Bali News 2015 week 6

Designer’s Drugs

French Expat Furniture Designer Caught by Bali Police with Methamphetamines

 

Denpasar Police have arrested a French National and charged him with possession of methamphetamines.

 

Identified only by the initials YAN, the 43-year-old man was stopped by police following a tip-off from the public that the furniture designer was drug user.

 

Followed by police the man was pulled over on Friday, January 20, 2105 at 8:00 pm on Jalan Pura Banyu Kuning in Denpasar. An initial search failed to find any drugs. However, upon closer examination 2 small packets of methamphetamines weighing 1.37 grams were found hidden inside the lining of the Frenchman’s helmet.

 

Metrobali.com reports that the man has lived and worked in Bali for the past 8 years.

 

Police say the man may be charged with violating Section 112 of the criminal code (KUHP) related to narcotics use that carry a maximum penalty of 12 years prison.

 

 

Landing Badly

No Injuries as Garuda Flight from Bali to Lombok Slides Off the Runway

 

A Garuda Indonesia flight operating from Bali to Lombok slid of the runway while landing at the Lombok International Airport on Tuesday, February 3, 2015.

 

As reported by Detik.com, GA 740 landing at 5:03 pm after a short flight from Bali, veered left off the runway ending up on the grass perimeter surrounding the tarmac.

 

The vice-president for corporate communications at Garurda, Pujobroto, told the press, “An ATR72-600 aircraft with the registration PK-GAG ran off the runway and stopped in the grass while landing at the Lombok Praya Airport.”

 

All 29 passengers including one baby were safe and suffered no injuries in the incident. All were able to disembark the aircraft via the airplane’s steps.

 

Following the incident, the Lombok Airport was closed awaiting removal of the aircraft to a distance well removed from the runway.

 

A Garuda technical team from Jakarta and Singapore-based representatives of ATR prepared to fly to Lombok to assist in removing the aircraft bogged down in the soft-soil off the tarmac’s edge. but were temporarily delayed in undertaking that task due to the closed status of Lombok’s only active runway. Representatives from The National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) and National Aviation Agency (DKUPPU) also assisted in the investigation and retrieval of the aircraft.

 

Almost 48 hours after the incident the evacuation process was finally completed at 2:30 pm on Thursday, allowing normal flight operations to resume an hour later at 3:30 pm.

 

Workers at the scene said the removal of the aircraft from the grassy area back to the tarmac was complicated by the soft nature of the soil that required the use of inflatable balloons under the ATR72’s wings.

 

In order to quickly handle the backlog of passengers caused by the two-day closure, Garuda dispatched three wide-body Airbus A330-300 aircraft to replace Boeing B737-800NG planes on scheduled flight services to and from Lombok.

 

 

High Social Cost of Tobacco Use in Indonesia

Social Costs and Negative Impact of Tobacco Use in Indonesia Negates Any Revenues Generated for the State

 

The Sate News Agency Antara reports that the use of tobacco in Indonesia incurs losses to the State that are 3.5 time more than any income generated from cigarette sales.

 

These figures were revealed at a hearing held before Commission IX of the National House of Representatives (DPR-RI) on Monday, February 2, 2015 by the National Committee on Tobacco Use quoting a study done by Soewarta Kosen of the Indonesian Ministry of Health in 2013.

 

The Health Ministry study puts the losses incurred by the State due to tobacco use at Rp. 378.7 trillion (US$30.3 billion).

 

The figures break down as follows:

Tobacco purchases by the public Rp. 138 trillion (US$ 11 billion).

Estimated loss of productivity Rp. 235.4 trillion (US$ 18.8 billion).

Cost of hospitalization and outpatient care connected to tobacco use Rp. 5.3 trillion (US$424 million). 

Meanwhile, taxes collected from the sales of tobacco by the Indonesia government equal Rp. 103 trillion (US$8.2 billion).

 

In 2013,the Ministry of Health estimates 240,618 people died due to tobacco consumption each year with another 962,403 made ill by its use.

 

Djoni Rollindrawan, a member of Commission IX of the DPR-RI, said more must be done to socialize to the public the dangers of tobacco use.

 

Another Commission member, Suir Syam, said regulations outlawing public cigarette advertising must be introduced.

 

 

Indian Travel Agents to Meet in Bali

Travel Agent Association of India (TAAI) to Meet in Nusa Dua, Bali March 26-29, 2015

 

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) will hold its annual conference in Bali March 26-29, 2015 at the Bali International Conference Center.

