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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #950 - 17 November 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


Stewards to a Kingdom of Animals
ATEC 2013 - Leading The Way In Animal Care And Welfare In Indonesia

Animal care and wildlife specialists from more than 10 countries across the globe recently departed Bali after spending a memorable four days attending the inaugural Animal Training and Education Conference (ATEC) held at the Bali Safari and Marine Park.

The conference held December 1-5, 2013 saw leaders in the field of animal training from as far afield as the U.S.A., Kuwait, Sweden, Russia, Qatar, Singapore and Australia gather to share in the latest thinking and methodologies in animal welfare and care; learning how to enrich the lives of all captive animals in zoos, sanctuaries and animal shelters.

Click Image to Enlarge
Guided by a shared commitment to non-coercive training and the creation of stimulating living environments for captive animals, the ATEC 2013 participants heard world experts in the field share their knowledge on best practice within the setting of the award-winning Bai Safari and Marine Park located on the outskirts of Bali’s capital city of Denpasar.

In keeping with Bali Safari and Marine Park’s commitment to animal enrichment and captive breeding programs of endangered species, ATEC 2013 presented a rare opportunity for young professionals from zoos, animal rehabilitation centers and veterinary hospitals centers from across Indonesia to obtain hands-on experience in a world-class facility in sessions led by highly regarded animal handlers and animal park designers.

Reflecting a world trend for compassionate care of captive animal population, notes were exchanged on the use of non-invasive and non-stressful animal handling techniques. The somewhat serendipitous discovery of the delegates at ATEC 2013 is that when caregivers focus on enriching the lives of the animals in their care the job satisfaction of those providing the case is also augmented.

The 5-days of lectures, seminars, demonstrations and animal training sessions were conducted in both English and Indonesian reflecting the inclusive approach to training and sharing embraced by ATEC 2013’s organizers. Several lead zookeepers from the Bali Safari and Marine Park shared their knowledge both through formal presentations and behind-the-scenes encounters with some of the more than 400 animals from 6- species that make their home at the Park.

One of the ATEC 2013 exhibitors, Aussiedog - an Australian company specializing in enriching toys and equipment for donated a wide range of their product line to the Indonesian Zoo Association (PKBSI) for distribution to worthy zoos in Indonesia.

ATEC 2013 received high marks from delegates, both from Indonesia and abroad, who universally praised the knowledge and experience gained from sharing five days with world experts in animal care and training at the Bali Park with its highly skilled zookeping staff internationally recognized for their “best practice” in nurturing captive animals.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for all the local zoo industry participants who from zoos in Surabaya, Bandung, Jakarta and Bali to gain a vast amount of knowledge from the international experts in animal welfare and care,” said Hans Manansang, general manager, Bali Safari & Marine Park. “Exchanging experience and learning is the key to advancing forward in any industry and this event has given a real boost to our zoo keepers and veterinarians here at the park,” he added.


Peace on Earth and Bali
Bali Among Destinations Listed as Terrorist Target Over Christmas and New Year Holidays

Bali has been included in a list of areas noted by the National Police as potential targets for terrorist acts during the Christmas and New Years Holidays.

The Bali Post quotes the chief of the National Police, General Sutarman, who said on Monday, December 16, 2013, “The terrorists are still alive, so all of their movements I report to the regions."

Indonesia’s top law enforcement officer said that based on his observations, terrorists were now active in Poso (Sulawesi), Solo (Central Java), West Nusa Tenggara, East Java, Lampung (South Sumatra) and other areas.

General Sutarman said he has shared his information and observations with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono regarding the threat of terrorist attacks over Christmas and New Years.

“Preventive steps must be taken to avoid any attacks. We (the police) will approach extremists. We will protect the public who must also practice caution,” said Sutarman.

The head of the information division at the National Police Headquarters, Brigadier General Boy Rafli Amar, said the police have established priorities for “Operation Candles” (Operasi Lilin) to ensure peace and order over Christmas and News Years.

14 areas of Indonesia have been given top priority for “Operasi Lilin”: North Sumatra, Metro Jaya (Jakarta), West Java, Central Java, East Java, Bali, East Kalimantan, Papua, the Special Administrative District of Yogyakarta, Central Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and Central Kalimantan.

