"I've found Bali Discovery Tours to be one of the most well informed and informative companies to deal with on Bali. They are professional and well organized. A very legitimate company that offers good discounts."
Air Transportation and Telecommunications in Bali Do Not Escape the Effects of Massive Flooding 1,000 kilometers Away in Jakarta.
While the devastating flooding occurring in the first days of February 2007 caused more than 50 deaths and an estimated 300,000 residents to flee their homes in Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta, Bali remained directly unscathed by the bad weather and inundation occurring nearly 1,000 kilometers to the West.
While Bali residents watched the events unfolding in the Capital on their television sets, some carry-on effects were felt locally, including:
• Local travel agents in Bali reported sales of Jakarta-bound air tickets were down by as much as 40% as people delayed or cancelled planned trips to the Capital.
• Bali-based stock brokers reported reduced levels of transactions and volume of sales as business came to a stand still in Jakarta, with many investors waiting to see the long-term effects of the floods on the national economy. During the height of the flooding, the Indonesian Average Share Index closed slightly lower, losing more than one-third of a percent.
• Overland tourist from Jakarta to Bali decreased, as bus and train schedules were disrupted.
• Domestic flights from Jakarta to Bali also experienced somewhat lower average loads as many Jakartan's were reluctant to leave their homes and roads between the Capital Cty and Jakarta's airport were closed at times due to flooding .
• Users of the Speedy Internet Service Providerin Bali, both on an individual customer basis and at Internet Cafes, experienced delays and interruptions in service due to problems attributed to the flooding affecting the Telkom headquarters in Jakarta .
The Year of the Pig Dawns in Bali
Bali Hotels Beginning to Fill Up with Chinese New Year Holiday Makers.
Local hotel and villa operators are hoping for a momentary spike in occupancies over the coming weeks in an otherwise quiet February with the celebration of Chinese New Years, commencing on February 18, 2007.
The Year of the Pig
At the beginning of the year of the pig which, according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, should be a period of growing prosperity and self-confidence, Bali tourism operators find these traits mirrored in a week-long period of higher bookings as many in the region will take advantage of the holiday to escape to Bali. Many hotels are beginning to report fully booked conditions with many others hoping to top-up their occupancy in the final week leading up to the Celebration.
If you need help finding a room in Bali over the Spring Festival period of Chinese New Years, contact Balidiscovery.com.
Silence – An Exhibition by I Made Galung Wiratmaja
Paintings by I Made Galung Wiratmaja at the Ganesha Gallery – Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran March 6 -30, 2007.
The Gianyar-based Balinese artists I Made Galung Wiratmaja will be holding a one-man show at The Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay, March 6-30, 2007.
For I Made Galung Wiratmaja silence is a symbol of complete spiritual freedom. His paintings are dominated by the quest of freeing himself and his art from the 'noise' of everyday life. This urge is a form of iconoclasm and mystical quest for purity. It attempts to achieve silence by focusing on the inner self rather than exterior aesthetics.
In this way silence and minimalism merge into a radical form of beauty that evokes a sense of ecstatic immediacy that shatters stereotypes. It is the logical conclusion of the process of reduction, a transcendental self created state that rises above the limits of reality and art by eliminating everything except the very essence.
Born in Bali and educated in the Arts Faculty of Bali's Udayana University, Wiratmaja has participated a wide number of solo and group exhibitions at galleries and museums across Bali.
The exhibition "Silence" runs from March 6 through March 30 at the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay, daily from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m..
For more information, contact the gallery at ++62-(0)361-701010.
Visits to Bali's Bird Market Down 75%
Despite Bio-Security Measures to Keep Local Bird Market Free of Avian Flu, Many Foreign Tourists Giving the Tourist Attraction a Miss on Their Travel Itineraries.
Concerns over possible bird flu contagion is apparently having a negative impact on Bali's main Satria Bird Market with vendors reporting a drop of 75% in foreign visitors.
According to the Indonesian-language BisnisBali, the manager of the bird market in downtown Denpasar, Tjokorda Ngurah Alit Agung, said that foreign tourist visits to the market are down by 75%, a development he blames on the negative news surrounding bird flu.
While foreign tourist are keeping their distance from the formerly popular stop on a Denpasar city tour, domestic visitors seem less concerned - with the number of local bird hobbyists attending the Satria Market unaffected.
Satria Market Free of Avian Flu
Tests conducted by the Livestock Services of Denpasar and Bali have both confirmed the Satria Bird Market to be free of bird flu. In order to ensure that Bali's bird market remains disease free, kiosk owners are regularly disinfecting all birds cages. Udayana University in Bali has donated 3 spray cleaners to the market and provided training to help upgrade bio-security measures.