 

According to TAAI acting president R. Sunil Kumar, 800 Indian Travel Agents are expected to attend the Bali conference with at least 25% of those involved in the meeting, conference, incentive and exhibition (MICE) sector.

 

Kumar said, “TAAI agents are looking forward to meeting with various convention bureaus from around the world who can use this platform to reach out to the key travel agents of India at one place.”

 

The Indian agents have themed the Bali conference on “Reflection – Redefining Relevance, ” emphasizing on improving business and remaining competitive in a fast-paced market.

 

 

 

No Tears over Spilt Beer

Bali Governor Calls for Support of April 16, 2015 Ban on Beer Sales at Minimarkets and Convenience Stores

 

Bali's Governor has expressed his opinion over the growing controversy regarding the prohibition against selling beer and other alcoholic beverages at minimarkets and convenience stores to take effect nationwide on April 16, 2015.

 

Governor Made Mangku Pastika told Kompas.com that he was in agreement with the Trade Ministry’s policy change to take alcohol off the shelves of minimarkets and convenience stores and said Bali must support the enforcement of the new regulation.

 

“If the government has already decided, we have to follow the rules,” said Pastika at the installation of echelon 2 officers for the Provincial Government on Tuesday, February 3, 2015.

 

Acknowledging opposition to the change in policy from many quarters, the Governor said that the Trade Ministry has certainly considered all the implications of the new prohibition, including the impact in tourist destinations such as Bali.

 

Pastika urges the public to positively view the Ministerial regulation.

 

“Yes, it (the policy change) was done with full consideration. I think the matter was considered carefully. What’s left is for us to implement the change. There should be no problem,” said Pastika.

 

 

National Tourism Arrivals Up 7.2% in 2014

Indonesia Targets 10 million Foreign Visitors in 2015

 

Foreign Tourist arrivals to Indonesia in 2014 exceeded official targets of 9.3 million with a final count of 9,435,411 tourist visitors. Year on year growth in tourist arrivals grew 7.2%.

 

Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Arief Yahya told Detik.com: “December 2014 saw us break past the psychological barrier of 900 thousand. That is a significant number. Later, during school holidays we will break 1 million foreign tourists in a single month,”

 

By achieving 900 thousand visitors in December 2014 the Tourism Minister is optimistic that Indonesia will be able to welcome 10 million foreign tourists in 2015. Yahya feels that Indonesia will surpass 1million visitors in the month for Chinese New Year and in June and July.

 

“In 2015 we target 10 million tourists. This will increase to 20 million by 2019,” boasted Yahya.

 

Seen nationally, data from the Ministry of Tourism and the Central Statistic Bureau (BPS) the greatest number of foreign visitors coming to Indonesia in 2014 came from Singapore (1.519,223 tourists); followed by Malaysia (1,276,105 tourists); Australia (1,098,383 tourists); China (959,231 tourists); and Japan (468,688 tourists).

 

Tourism officials expect Chinese visitors will displace Australians from third ranking in 2015, fueled on by new policy granting visa-free status to Chinese visitors.

 

 

Flying by the Rules

Indonesian Minister of Transportation Bans Airline Ticket Sales at Airports

 

Indonesia’s very proactive Transportation Minister has outlawed the sales of airline tickets at airports across the country.

 

Quoted by Tempo.co  on Monday, February 2, 2015, Yudis Tiawan from the State-owned Angkasa Pura that managed the nation’s main airports said, “There will be no more ticket counters at [Soekarno-Hatta International Airport's] terminal 1, 2 and 3 [from Feb. 15].”

 

The move by the Government was to curb the widespread presence of “calo” or ticket scalpers operating at airports. Without ticket offices and scalpers in operation the public will now need to purchase their tickets before departing for the airport.

 

The rule ordering the close of all ticket sales office was issued by the Transportation Ministry on December 31, 2015 and ordered to take effect from February 1, 2015.

 

In an effort to reduce the chaos at the Nation’s airport, the Ministry has also banned unlicensed taxis from operating at airports and tightened anti-smoking rules in the airport.

 

Since assuming office as Indonesia’s new Minister of Transportation, Ignasius Jonan, has also enforced rules on the use of illegal flight slots, established minimum fare levels for low cost airlines, is requiring medical checks on pilots prior to each flight, stipulated that airport service charges must be included in ticket prices and outlawed gypsy taxis from operating at Indonesia’s airports.