“Operasi Lilin” gets underway on December 23, 2013 and ends on January 1, 2014. A total of 92,000 police personnel nationwide will be deployed as part of the special operations over the holiday.

Related Article

Terror Alert for Christmas and New Year


Bali Welcomes Jetstar Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Jetstar Trials Boeing 787 Flight from Melbourne to Bali, Preparing Gradual Changeover to Dreamliners on Airline’s Long-Haul flights.


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’s Ngurah Rai Airport welcomed its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, when a Jetstar flight from Sydney to Bali touched down in Denpasar.

224 passengers were on board the inaugural service using the state-of-the-art Dreamliner scheduled to be used on a full-time basis by Jetstar between the two destinations starting in January.

Jetstar JQ 035/036 landed at 5:50 pm departing on the return leg to Melbourne at 6:58 pm carrying 127 passengers.

The flight heralds a changeover underway by Jetstar to gradually replace its existing fleet of Airbus A330s with Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Plans will see four Boeing 787s in operation by April on its way to operating 14 Dreamliners by the end of 2015.

The arrival of the Jetstar flight also provided an opportunity for ground handlers at Bali’s airport to put into practice training underway for nearly a year preparing to meet the special technical and ramp handling requirements to serve a Dreamliner.


Bali Economically Optimistic
Bank Indonesia: Strong Growth by Bali’s Tourism Industry Predicted for 2014

Bank Indonesia remains optimistic that tourism prospects for Bali will remain strong in 2014.

Beritabali.com reports that Bank Indonesia remain equally buoyant that tourism visitors to Bali will continue to grow in 2014, surpassing the total 3.1 million foreign visitors projected by the Bank for all of 2013.

The chief of the Bank Indonesia office for Bali and Nusa Tenggara, Benny Siswanto, says tourism numbers will grow because of repairs and upgrades being carried out on tourism objects by the province of Bali and regional administrations on the Island.

Siswanto added that Bali remains attractive for investors as evidenced by the building of a number of new hotels in Bali.

The Bank Indonesia chief for Bali also said the strength of the U.S. Dollar against the Indonesian Rupiah is fueling extra buying power for tourists visiting Bali.


Flights for High Browse
Garuda Expands Connectivity Service its Airbus A330 Flights

Garuda Indonesia is pushing ahead with in-flight connectivity on board its Airbus A330.

Click Image to Enlarge
y, December 20, 2013, Garuda introduced WiFi services on its flight GA 406 from Jakarta to Denpasar (Bali) and Garuda 886 Denpasar to Haneda (Japan).

As reported by Bisnis.com, the director of services for Gaurda Indonesia, Faik Fahmi, said connectivity service on Airbus 330 duplicates a similar service already in place on the Airline’s Boeing 777-300 ER fleet.

Fahmi said the expansion of connectivity services forms part of Garuda’s efforts to expand its service to the public, especially on medium and long-haul routes.

Commenting further, Fahmi said: “This development is in keeping with the ‘New Service Concept’ being implemented by Garuda. First Class has been reintroduced, while service to Business Class and Economy has been upgraded.”

Connectivity service allows all classes of service on the designated flights to stay on-line via WiFi connections whilst in flight.

The new service is the result of cooperation between Garuda and Telkom.

Current Indonesian regulations only allow WiFI connectivity when a plane is operating at altitude exceeding 10,000 feet.

Initially, the new service is being introduced on three Airbus A330-200 and one Airbus A330-300 aircrafts operated by Garuda Indonesia. Plans are to eventually install the service on all Airbus A330s operated by the Indonesian national carrier.


Preserving Peak Performance
Bangli Regent: UNESCO Geopark Status of Batur Volcano Under Threat

The regent of Bangli, Made Gianyar, has defiantly announced that the continuing status of the Batur Volcano as a member of the UNESCO Global Geopark Network (GGN) must be seen as a ‘do or die” proposition for his regency.

As reported by Bisnis Bali, the Regent has called on all components of the community to safeguard the UNESCO Geopark designation for the caldera and surrounding areas to ensure that the status is renewed during an audit performed once every four years.