Tourism Industry Challenges the Government to Take the Necessary Steps to Achieve a Target of 7 Million Foreign Tourists to Indonesia in 2007.
As reported on balidiscovery.com [Bali and Indonesia Targets Growth in 2007 Arrivals], the stated target of 5.5 million foreign visitors from the Department of Culture and Tourism has been ridiculed by Indonesia's Vice-President, Jusuf Kalla, who's urging a more ambitious target in 2007 of 7 million, an increase of +27%.
According to the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik is warming up to the challenge laid by the Vice President, telling the press that the target will be formally reviewed at a meeting set for February 12, 2007.
Meanwhile, members of Bali's tourism industry are adopting a "wait and see" attitude to the higher target, pausing to hear what concrete steps the Government has in mind to ensure the new target is achievable and what role the private sector will take in these programs.
Bagus Sudibya, the Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), is urging the Minister of Culture and Tourism to quickly provide guidance to the tourism industry in order to create the necessary synergy for success. Sudibya explained: "What's most important and fundamental is for the government and private sector to sit together. We must have a shared perception between the regulators, the legislative and the practitioners in the field. Do we really all seek to make tourism the locomotive of the national economy? At present the government seems to be ambivalent on this point."
Sudibya went on to explain how the government publicly supports tourism on one hand, while on the other provides weak support to the tourism sector. To bring 7 million foreign tourist to Bali – when seen from the aspect of creating an "open skies policy" still lacks a common perception shared between the Minister of Culture and Tourism, the Minister of Transportation, the Minister for State-Owned Enterprises and the private sector members of the tourism industry.
Sudibya asked: "Is 7 million foreign tourist within the present capabilities of the national flag carriers? And, if foreign carriers are granted traffic rights, what happens to national aviation?"
"In principle, the aviation industry and the tourism industry must sit together. Can all the national airlines actually operate internationally given the advanced age of their armadas and the regulations imposed on international flight operations?", added Sudibya.
Sudibya called for some careful calculations to be done to determine the ideal flight capacity to Bali needed to fill the estimated 52,000 rooms, equivalent to 18 million room nights, per year existing among starred hotels and luxury villas in Bali.
Enjoying a Beach–Side Château in Bali
Château Branaire-Ducru Vertical Wine Tasting and Six-Course Menu Prepared by a Celebrity Chef at the Oberoi Bali on February 16, 2006.
As reported on balidiscovery.com [Enrico Wahl Joins Oberoi Bali
], the Oberoi Bali has recently acquired the services of a distinguished European Chef to head its Kitchen. Wahl has extensive experience at several Michelin star-rated restaurants on the Continent as well as a stint of the world renowned Anton Mosiman Private Dining Club in London.
To introduce this talented young chef to the community, Oberoi Bali is offering a lavish six-course tasting menu paired with distinguished Bordeaux Château Branaire Ducru wines at a limited-seating event on Friday, February 16, 2007, commencing with beach-side cocktails at 7:30 p.m.
Joining the very special culinary event will be Patrick Maroteaux, owner of the Château Branaire Ducru, to compare tasting notes and share stories of the wine-making art central to his business.
Amuse: Sous vide braised pork belly with cherry tomato and onion marmalade
Red wine poached amberjack with beurre noisette foam and "vinegar highlights"
Château Branaire Ducru, St. Julien 2003
Crépinette of artichoke, duck confit and foie gras with sesame croustillant
Château Branaire Ducru, St. Julien 1999
Seared fillet of Australian Wagyu beef, caramelized root vegetable cassoulet
Château Duluc, St. Julien 2000
Château Branaire Ducru, St. Julien 1996
Gratin of Cabecou Racamadour goat cheese and sea water cooked young potatoes, preserved black truffle
Château Branaire Ducru, St. Julien 1995
Whole baked peach with orange crumble, butter milk and passion fruit sorbet
Château Brainaire-Ducru, Saint Julien
Rated as Fourth Growth under the 1855 classification system of the French Republic, Château Brainaire-Ducru produces a low yield of grapes, a fact attributed to the advanced age of their vines (average 35 years) and the unique demands and stresses of the local terroir.
Originally part of the Château Beychevelle - which still operates just across the road, the current property was acquired by Jean-Baptiste Braneyre in 1680 when it became known as Château Branaire. Owned by various members of the 'de Luc' family for well over a century, some members of the clan were arrested during the French Revolution. It was during this period that the family name changed to Duluc.