 

It is not clear if Bali, where unlicensed taxi operations are rife, is taking heed of the Ministry’s new rules.

 

 

Don’t Profane Bali’s Sacred

Buleleng Regency Rejects Villa Complex Construction on Menjangan Island

 

The State News Agency Antara reports that the Regent of Buleleng, Putu Agus Suradnyana, has firmly rejected plans by PT Pulau Tirta Properindo to build a villa resort complex on Menjangan Island in Northwest Bali.

 

Suradnyana announced: “Based on the Provincial Zoning Regulation Number 16 of 2009 (RTRW) and the Regency’s Zoning Law Number 9 of 2013 – we firmly reject the building of accommodation, by PT Pulau Tirta Properindo on Menjangan Island.”

 

According to the Regent of Bulelelng, the plans for the villa complex on Menjangan Island violates restrictions against building in sacred zones reserved for temples as set forth in Section 50 of the RTRW-Bali and Section 72 of RTRW-Buleleng.

 

The villa complex is being erected near Pura Dang Kahyangan (Pura Agung Pingit Klenting Sari). “The zoning of this area as a sacred place is very clearly set forth in Provincial and Regional Zoning laws forbidding any commercial development within 2 kilometers of the Temple,” explained Suradnyana.

 

In addition to violating rules forbidding construction in sacred area, the villa complex is also being built too close to the high water mark.

 

“It doesn’t matter if investors have permits issued by Jakarta, the use and operation of the land is in the region. If they violate regional rules, we will reject these projects,” said the Buleleng Regent.

 

 

Not According to Plan

Significant Zoning and Building Code Violations Found at Hotel Alana Building-Site in East Denpasar, Bali

 

Beritadewata.com and Radar Bali reports that the Denpasar Municipal Government’s One-Roof Permit and Licensing Agency (BPPTS) is warning PT Puri Alana Sentosa regarding the operators of the Hotel Alana located on Jalan WR Supratman No. 281 in East Denpasar.

 

A formal reprimand by BPPTS was delivered on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 for a range of violations in zoning and building codes.

 

A team led by the chief of BPPTS A.A. Gede Rai Soryawan and the chief of the Denpasar Zoning and Housing Division (DTRP-Denpasar) Made Kusuma Diputra inspected the hotel’s building site on February 4, 2015. Chief among the violations identified at the Hotel was building and construction that varied substantially from the drawings approved in the official Building Permit (IMB). Actual buildings at the site were larger than those shown on the drawings, more rooms were being built than approved in the plan and construction that violated building height restrictions.

 

The inspection carried out by the team and the severall variances with the approved building plan had earlier resulted in a refusal to grant a permit on November 13, 2014 and the issuance of three warning letters to the operator required before a formal closure of the project.

 

Describing the work of the inspection team, Soryawan said: “Our work is to match the IMB with the actual construction at the building site to ensure established standards are met. We look at specific items that may not match the IMB drawings, focusing on architecture, building construction and mechanical-electrical elements. We also look at the architecture and structure, making sure the architecture reflects Balinese style elements.”

 

In response, the owner of the Hotel Alana, Agus Umaryadi Udayana distanced himself from accusations that rule were not being followed, describing the building process as dynamic and reflective of evolving demands of the hotel’s operator.

 

Udayana also said pressures to keep the hotel esthetically pleasing also played a role in varying from the official plans.

 

Continuing, the Hotel owner said time and cost factors sometimes necessitated changes be made during the construction process and the need to correct mistakes made by the contractor.

 

Udayana said he has requested suggestions from the Municipal Government on how to bring the hotel into compliance with local regulations and pledged he would follow all instructions he receives from building inspectors.

 

 

Stop! In the Name of Law

Police Launch Massive 14-Day Crackdown on Street Crime During First Half of February 2015

 

The Bali Police have launched a 14-day crackdown on crime code-named “The People’s Ailment” (Operasi Penyakit Masyarakat – PEKAT) intended to reduce criminal activities that are causing, in the eyes of the Police, public discontent.

 

“This operation is to treat the people’s ills,” said a police spokesperson on Thursday, February 5, 2015.

 

The spokesperson told Metrobali.com that the police crackdown is intended to prevent and repress activities such as purse snatching, strong arm extortion, the distribution of alcohol, prostitution, pick-pocketing and other street crime. The Bali crackdown is part of a 14-day nation-wide program coordinated by the National Police Headquarters.

 

In Bali some 500 police officers drawn from a number of departments are being mobilized to areas identified as high-crime areas that include tourism objects and transportation terminals.