In comments made by Gianyar on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, the continuing Geopark status for Batur deserves the support of all parties. Citing the long and hard fought battle to secure Geopark status from UNESCO, Gianyar said it would be tragic if Geopark status is lost in a future review.

The Regent warns that UNESCO will be looking to ensure that Batur is developing as a destination capable of sustainability and protecting itself from environmental degradation. He continued his warning, pointing to excavation of the area (Galian C) that is changing the face of the Park.


Bali Hotel Rate War Escalates
With the Notable Exception of Nusa Dua, Many Hotels in Bali are involved in Intense Price Competition

As Bali grows increasing fearful of an escalating price war among the Island’s hotels, rates among hotels within the Nusa Dua Complex (BTDC) are reported to be increasing.

Bisnis Bali said that despite declining occupancies, the average room rate among BTDC hotel hit US$152.94 per night.

Occupancies among BTDC hotels at Nusa Dua have fluctuated during 2013. By the end of September 2013 the average occupancy of the hotels within the complex stood at 67.7%. This compares to the 71.26% during the same period in 2012.

The same period in 2011 saw occupancies that averaged 74.43%. The highest achieved occupancy  was 78.63% achieved in 2008.

Despite the sliding occupancy rates at BTDC, the hotels within Nusa Dua are demonstrating performances that far excel those of other hotels in Bali where Island-wide the comparative occupancy measured 56%.

Tragically, hotels in many parts of Bali are increased in fierce price competition.

According to Bagus Sudibya, a director of the Indonesian Tourism Association in Bali (GIPI-Bali), speaking on Friday, December 21, 2013, said that many involved in Bali accommodation sector are ill equipped and confused on how to compete in the highly competitve accommodation sector. There is also the suspicion that some new hotel projects are merely fronts for money laundering.

Sudibya, who is the owner of the Bagus Discovery Travel Group, said that hotels that are professionally managed would survive. Such properties will be creative in developing their products and will stand on a firm financial base.

The GIPI official said well run hotels will not be lured into trying to compete with hotels built with corrupt proceeds and involved in money laundering, a situation he said is made worse by the lack of a regulatory authority dealing with unhealthy price competition.

Sudibya said that professionally operated hotels would not sacrifice quality for the sake of price competition. “The issue is not the price of a hotel room, but whether that price is viable with the level of service and guest satisfaction promised,” he warned.

An unregulated explosion in the number of hotel rooms on sale in Bali is causing occupancies to decline. Starred hotels across the Island year to date in Bali for 2013 average 56%, down from 60% in 2012. This declining occupancy contrasts with increasing number of visitors to Bali – expected to exceed 3.2 million foreigner tourists in 2013.

Sudibya, as the deputy-chairman of GIPI-Bali, said the drop in occupancies in Bali is hardly surprising given the excess supply against current demand for hotel rooms.

He also complained that the growing price competition was being fueled not only by the large increase in hotels but the uncontrolled construction of villas. This, he warned, in resulting in some hotels closing and cannibalism within the Bali hotel industry.


A Taxing Situation
Gianyar Thanks Top Tax Payers

Hotels remain the largest source of tax revenues for the regency of Gianyar in 2013.

For the regency, which includes the popular tourist area of Ubud, Hotel Taxes predominated followed in order or importance by Restaurant Taxes, Entertainment Taxes and Taxes for Water Wells.

The tally on taxes was revealed on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, at an award ceremony held to honor top taxpayers in Gianyar held at the Regent’s office.

The head of the tax revenue office for Gianyar, I Putu Gede Bayangkara, said the regions tax target for 2013 of Rp. 263.2 billion (US$21.9 million) has been exceed by 8.87% achieving Rp. 286.6 billion (US$23.9 million)

Hotel Tax revenues represented the largest source of tax revenues (Rp. 73.3 billion), Restaurant Taxes (Rp. 23.6 billion), Entertainment Taxes (Rp. 20.2 billion), and Water Well Taxes (Rp. 3.1 billion).

The awards given to top taxpayers are meant to express the regency’s thanks for supporting local development.