In 1824, the main building of the property (not really a Château) was built by Louis and Justin Duluc. The property passed through the hands of succeeding generations of the Duluc family until 1875 when Gustave Ducru became the sole owner. In 1919 the property was sold to Jean-Michel Tapie.
The modern era for Château Branaire-Ducru began in 1988 when the estate was purchased by the Maroteaux family. Patrick Maroteaux is the President of the company and will join the vertical tasting at the The Bali Oberoi on February 16, 2007.
Reservations Are a Must
Seating is strictly limited for this special dinner and wine tasting. Cost including pre-dinner cocktails, the six-course dinner and all wines is only Rp. 990,000 ++ (approximately US$ 132) per person.
Reservations can be made by calling Made Yudiastuti at ++62-(0)361-730361.
Foreign Workers in Bali
Only 1,385 Foreign Workers Official Registered with Bali's Department of Manpower. A Small Fraction of the 'Real' Foreign Work-Force Living on the Island?
The Indonesian-language Bali Post reports that 1,385 foreign workers are officially recorded by Bali's Office of Manpower as being employed in various sectors across the island.
The Department of Manpower reported that from that total - 234 Japanese, 200 Australian, 197 Americans, 152 U.K. citizens, 149 French citizens and 123 Germans are among those holding formal working permits issued by the government. Data tracked by the government reveals that of the foreigners working in Bali - 288 are concerned with quality control, 225 in marketing positions, 215 in business development and 183 are employed as managers.
The Manpower Department admitted that the problem of illegal foreign workers continues to grow and be a concern to their officials. A spokesman for the Manpower Department pledged to work closely with the police and other agencies to identify illegal workers and their employers in order that they can be brought to justice.
Illegal foreign workers in Bali represent substantial losses in unpaid payroll taxes and a mandatory yearly training contribution of US$1,200 paid by every foreigner holding an official working permit in Bali.
Indonesian Tourism Arrivals Down -2.61% in 2006
Despite Drop in Arrivals Nationwide, Foreign Tourist Spent More and Stayed Longer in 2006.
The Indonesia-language daily Kompas reports that foreign tourism arrivals nation-wide in 2006 were down -2.61%, as compared to 2005. Total foreign tourist arrivals reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (BPS) totaled 4.871 million in 2006 with 5.002 million foreign visitors recorded in the previous year.
The BPS estimates that foreign tourism to Indonesia contributed US$4.4 billion dollars to the Indonesian economy in 2006. This compares to an estimated US$4.5 billion generated by foreign tourists in 2005, a drop of -2.22%.
Length of Stay & Average Spend
According to the BPS, the average length of stay for foreign visitors averaged 9.05 days in 2006, decreasing slightly from the 9.09 days recorded in 2005.
Each visitor to Indonesia in 2006 is estimated to have spent US$913, up +1.01% from the US$904 spent in 2005.
Thaksin Slips In to Bali, Again
Ousted Thai Premier Makes Second Holiday Trip to Bali in 3 Months.
Where do you go on holiday when you're immensely wealthy and can visit almost any country in the world except your homeland?
Apparently, if you're Thaksin Shinawatra, the ousted Prime Minister of Thailand, Bali is one of your preferred homes away from home.
As reported on balidiscovery.com [Thailand or Bali? Thaksin Picks Paradise], Thaksin visited Bali in November 2006, and was once again back on the Island February 7-8, 2007, when he stayed in a private villas at the Le Méridien Nirwana Golf & Spa Resort .
Denying rumors that he was in Bali to meet with a ranking Indonesian official, Thaksin explained to the press, "I really enjoy playing golf on the green fairways while enjoying the beautiful panoramic views of Tanah Lot Temple."
Thaksin reportedly arrived in Bali after a visit to the Maldives before continuing his journey to Melbourne, Australia, traveling on board a private jet.
New Emerging Markets to Bali
Bali by the Numbers: Growing Source Markets for Bali Tourism to Watch in 2007.
In the last in a series of statistical reviews of Bali's foreign arrivals in 2006, Bali by the Numbers looks four new emerging markets to Bali.
New Medium-Sized Markets to Bali
Over the past seven years Bali has seen the following four new medium-sized inbound markets emerge.
▪ Malaysia - in the seven years from 2000 through 2006, Malaysian arrivals have increased +347.5%, hitting 72.724 in 2006. The majority of this growth in visitors ex-Malaysia can be traced to 2004 and the introduction of budget fares with Air Asiain that year.