 

The Bali Police are arming hundreds of police with rifles with some officers deployed in plain clothes at the Ubung Bus Terminal in order to root out and deal with gangs and thugs operating in these areas.

 

 

The Chicken Does Not Always Lose

Beyond Bali: Death in North Kalimantan Gives Pause to Bali Aficionados of Cock Fighting

 

The unusual death of a 50-year-old man, Bahar, in North Kalimantan during a local cock-fight should remind the thousands of enthusiasts and religious devotees of that sport in Bali that the chicken does not always lose.

 

Kompas.com reports that Bahar was testing the ferocity of his favorite bird when an opponent’s chicken leapt through the air and landed its spur into the man’s stomach.  The fighting cock initially inflicted a 10-centimeter wound on Bahar’s stomach followed by several more stab wounds in the effort to free itself.

 

Mortally wounded, Bahar’s friends brought him to the Nunukan General Hospital where he was announced dead-on-arrival.

 

Police in Nunukan confirmed the man’s death perpetrated by a fighting cock’s sharpened spur that, according to local gamblers, is sharp enough to shave with.

 

Back in Bali, the story of a cockfight that cost the life of the chicken’s owner raises more than a modicum of interest on an Island where cockfighting is still a very popular part of local religious practice.

 

 

Valentines Day: Chinese Style

All Things Chinese at BIWA Fund-Raiser on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2015

 

With Chinese New Year ushering in the “Year of the Sheep” the Bali Dynasty Resort, Bali Mandarin Center and the Bali International Women’s Association (BIWA) present:

 

“Love for China”

Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14, 2015.

 

Open to the public and running from 10:oo am until 3:00 pm at the Golden Lotus Restaurant at the Bali Dynasty Resort the day of Chinese festivities will include: singing, dancing, a Barong Sai Dance performance, Chinese fortune telling, Chinese poetry, readings, calligraphy, Chinese lanterns, dim sum menus, a Chinese boutique and door prizes.

 

Proceeds from the day will be in support of BIWA’s many social welfare projects in Indonesia.

 

Those with Chinese-related products are invited to rent a vendor’s table for Rp. 200,000 (US$16) by contacting Marijke at telephone ++62-(0)812 3606 9019 or by [Email].

 

Love For China

A Day Dedicated to All Things Chinese

Saturday, February 14, 2015

10:00 am – 3:00 pm (Free Admission)

Golden Lotus Restaurant – Bali Dynasty Resort

Jalan Kartika Plaza, Kuta-Bali

 

 

It’s a Dune Deal

Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways Accused of Unfair Competition

 

Citing unfair trade practices, three airlines in the U.S.A. have called on Washington, D.C. to either modify or terminate air treaties with three airlines based in the Persian Gulf: Emirates, Eithad and Qatar Airways.

 

The CEOs of American Airlines, United Continental and Delta Airlines accused the three Middle East carriers of “distorting global air transportation” through their pricing policies.

 

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Airwise News the three U.S. carriers cite unfair competition made possible by U.S. open-skies treaties and by government subsidies from the Middle East Airline’s respective countries.

 

In making the complaint, the CEOs said Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways have enjoyed US$42.3 billion in subsidies since 2004.

 

In response, the CEO of Emirates denied the charges, claiming no subsidies had ever been paid to his carrier. He did, however, acknowledge US$10 million in start-up capital received in 1985 and infrastructure investment of US$88 million to secure two Boeing B727 aircraft and a training building.

 

Clark insisted these amounts had “more than been repaid” in dividends paid to the government of Dubai.

 

Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways all fly to Indonesia in competition with the National Flag Carrier Garuda Indonesia.

 

 

Will You Love Me When I’m 64?

Investors Sought for Senior Citizen Tourism Projects in Bali

 

The State News Agency Antara quotes the head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Service, Anak Agung Gede Yuniartha Putra, as saying that the development of pensioner tourism in Bali is impeded by a lack of investment.

 

“Through tourism for senior citizens we hope people will stay longer in Bali. A number of preparations have been made, we are only waiting for investors,” said Yuniartha on Friday, February 6, 2015.

 

The Province’s top tourism official disclosed that Bali has already set aside land for senior citizen tourism development, with one specific location located in Payangan in the regency of Gianyar. Several years ago the Province also established the Bali Retirement Tourism Authority (BRTA).

 

“In Payangan the climate is cool, quite cold and therefore appropriate for international tourists on an extended stay,” he said.