Ride the Tiger
Daily Low-Cost Air From Bali to Hong Kong Now Available from TigerAir Mandala

Tigerair Mandala Airlines have formally launched direct flights connection Surabaya and Denpasar (Bali) with Hong Kong.

Commencing December 15 and 16, 2013 direct daily Surabaya-Hong Kong and Denpasar-Hong Kong began operation with Tigerair.

Paul Rombeek, the president director of Tigerair Mandala told the press: “This is an important achievement for Tigerair Mandala. We are the only low cost carrier flying directly to Hong Kong; not just from one, but from three cities in Indonesia.”

Information provided by the Hong Kong Tourism Board shows 521,000 Indonesians visited Hong Kong in 2012, an increase of 15% over 2011.
 


Fear and Loathing from Small Minds
Terrorism Expert: Bali Not a Prime Target of Terrorists

Against the background of new terrorism warnings from the National Police saying Bali may be at risk of terrorist attack over the Christmas and New Year Holidays, the director of the National Body of for the Prevention of Terrorism (BNPT), Esa Permadi, has told a Bali audience that the Island is no longer a prime target for extremists.

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, Permadi recently told an audience in Sanur that Bali is no longer a main target for acts of terror. “The current strong unity and local knowledge (in Bali) not only bars terrorists but also prevents radical acts,” said Permadi.

He continued by saying that since the first Bali bombing of 2002 and the second bombing in 2005, the people of Bali, law enforcement agencies and local neighborhood watch (pecalang) are united to keep Bali safe.

“The BNPT also has joint programs with the public, academics, religious leaders, public figures and the youth to prevent radical thinking,” he said.

At the same time the BNPT caution that Bali is not immune to extraordinary acts of terrorism. “We are at risk if the people and officials let down their guard,” he warned.

The terrorism expert warned that there are still areas of Bali ripe for radical movements including Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi. In these areas he said there are still pockets of radicalism based on research carried out by the BNPT.

Related Article

Peace on Earth and Bali
 


Good for What Ails You
Siloam Hospitals Acquires BIMC Hospitals in Bali

PT Siloam International Hospitals have announced the acquisition of BIMC Hospital, operating medical facilitiies in Kuta and Nusa Dua.

The announcement was made on Monday, December 16, 2013.

According to Kompas.com, the acquisition took place through the purchase of 80% of the shares of PT Medika Sarana Traliansia by Siloam at a cost of Rp. 308 billion (US$25.6 million) including the assumption of the outstanding debt.

The acquisition sees Siloam operating three hospitals in Bali.

The recently opened Siloam Hospital on the Sunset Road in Bali provides 280 patient beds.

Dr. Gershu Paul, president director of the Siloam Hospital Group said: “Siloam also has plans to establish clinics in Ubud, Mataram (Lombok) and Labuan Bajo (Flores) to widen access to both quality primary and secondary health service in those areas.”

By purchasing BIMC Hospital, Siloam adds 80 patient beds to their Bali operation.
 


Beware of Falling Trees in Bali
5 Deaths Blamed on Strong Winds in North Bali.

Adverse weather in Bali’s north on Sunday, December 15, 2013 resulted in ancient trees falling along the Seririt-Singaraja road, blamed for the death of two local residents.

Desy Handayani (23) and Made Artana (46) from Mayong Village near Seririt were killed instantly when a large falling tree struck the motorcycle on which they were traveling.

As reported by Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post), police for the Seririt Police precinct confirmed the two were found dead at the scene with serious head injuries.

Commander I Made Joni issued a warning to the public, saying: “There are so many old trees along the roads, we cannot be sure about their condition.”

At the same time, police asked the department of public works to inspect the condition of trees lining the main highway.

A public works official from Buleleng refused to shoulder the blame, insisting that the trees are a matter for attention by the provincial government. Ketut Yasa of the Buleleng Public Works Office said: 

“The shade trees were planted by the provincial administration and therefore, it is their responsibility to deal with the trees.”

Wishing to spread around the blame even further, Yasa added: “All members of the community must also be proactive in protecting their locales, including reporting to Buleleng Public Works Agency, as well as the Sanitation and Landscape Agency, when they find old trees that may endanger motorists and people.”

