Bali Discovery Tours
Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia
Tel: +62 (0)361 286 283
Bali Fax: +62 (0)361 286 284
24h: +62 (0)812 3819724
BALI UPDATE #094 - 18 NOVEMBER 1998
IN THIS UPDATE
- Bali remains peaceful and calm
- Air Access as Main Obstacle to Bali & Beyond Tourism
- Washington Times to Highlight Bali and Indonesia
- Bali's Young Chefs to Compete
BALI REMAINS PEACEFUL
Local news media report a degree of normalcy steadily
returning to Jakarta following the violent outbreaks last Friday. A national
religious holiday on Tuesday served as a needed pause before businesses
and city transportation resumed full operations in Jakarta today.
As was the case during last May's upheavals, Bali
has remained largely calm throughout the most recent incidents in the
Nation's political life. Here in Bali, students briefly staged a sit-in
protest at Bali's International Airport last weekend that was peaceful
and did not cause any delays in passenger movements. Prayers and political
speeches have been made by student groups at the local government-owned
TV and radio station and at the the local ruling political party's headquarters.
In fact, the possibility of outright conflict with local police and military
authorities seems very remote in Bali where violence is eschewed by all
parties and a seemingly cordial camaraderie exists between security officials
and those exercising their democratic rights of speech.
Indeed, Bali remains peaceful. Many local hotels
are reporteding substantially higher than normal occupancy levels as Indonesians,
long aware of the prevailing peace here, continue to flock to this island
of peace in troubled times.
In travel advisories issued by both the Australian
and U.S. Governments over the past days, Bali has been singled out as
"calm" and "free of the disturbances" that have occurred in other areas
of the Country.
AIR ACCESS AS MAIN OBSTACLE
TO BALI & BEYOND TOURISM
A recent familiarization trip organized by the Bali
branch of the Indonesian Association of Travel Agents (ASITA) to the islands
just east of Bali (East Nusa Tenggarra), identified air access as the
major obstacle to developing tourism in that region.
Spending 7 days visiting the region, the ASITA team
of experts were exploring ways to package and promote "Bali & Beyond"
tourism. Lack of flights, cancelled flights, and the difficulties of obtaining
confirmed return air space on domestic flights from Bali to the eastern
islands were highlighted by the team as making the promotion of these
areas problematic. One participant pointed out how current consumer protection
legislation in Europe made local tour operators liable to claims for reimbursement
of an entire tour package cost when passengers are delayed or inconvenienced
by cancelled flights.
Promotion of tourism without first getting the fundamentals
right is of little value. In the words of one of the ASITA team's participants
reported in the BALI POST, "the Government has promoted its 'Let's Go
Indonesia' program, hopefully this problem (air accessibility in eastern
Indonesia) will not make that program become 'let's stop Indonesia."
Food for thought from tourism industry professionals.
WASHINGTON TIMES TO
HIGHLIGHT BALI AND INDONESIA
The Washington Times is publishing a special report
on Indonesia scheduled to appear in late December to early January. The
multi-page Indonesia focus will include a section on Bali with emphasis
on the role tourism plays in the national economy.
Such balanced and positive information about Indonesia
is invaluable at times like these and the Indonesian Ambassador to the
United States, Dr. Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti, is actively supporting this
special report as one of many steps to combat negative portrayals of Indonesia
by the media, which has caused great hardship on the tourism industry.
A number of Bali hotels have committed to advertising
in this special report. Bali's section will include a proposed half-page
of advertisements from seven sponsors surrounding a statement and the
logo from BALI PROMO. The size of each sponsor's space is 11 cm wide by
8.9 cm high at a cost of US$ 3,500.
Those interested in supporting Bali's inclusion in
this special report in one of America's most influential papers should
contact the Washington Times at telephone (USA) 1 (202) 636-3119 and ask
for Ms. Carolyn Dwyer or Mr. Carl Hagen. Deadline for materials is December
BALI'S YOUNG CHEFS TO
"The Black Box Culinary Challenge" will once again
be held at Bali's Sheraton Nusa Indah Hotel on Thursday and Friday of
this week. Open to Bali's kitchen professionals under the age of 30, this
competition was created to encourage and educate young local chefs about
the high quality and various uses of Australian products.
Working in teams of three, the cooks receive a mystery
"Black Box" of fine Australian produce - prime cuts of beef, lamb or goat
meat, a range of top class dairy products and premium quality Australian
seafood - from which they must create an interesting and innovative menu.
Labouring overnight, the teams work to create an
appetiser, main course and dessert which are then served at a gala dinner
at which 200 VIP guests are invited on the Friday evening.
Cash prizes and trophies are awarded, including a
"Best Team" perpetual trophy for the overall winning performance.
Last year I attended the final evening and, in a
spirit of civil sacrifice, submitted to serving as a "guinea pig" for
the delicious culinary offerings of the islands' young chefs. By all accounts,
I served in this role with great gusto.
It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.
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