 

In connection with the fact that no investor has surfaced wishing to participate in projects for senior citizens, Yuniartha promised to coordinate further with the Bali Investment and Licensing Board (BPMP-Bali). Adding, “I will try to discuss the problems and look for a solution.”

 

Earlier, tourism observer Agung Suryawan Wiranatha of Udayana University urged the Provincial Government of Bali to seriously address the potential for senior citizen tourism in Bali.

 

 

Everyone Can Fly – But Only with Permission

Australian Consumer Groups Takes Aim at Indonesian AirAsia X Seeking Compensation for Cancelled Flight

 

The New Straits Times and Australia’s Herald-Sun report that Indonesian AirAsia X is facing an official Australian government probe for practices and procedures surrounding the last-minute cancellation of a flight service scheduled to commence on December 26, 2014 between Melbourne and Bali.

 

Australian travelers eagerly scooped up attractively priced tickets offered on Indonesia AirAsia X over the Christmas and New Year period with the first flight scheduled to leave on Boxing Day of last year.

 

Apparently, the Airline lacked the needed flight approvals from both the Indonesian and Australian governments. On Christmas day, one day before the scheduled start of service, passengers who had already bought tickets were given the choice of cancelling their holiday, purchasing tickets on more expensive airlines or flying a much longer, circuitous route of 13-hours duration to Bali via Kuala Lumpur.

 

An Australian consumer group – Choice has formally written to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission requesting an investigation be conducted against Indonesia AirAsia X.

 

The consumer group claims the Indonesian air carrier purposefully misrepresented its products to the Australian public, failing to deliver the promised product purchased.

 

The group is seeking compensation to the public for all out of pocket expenses caused by the 11th hour advice of cancellation to ticket holders.

 

More than one month after the promised new flight service between Melbourne and Bali was set to commence, Indonesia AirAsia X has apparently yet to obtain the needed approvals from Australian and Indonesia.

 

 

Pay at the Door

Bali Reconsiders a ‘Mandatory Donation’ from Tourism Visitors to Fund Natural and Culture Preservation

 

The Bali Post reports that a movement has resurfaced to seek “donations” from Island visitors to be applied to cultural and nature preservation.

 

The chairman of the Bali Tourism Board, Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, said the system of donation is being planned to offset the deleterious effects of tourist development. Speaking on Wednesday, February 4, 2016, Wijaya said: “I think this (donation system) must be implemented as a tourism contribution. What’s needed now (is to decide) who and in what form the donations will be managed in order that they can be accountable and transparent.”

 

Wijaya complained that tourism is developing at a very fast rate in Bali, oftentimes without any apparent control. At the same time, the carrying capacity of the Island is very limited. “So it is now appropriate that there is now a contribution for the conservation and preservation of nature and culture in Bali,” he said.

 

The secretary-general of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association for the Regency of Badung (PHRI-Badung), Gusti Kade Sutawa, stated he is in agreement with a donation policy to make tourism in Bali sustainable. “I agree with this policy. But the regulations have to be clear and the use (of the funds) fixed in order to avoid malfeasance,” said Sutawa.

 

Sutawa said that the donation program must be well formulated and not come in conflict with existing rules and regulations.  The PHRI official also stated his wished to avoid causing discomfort to tourist visitors. Adding, “The mechanism must be thought through including who will charge the ‘donation,’ who will distribute the proceeds and what conservation programs will be supported – all needed so these funds can be accounted for.”

 

The chairman of the Bali Villa Association (AVB), Mangku Wayan Sutedja, also lends his support to the idea of a donation fee to offset the damage caused by tourism to the environment and culture. Speaking rhetorically, Sutedja said: “Why when people enter an tourism object they are asked to pay a fee? This is done to organize and ensure the continuing enjoyment (of the object). Certainly we can do the same thing to conserve our nature and culture (in Bali).”

 

The head of the Tourism Research Center at Bali’s Udayana University, Dr. Agung Suryawan Wiranatha Ph.D., explained that the care and preservation of nature and culture as the core elements of a sustainable tourism product in Bali needs sufficient funding. “The State budget that has increased each year has included very little in terms of allocations for the conservation of nature and culture, spent instead on more primary demands such as health, education and housing,” he said.

 

Because of this, Suryawan feels a government policy is needed to allocate funds from the State budget obtained proportionately from tourism sources (hotel and restaurant taxes) for the conservation of nature and culture. Adding: “Such a donation is very possible providing it is supported by a mechanism and sound management principles that are transparent, participative, coordinated and accountable.”