The severe weather in Bali’s north was also blamed for the death of three construction workers at Lokpaksa in Serirt when the wall at a construction site collapse. Dead are three workers Gede Sarjana (25) from Karangasem, and Gusti Gede Mangku (45) and Gusti Aji Mangku (50) – both from Lokpaksa.


A Dark Transition to 2014?
Outsourced Workers' Union Threaten to Closed Down PLN, Garuda Indonesia and State Railways on December 31, 2013

New Year’s revelers in Bali and Java may be celebrating in the dark if power utility workers carry through with their threats to stage a “Black Day” on December 31, 2013.

Suppliers or outsourced companies providing services to the State Power Board (PT PLN) say they will make New Year’s Eve go “dark” if their demands are unmet.

Metronews.com reports that the Fraternal President of the Muslim Workers of Indonesia (PPMI), Ahmad Faud Anwar, repeated the threat on behalf of outsourced workers on Java and Bali that they are prepared to go on strike. Anwar said: “Just imagine if the employees of PLN, Garuda Indonesia and the State Rail Company (PT KAI) refuse to work. What will happen will be a total shut down. We wish to demonstrate that these are the things we run. We have a basic need (to be answered)." 

The union leader's statements were made at the Jakarta Legal Aid Office (LBH) on Saturday, December 14, 2013.

He said workers in Java and Bali were prepared to go on strike.

Ahmad also told how East Kalimantan once undertook a “Black Day” for 10 minutes that caused a total shutdown.

Ahmad went on to explain that the planned action is not sabotage, but the result of needed work procedures that have not been performed. Continuing to underline his threat, he said: “PLN has 700,000 outsourced workers. Imagine if they refuse to work. There will be no need to shut down the power, it will shut down on its own.”

Ahamd explained that the planned “Black Day” is a last ditch effort if demands are not met in negotiations being held in the run up to New Years.

The workers assigned to State-Owned Companies are demanding that the President issue an order in accordance with the recommendations of the Parliamentary Working Committee on Outsourcing and Labor for State-Owned Company.

The workers are also calling on the government to dismiss the Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Dahlan Iskan, and for the House of Representatives (DPR) to form a special legislative committee on outsourcing.


Restrained Celebration
Police and Kuta, Bali Village Officials to Restrain the Use of Fireworks and Firecrackers on New Year’s Eve

During the celebration of 2013-2014 New Year’s Eve on Bali’s popular Kuta Beach police have vowed that the roadsides will be free of vendors selling firecrackers and fireworks.

Tempo.co reports that the use of firecrackers and fireworks will be limited to specific areas.

These rules have been agreed with local village, sub-districts heads and the police in Kuta. An agreement between police and the local authorities was annonced by the sub-district chief (Camat) of Kuta, Gede Rai Wijaya, on Monday, December 16, 2013.

Rai said the steps had been undertaken to protect the heavy concentration of tourists expected to be on Kuta Beach ushering in the New Year.

Said Wijaya: “If we see traders selling fireworks, we will take firm action; telling them to get out of Kuta. We will (also) turn them over to the village chief for further action.”

Tourists wishing to celebrate the New Year with fireworks or firecrackers will only be allowed to do so beginning at 10:00 pm on December 31, 2103 until 2:00 a.m. on January 1, 2014.

The use of such material will be limited to several special areas on Kuta Beach. These areas will be outlined and controlled by the traditional village authorities of Kuta assisted by the Kuta Police Precinct.


Less than Happy Landings
Private Jet Operators Protest Higher Landing Fees at Bali Airport

Charter aircraft operators are complaining bitterly about mandatory ground handling fees being imposed on visiting aircraft by a joint-veture partner of  PT Angkasa Pura I  who manage of Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport.

The Jakarta Post reports that chartered planes have been obliged since October 2013 to use the services of PT ExecuJet Indonesia, despite the availability of competing service companies at the airport.

PT Execujet Indonesia
is a joint venture between Angkasa Pura and the Swiss ExecuJet Aviation Group.

