.

Sugiarta said the two restaurants have filed for building permits and principal permission to operate a restaurant to the municipality of Denpasar, but formal permission has yet to be granted. According to the regulations, the IMB permit should be issued before construction commences and the operating license before the restaurant opens its doors.

Both KFC outlets, however, have been in full operation for some time.


A Darwinian Evolution
Garuda Examining Resumption of Bali to Darwin, Australia Flights in 2013

Garuda Indonesia Airline is reported to be exploring a resumption of service between Bali and Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

The announcement comes after discussions in Jakarta between Northern Territory Chief Minister Terry Mills and Garuda CEO Emirsyah Satar.

Garuda will be sending a delegation to Darwin early in 2013 to explore the resumption of air service.

Terry Mills has publicly expressed his desire to persuade Garuda Indonesia to once again fly to his Darwin after terminating its thrice-weekly services between Bali and Darwin in 2009.

Garuda currently operates 35 weekly flights between Bali and Australia with flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Garuda has also announced plans to start flying again to Brisbane, Queensland.


The Early Bird Pays Less
Early Bird Discounts Until December 31, 2012 for Indonesian Hotel Investment Conference in Bali, February 1, 2013

The December 31, 2012 deadline is close at hand for the special “early-bird” discount price of US$350 for the Indonesian Hotel Investment Conference to be held at The Sheraton Kuta Resort on Friday, February 1, 2013.

Convened by the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) and the Bali Hotels Association (BHA), the full day conference will be opened by the Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, and the Chairperson of the PHRI, Yanti Sukamdani.

Top caliber speakers from across the region will make presentations and participate in panels that look at the fast-developing Indonesia economy, the regulatory environment, funding hotel projects, manpower planning in on the eve of AFTA, physical planning and issues related to hotel brand building.

A "must-do" conference for hoteliers, bankers, developers, architects and suppliers of services and products to Indonesia's large hotel sector.

[More Information and Online Registration]

Related Article

[Indonesian Hotel Investment Conference]


Hot off the Press: The Bali MICE Guide
Bali MICE Guide Launch Party in Jakarta Thursday, January 17, 2012

Join the Jakarta Launch Party for the Bali MICE Guide – Bali’s only Comprehensive Guides to Meetings and Conferences

Edition of the Bali MICE Guide – a detailed handbook on meetings and conferences in Bali has been delivered from the printers and is being shipped to qualified decision makers in the meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition sectors.

Supported by more than 60 leading conference centers, hotels, resorts and suppliers in Bali – the guide contains comprehensive details on every aspect of venues, attractions and accommodation in Bali.

To qualify to receive a copy of the Bali MICE Guide register at [Bali MICE Guide Request].

Join The Jakarta Launch Party

Members of the Bali MICE Initiative featured in the Bali MICE Guide will host a launch party on Thursday, January 17, 2013, at “onfive” the exclusive penthouse venue at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Jakarta.

Held exclusively for meeting planners in Jakarta, the lavish cocktail will feature a range of valuable to door prizes and a chance to network directly with Bali’s leading MICE professionals.

To qualify for a limited invitation, send your contacts, including company and current position to [Email].
 


 
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