 

The idea of a “mandatory donation” for tourism in Bali is not new. In the past, a plan to charge US$10 for “heritage protection” in the form of a gubernatorial regulation or a regional regulation was fiercely debated.

 

Revived plans to introduce a donation for heritage protection have surfaced to fund programs to protect traditional culture and increase local government revenues. Those proposing the “heritage protection donation” in the past estimated a potential annual income of Rp. 150 – 250 billion (US$12 –US$20 million) collected from international visitors to Bali.

 

If the revived plans for a “heritage protection donation” are maintained at US$10 per foreign visitor the funds collected would annually exceed US$40 million. If the plan was extended to include domestic visitors at the same rate of donation the amount collected would approach US$100 million.

 

 

You Wonder Where the Culture Went

Bali Tourism Chief: Too Many Hotels Foreshadows the Death of Cultural Tourism

 

The chief of the Bali Tourism Service (Dinas Pariwisata Bali), A.A. Gede Yuniartha Putra, has sounded a warning on the pages of the Bali Post that despite rising tourist numbers on the Island hotel occupancies continue to decline. He blamed this contradiction on the proliferation of new hotels and a the very short length of stay for tourist visitors.

 

Culture Under Threat

 

Yuniartha expressed the concern that the escalating price war among hotels in Bali threatens the Island’s cultural heritage. “Bali is full of hotels. There are also illegal villas owned by people form outside Bali; there are even villas owned by foreigners registered in the name of Indonesian nominees. These are rented out directly in their (the foreigners) home country. The decline in occupancy rates is Bali’s ‘karma’ due to too many hotels,” he said, speaking on Monday, February 3, 2015."

 

As a provincial official Yuniartha lamented there is little he can do to stop overbuilding of hotels as that power resides with Bali’s municipalities and regencies. At the most, he said, the Province can only coordinate with the regencies to make the granting of licenses for new hotels more difficult. The Province estimates Bali has nearly 4,000 hotels with some 50,000 rooms. “As a result, the current competitive environment is unhealthy. But the power (to control hotels) rests with regencies and cities. All we (the Province) can do is recommend to them and try to prevent the growth of new hotels continuing (in this manner),” he explained.

 

Yuniartha confessed a similar problem exists with sub-destinations located in the regencies and cities where his office can only recommend that attention be paid to the infrastructure leading to tourism objects, reduce traffic congestion and guard the level of cleanliness at the actual tourism objects.

 

A member of Commission II of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), A.A. Ngurah Adhi Ardhana, also observed that the length of stay for tourists coming to Bali is declining. He said that in the 1990s until the year 2000 the length of stay for tourists ranged between 12 to 15 days, a figure that today has changed to just 5 to 8 days. Ardhana observed that quality tourism is being abandoned in Bali as people now only came for a very short stay, attracted by the low prices offered by hotels.

 

Adhi Ardhana blamed the minimum amount of tourism promotion undertaken in Bal as also contributing to shorter length of stays. The lawmaker has complained to Governor Pastika regarding the small amount of money allocated for tourism promotion in the 2015 Provincial budget.  Ardhana said that the industry and not the government now largely carry out the bulk of tourism promotion in Bali.

 

Ardhana also expressed concern that the combination of escalating food price and declining room rates in Bali is turning the Island into a cheap destination attracting tourists with little interest in culture. This, he said, is unfortunate, given the remaining strong appeal of Bali’s culture.  He called for a more even distribution of supporting infrastructure to cover all parts of Bali as a means of creating a “new destination” that can be promoted by all elements of the tourism industry in Bali.

 

At the same time, Ardhana warned that is the present situation is allowed to continue unaddressed it will spell the death of Bali tourism based on culture and the local population.  This will happen, he said, because we have allowed rich investors from outside Bali to enter the Island and erode the Island’s former glory.

 

Yuniartha admitted that there are minimum funds for tourism promotion in Bali, with only Rp. 900 million (US$72,000) allocated by the province for that purpose.

 

 

Building Sustainable Tourism Communities

The Success Story of Community-based Tourism Development in the North Bali Village of Pemuteran

 

“Back in the 1980s the residents of the village of Pemuteran often destroyed the coral reefs. Please understand, their sole source of income was from fishing,” explained Agung Kertiyasa, a young man from the North Bali village of Pemuteran during a recent visit by Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya.