Indonesian National Air Carrier Association (INACA) representative Denon Prawiraatmadja complained: “There are a number of firms providing the same services at Ngurah Rai. As players, we have the right to freely choose our own ground-handling partner that will help accommodate our operations.”

Angkasa Pura, in seeming violation of national anti-monopoly legislation, issued a circular in September requiring the services of their join venture be used.

The cost of using the Angkasa Pura affiliate is high. Explained Denon: 

“[AngkasaPura] charges every player, including those that provide pioneer flights or medical evacuation services, US$6,000 per landing, which is very expensive.”

Previously the charges were less than US$2,000.

Angkasa Pura justifies the steep increase in charges by pointing to the new private aviation terminal constructed to handle the growing number of private charter flights operating to Bali.

Angkasa Pura
has promised to meet and discuss the concerns of charter flight operators.


News that Really Bites
Bali Officials Admit Bali Won’t be Rabies-Free before 2015

The Jakarta Post (Bali Daily) reports that Bali has pushed back its target for once again being rabies free from 2012 to 2015.

The reemergence of rabies cases in several areas of Bali in 2013 meant efforts to completely eradicate the disease have failed.

A human casualty in September 2013 has also called into question the effectiveness of the government’s free vaccine program intended to protect those living on the island from dying from rabies bites.

The September 2013 fatality was the first confirmed human case of rabies since the previous July.

Dr. Ketut Suarjaya, the head of the Bali Health Agency explained: “Bali can only declare itself rabies-free if there is no single case of rabies in humans or animals within a two-year period.”

Cases of rabies among Bali’s dog population are still reported in the regencies of Gianyar, Bangli and Buleleng.

Health authorities still report an average 100 dog bite reports per day, down from the average 130 reported each day in 2012.

The Bali Post states that the stock of anti-rabies vaccine (VAR) for humans bitten by animals suspected of rabies is currently very low.

Bali’s Sanglah General Hospital is reportedly out of VAR stock and only treating bite victims by cleaning their wounds. Patients, promised free VAR by the government, are now being told they must purchase life-saving and expensive VAR from a nearby drug store.

The lack of VAR at the at Sanglah General Hospital and Udayana University Hospital – two of Bali’s largest medical centers -  is happening at the same time that Dr. Ketut Suarjaya insists Bali still has a remaining stock of 9,000 vials of VAR.

Suarjaya also says an additional 41,00 vials of VAR will arrive in Bali before the New Year.

In the meantime, those bitten by stray dogs are told to wash their bite wounds, seek a supply of free VAR from a local health center that still holds a stock, try to observe the attack dog for two weeks to see if it shows signs of a rabies infection or purchase VAR from a commercial pharmacy.


Taking Tourism Promotion for Granted
Lack of Government Funding Support for the Promotion Destines Bali Tourism Growth to be Stunted

The Bali Tourism Agency official in charge of promotions, Nyoman Wardawan, is complaining that the Rp. 1 billion (US$83,200) allocated from the provincial budget for tourism promotion in 2014 is “too little.”

As quoted by Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post), Wardawan said: 

 “The amount is similar to that in 2013, and we consider this small considering that tourism is Bali’s economic backbone. To sustain the economy, or even improve it, we need more funds to promote tourism.”

Wardawan says the money allocated isinsufficient to meet the Government’s desire to increase tourist numbers through the use of creative and innovative promotional activities.

With the limited funds in hand, the provincial tourism agency said delegations would join the annual ITB tourism Exhibition in Berlin and the World Travel Mart in London.

If additional funding can be secured during the course of the coming fiscal year, promotion might also be undertaken to other markets including Japan, India and China.

Meanwhile, what funding, if any, will be made available for the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD) remains unclear. The head of BPPD, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, claims he has received no confirmation of what funds will be made available, saying: 

“We have proposed funds [for programs], but there’s been no clarity. In fact, the law stipulates that the board was established by the government and we are entitled to funds from the central and regional budgets.”

Tjokorda said that the newly formed BPPD would like to focus on promoting Bali tourism to new travelers and promoting MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions), sports, leisure, silver (retirees) and creative tourism.