▪ People's Republic of China - Mainland Chinese arrivals to Bali hit 42,687 in 2006, exhibiting an amazing growth rate from a near-zero base in 2000. Expect numbers from the PRC to grow even more over the coming years due to the easing of visa requirements for Chinese visitors and the promise of direct flights to Bali.
▪ Singapore - Singapore arrivals hit 40,664 in 2006, equal to +134.1% in growth from arrivals in 2000 (17,370).
▪ Russia - Limited to mostly charter flight in years past, arrivals from Russia have risen +250% since 2001 due to the recent introduction of regular flights by Singapore Airlines from Moscow and the granting of visa-on-arrivals for Russian nationals, whose total arrivals reached 23,649 in 2006.
New Small-Sized Markets to Bali
Four smaller-sized, but still significant, inbound markets to Bali have also emerged over the first seven years of the new millennium.
▪ India - Due to recent changes in the visa policy, India visitors to Bali jumped +88.34% in the single year from 2005 (6,792) to 2006 (12,792).
▪ Hong Kong - Hong Kong residents have discovered Bali as a holiday destination growing from 773 visitors in 2000 to 9,550 in 2006 – an increase of +1,134.45%.
▪ Timor Leste - The birth of the world's newest country in East Timor contributed a not unsubstantial 5,092 visitors in 2006.
▪ South Africa - South African visitors reached 4,210 in 2006, growing from an almost non-existent base in 2002. Excellent connections to Bali from South Africa via Singapore Airlines and Malaysian Airlines portend that numbers will continue to grow from S. Africa.
An Exhibition of Nude Drawings by Tim Brown and Pranoto February 14 – March 14, 2007 at the Bali Mystique Hotel.
As reported on balidiscovery.com [The Very Bare Necessities of Art] Pronoto's Gallery on Ubud's Main Street hosts twice-weekly life drawing classes every Wednesday and Saturday, from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m..
Tracing its roots to the weekly gatherings of local and expatriate artists, the two-man exhibition "Body Double" at Bali Mystique Hotel in Kerobokan exhibits the nude drawings of the Ubud gallery's Owner, Pranoto, and an English-born artist Tim Brown.
Born in London in 1954 and now resident in Bali, Tim Brown trained at Waterford and Exeter Art Colleges where he initially copied the works of old masters to understand their techniques. A professional artist for more than 20 years, Brown has exhibited in London, Bath, Los Angeles and Dubai. His commissioned works reside around the world in such locales as South Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Europe, New York and Tokyo.
Brown says of the current exhibition: "I am deeply indebted to Pranoto and Kerry Pendergrast for the wonderful opportunity to attend their excellent model sessions at Pranoto's Gallery in Ubud. Without them, and the models, this exhibition would not have been possible."
Born near Solo in Central Java in 1954, as a child he already aspired to become an artist, eventually relocating to Bali in 1974 in order to pursue an artistic vocation.
Becoming, over time, a mentor to many Indonesian and expatriate artists living in Bali, Pranoto established Pranoto Gallery in 1996 to exhibit and sell his own art and that of his friends, as well as provide a location for the weekly model sessions.
Pranoto's art reveals his playful engagement with a variety of techniques and medias, currently preferring charcoal and paper.
His work has been exhibited in Bali, Java, South Korea, Australia and Great Britian.
"Body Double" – Drawings by Pranoto and Tim Brown
An exhibition of colored pencil and charcoal figure drawings by Pranoto and Tim Brown:
Place: Bali Mystique Hotel, Jalan Petititenget 2000XX, Kerobokan, Bali
Dates: Daily from February 14 – March 14, 2007.
Click images to enlarge
Bali Update's New Look
Approaching our 9th Birthday, Edition 544 of Bali Update Premiers New Look and Feel.
As Bali Update approaches March 2, 2007 – the 9th Anniversary of Bali's only weekly e-zine newsletter on tourism-related events across the island, we're rolling out a whole new look for the email that now lands in more than 17,000 email boxes around the world every Monday.
Some of the features of the "new" Bali Update, include:
▪ A cleaner, more business-like feel to our presentation and lay-out.
▪ Because of changes in the presentation, a smaller file-size which will result in faster transmission rates and downloading speeds.
▪ New "coding" of the newsletter to make it more email client friendly, ensuring compatibility with most major email systems in use today.
▪ A "shorter" layout that we hope will make it easier to read with less scrolling.
We hope you like our new modern and sophisticated design and will use the occasion to tell us what you think of the new format and share any suggestions on how to make the Bali Update more useful in keeping you up-to-date on the world's favorite tropical island holiday destination.