 

Today, Pemuteran has become an international showcase for successful community-based tourism development. That success story cannot, however, be separated from the role played by I Gusti Agung Prana (shown) who founded the Karang Lestari Foundation that takes a lead role in the recovery, care and preservation of coral reefs along the entire Pemuteran coastline.

 

It was sine 25 years ago in 1989 that several community leaders in Pemuteran, including Agung Prana, expressed their genuine concern over the impoverished state of their community and tried to discover ways to end the practice of fishing by dropping explosives onto local reefs.

 

They knew that bombing the reefs not only managed to kill all the underwater fish life, but, at the same time, destroyed the reefs that were the breeding ground for the ocean’s ecosystem.

 

“We began repairing the reef in 1989 and conditions began to gradually improve in 1992,” said Agung Kertiyasa, who is a son of Agung Prana, quoted in Bisnis Bali.

 

It was also in 1992 that Agung Prana established the first hotel in Pemuteran called the Hotel Pondok Sari.

 

Over time and through patient dialogue and education, the people of Pemuteran who were fishermen who once destroyed reefs with their home-made bombs began to embrace the concept of conservation and began working to guide tourists, snorkelers and divers to the “new” reefs that stood at their former bomb sites.

 

Slowly but surely, the Village of Pemuteran re-invented itself and became a tourism village benefiting in a sustainable way form nature’s gifts. Nested on a sandy shoreline at the foot of a range of mountains, Pemuteran’s popularity grew as a destination for water-based tourism and treking exploration of Bali’s untouched nature.

 

Bio-rock

 

On a recent visit to Bali, Indonesia’s new Tourism Minister made time to visit Pemuteran to witness first-hand the regenerative processes of “bio-rock” pioneered in the area that now manages to restore reef at a rate 20-times faster than nature left to its own designs.

 

One metal frame used to commence the growth of a section of new reef costs Rp. 30 million (US$2,400). To date, some 90 bio-rock frames have been installed along the shores at Pemuteran.

 

Kertiyasa told the press that efforts to grow new reef have been subsidized through the adoption of sections of bio-rock by members of the world community.

 

Visiting tourist, donating as little as Rp. 400,000 (US$32), can participate in the restoration of a small section of reef on where their name has been etched in cement.

 

The bio-rock method that stimulates reef growth through low-voltage current passing through underwater frames has won numerous awards, including a PATA Gold Award in 2005 and SKAL International in 2003.

 

Once the new reef is established these areas are declare off-limit to fishing and preserved for snorkeling and diving activities.

 

The efforts to build new reef on a sustainable basis in Pemuteran has been joined in recent years by hotel operators, shops and diving operators along the coast.

 

Praise from the Minister

 

Tourism minister Arief Yahya praised Pemuteran as a prime example of a “tourism village” that has successfully integrated tourist attractions, accommodation and supporting facilities to benefit the surrounding community.

 

The continuing development of tourism in Pemuteran remains focused on providing business and employment opportunities to the local population. New industries reflect this as homestays, restaurants, gift shops and cultural attractions continued to be opened.

 

Praising the sustainability of the development model in place at the tourism Village of Pemuteran. Minister Yahya pointed to his surrounding during the visit, saying, “It is proven (here) that tourism provides greater economic welfare than other forms of work.”

 

With ongoing support from the Government, the Village of Pemuteran is home today to 18 homestays and bungalows, 10 hotel-resorts and spas, 5 villas, 20 restaurants and warungs, 14 diving operators and 8 spa/salons.

 

Explaining the concept in place at Pemuteran, Agung Kertiyasa, who manages the Taman Sari Resort, explained that only local members of the community are allowed to develop homestays and diving shops in the region.

 

Concluding his remarks, Kertiyasa said: “The key to our cusses is not due to nature and also not due to technology. Our success comes from an awareness of our local population. Without that consciousness, the Village of Pemuteran would not have become the international tourism destination it is today.”

 

 

Less than Totally Secure

Legislators and Police Conclude X-ray Screening and Security at Bali’s Port of Gilimanuk is More Show than Substance

 

On Wednesday, February 4, 2014, a group of legislators from Commission I of the Bali House of Representative (DPRD-Bali), led by its chairman Ketut Tama Tenaya and accompanied by the deputy –chief of Police for Bali Brigadier General I Nyoman Suryasta, undertook a field inspection at the Port of Gilimanuk. At the port the group was received by the chief of the Jembrana Police Precinct AKBP Harry Hariyadi and the general manager of the Ketapang-Gilimanuk Ferry Service Waspada Heruwanto.