The BPPD has requested a minimum budget of Rp. 59 billion to operate in 2014.

Separately, the head of the Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board (BPPI), Wiryanti Sukamdani, says that at least US$10 is needed in promotional funding to lure one foreign visitor Indonesia.


Fire in Ubud
Fire Destroys Byukukung Spa and Restaurant in Ubud

During a heavy rainstorm on Friday evening, December 20, 2013, a fire consumed the spa and restaurant at Villa Byukukung on Jalan Sugriwa, Padangtegal, in Ubud.

The building, covered in thatching, were largely destroyed by the blaze.
Efforts by firefighters to bring the fire under control were frustrated by the distance of the burning buildings from the main road.

The Bali Post reports that the fire was first discovered at 10:15 pm. The fire quickly grew and spread, punctuated by the sound of exploding LPG canisters.

Shortly after midnight the complete complement firefighters and equipment from the Gianyar regency managed to contain the fire believed to have caused hundreds of millions in Rupiah of damage.

Police investigators believe the fire originated from a short-circuiting of the hot water systems for the spa that spread to a nearby LPG tank.


Guardian Angels on Patrol
Bali Police Out in Force to Keep Christmas and New Years Peaceful

The State News Agency Antara reports that as many as 12,260 police personnel will be on stand-by during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays for 2013-2014.

The head of the Bali Police Force, Inspector General Julius Benny Mokalu, said at an assembly for “Operasi Lilin” on Saturday, December 21m 2013, intended to safeguard the approaching holiday period: “We will maximize the deployment of 12,260 personnel. There will be no holidays, except for illness.”

Mokalu said that the police personnel would be synergized, proactive and innovative in working with members of the Armed Forces to secure all gateways to Bali, including informal access points that might be used by terrorists.

General Mokalu said Bali’s security situation remains conducive.

Related Articles

Fear and Loathing from Small Minds

Peace on Earth and Bali

Terror Alerts for Christmas and the New Year


Keeping the Plot
Swiss Charity Given Grant to Bali Children’s Project to Teach the Value of Agricultural Sustainability

Citizens Of Our World (COOW) – a Geneva, Switzerland-based non-profit association has award the Bali Children’s Project (BCP) a US$2,000 grant to re-educate Balinese kids and their families on the importance and joys of agriculture.

Click Image to Enlarge

BCP’s winning proposal was to build an organic, traditional and sustainable teaching garden in the village of Kembengan in Tulikup, Gianyar. The resulting garden is used to educate local Balinese youth in the heritage of medicinal plants by creating a rich and varied organic garden producing herbs and edible plants. A major aim of the garden is to help sustain the Balinese tradition of healing with natural herbal remedies that has been studied and practice through centuries but is now under threat from modernization.

Bali is a traditional agricultural society, but due to the pressures of modern tourism and changing land use, Balinese youth are forgetting how to grow the plants that once sustained their diets and provided the ingredients for traditional healing arts.

The COOW funding supports a Balinese gardening expert who will teach the children not only the use of the herbs for medicine, but also how to garden organically. The project will start with a 2 ARE (200 square meters) plot, but with expansion planned to adjoining land is available.

The funds provided by COOW, are helping to establish pilot small traditional gardens tended by those assisted by the Bali Children’s Project.

Demonstrating the value of farming, the produce from these small gardens is often sold, teaching in the process a valuable lesson in sustainability.
As a consequence of the pilot project in Tulikup, BCP staff, in cooperation with experts from Bali ROLE Foundation, is now also creating a small prototype garden at a kindergarten in Tegallalang, near Ubud.

A larger garden is also planned to be cultivated in January in Tulikup, multiplying the many benefits of the initial funding provided by COOW.
The Bali project is turning formally unproductive garden plots into “living drug stores” (Apotik Hidup) with plans that are put to productive ends.

Tourists visiting the Bali Children’s Project are shown the plots by the young agriculturalists who share their excitement and knowledge acquired by the enthusiastic kids.

Citizens of the World

Citizen Of Our World (COOW) was founded in 2009 to allow people around the world the chance to contribute to the well being of the most disadvantaged people through small, transparent and well-documented projects. Those contributing funds are also allowed to actively vote in selecting the recipients of grants that must, as a matter of eligibility, use 90% of the donated funds for actual project work.

The U.N. Millennium Goals for the planet reflect the values and aspirations of COOW.

Bali Children’s Project

Bali Children’s Project (BCP) is a tax-exempt non-profit charitable foundation that has been helping children in Bali for nearly two decades. Using education as a means of improving the lives of disadvantaged young people in Bali. BCP empowers children to realize their potential while learning how to enrich their lives and their villages.

Focusing on girls as a means of breaking the cycle of poverty, BCP programs include sponsorship of individual children, classroom support, teacher training, workshops and classes for Sex Ed and HIV-AIDS awareness and health.

Related Sites

Bali Children’s Project

Bali ROLE Foundation

Citizens Of the World 

They’ve Got to be Carefully Taught


Bali Counting on Soaring Arrivals
Bali Expecting 10 million Foreign and Domestic Tourists in 2014

The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy is targeting 9.1 million foreign tourists visiting Indonesia in 2014.

Meanwhile, the head of the Bali Tourism Service (Kadisparda), I.B. Kade Subhisku, quoted in Bisnis Bali, is targeting 3.5 million foreign tourist visitors to Bali for all of 2014. A projected 6.5 million domestic tourists  will supplement this number, resulting in a total 10 million visitors, both domestic and international for the year.

Balidiscovery.com is projecting Bali to end the year with 3.2 million foreign visitors. If this number is realized, Subhisku’s projection would represent a 9.4% improvement in foreign arrivals in 2014.

Subhisku annotated his projections for tourist arrivals in 2014 saying they were made ceteris apribus or on the understanding “all other things being equal or held constant.”

Subhisku, as the head provincial tourism office for Bali, said maintaining security and peace on the island is a main pre-condition to growing arrivals. He also pointed out that the improved infrastructure in Bali is now more supportive to the hosting of major meetings and conferences.

Related Article

Australian Visitors Flat-Lining to Bali


Come Ye Lassies and Laddies
Book Now for Robert Burn’s Night in Bali at the Bali Dynasty Resort Saturday, January 25, 2013

What has become the second national day of Scotland – Robert Burn’s Night will be celebrated in Bali on Saturday, January 25, 2013, at the Bali Dynasty Resort.

Celebrated each year on the date of the famed Scottish poet's birth for nearly 250 years, Burn’s night traditionally follow a format that includes a traditional Selkirk Grace, the ceremonial cutting of that quintessential Scottish dish of Haggis heralded into the room by a Scottish piper and the time-honored and emotion-filled “Address to the Haggis”

Joining Haggis at the table will be Cock a Leekie Soup, Neeps and Tatties, Scottish Rib of Beef and Hot Sticky Toffee Pudding.

There will also be keynote addresses, Scottish entertainments, the poetry of Robert Burns, a “Toast to the Lassies” and a traditional closing with a rendition of “Auld Lang Syne.”

Starting from the welcoming cocktail until the end of festivities – free flow beer and wine are provided.

Wines for the evening are sponsored by Artisan Estates.

Max Kay

Max Kay - a Famous Scottish Entertainer and also a Western Australian Icon will travel to Bali to serving as Master of ceremonies for the evening. Max has appeared all over the world, including Canada and Carnegie Hall in the U.S.A..
lead the evening of Scottish poetry and music, aided by members of the Scottish Diaspora living and vacationing in Bali.

Guests are encouraged to add to the Scottish quality of the night by wearing, at their option, the plaid of their clan.

Tickets for the evening cost Rp. 850,000 net (US$72), which covers cocktails, dinner and free flow beer and wine.

Select Scotch Whiskeys will also be available from a cash bar.

A 10% discount is available for advance purchasers of a table of ten.

The Bali Dynasty Resort is also offering special accommodation rates for those wishing to stay the Resort in connection with Robert Burns Night.

Golfing in Plaid

Interest is being surveyed among attendees for a friendly round of 9-holes of golf played in kilts on the Sunday afternoon following the Burn’s night.

For more information or to order ticket Email 


 
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