 

The group of lawmakers and law enforcement officers visited the port to see first-hand the condition of an expensive and sophisticated X-ray unit positioned at the Port.

 

Concerned by condition encountered generally at Gilimanuk, Tama Tenaya called for higher standard of security to be put in place at Bali westernmost entrance. Tana Tenaya asked: “What would happen in terrorists entered Bali again? This is a mess. Don’t be self-satisfied with international awards as ‘The Best Island.’ I hope that a plan and design of an international standard is in place at Gilimanuk. From the moment people land in Bali there should be a sense of positive change.”

 

Obviously frustrated by the lack of security, Tama Tenaya was quoted by Bali Post, saying: “I urge the Provincial Government of Bali to realize and coordinate (an orderly system). Let’s not only hold grand discussions. I want to see a concrete program put in place.”

 

He spotlighted that a sophisticated x-ray machine purchased at a cost of Rp. 18 billion (US$1.44 million) is neglected and ineffective. Saying that a large x-ray examination machine was needed at Gilimanuk, he added: “Not like the kind of model at the port now, certain to be broken. Let’s not be half-hearted is establishing security.  What’s more, we now have an x-ray machine that is no longer under warranty and needs us to bring a repairman all the way from England. This is useless. In the future, we need a better level of planning. We will be discussing this in legislative session.”

 

Another member of Commission I, I Komang Nova Sewiputra, said, “If Bali want to continue to progress its tourism, security and safety must be prioritized.”

 

The deputy-chief of police for Bali, Nyoman Suryasta, explained that because of the large number of people passing through Gilimanuk appropriate technology must be employed to achieve an international standard of security.

 

The top police officer in the regency of Jembrana Harry Hariyadi admitted the broken x-ray machine was provided to Gilimanuk from police headquarters in Jakarta. He explained that a circuit in the machine exploded when the machine was being installed during a power outage at the Port. Unable to use the x-ray from the start, a skilled technician from England is needed to make the unit ready for use.

 

The Jembrana police precinct chief said the large x-ray machine needs careful attention in order to operate. The unit demands 16,000 watts of power and emits large amounts of radiation and operators holding certification from the National Atomic Energy Commission (Batan). “To operate the x-ray it needs a warm-up period of 4-hours and another 2-hours to cool down. Only then can it be used again. This x-ray is very different from the ones in operation at the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC-Nusa Dua) and at the airport,” said Hariyadi.

 

 

Doubling Jero’s Jeopardy

Former Tourism Minister Jero Wacik Named for Second Time as Corruption Suspect by KPK

 

Jero Wacik, already under official  suspicion of corruption committed during his term while in charge of the Nation’s energy and mineral resources, has again been identified by Indonesia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) as a suspect for malfeasance during his reign as Indonesia’s Minister of Culture and Tourism (2009-2011).

 

Wacik, a Balinese from Singaraja, is suspected of causing the State losses equal to Rp. 7 billion (US$560,000) while in charge of Indonesian tourism.

 

This is in addition to the Rp. 9.9 billion (US$792,000) he is suspected of having corrupted while serving as Energy Minister (2011-2014).

 

The official listing of Jero Wacik as a suspect by the KPK was announced by the Commission’s spokesperson on Friday, February 6, 2015.

 

Wacik is being investigated under sections of the criminal code that, if convicted, could result in a maximum prison term of 20 years and a fine of Rp. 1 billion.

 

 

We Interrupt this Broadcast

Radio and Television Stations to Go Silent for 24-Hours on Nyepi Day March 21, 2015

 

The chief of the Indonesian Broadcast Commission for Bali (KPID-Bali), Anak Agung Gede Rai Sahadewa, said he will coordinate with TV and radio broadcast stations in anticipation of Bali’s official day of silence – Nyepi Tahun Baru Saka 1937 that falls on March 21, 2015.

 

For a 24-hour period commencing from sunrise on March 21, 2015 - all broadcast station in Bali and national stations providing broadcast feeds to Baliare required to go silent and respect the enforced 24-hours of meditative reflection that marks the start of every Hindu New Year in Bali.

 

During the Nyepi Period Bali closes down for a 24-hour period. All flights to and from the island cease and streets empty as guests and hotel staff are forcibly sequestered to hotel premises.

 

Quoted by Metrobali.com, Sahadewa told parliamentarians on Friday, February 2, 2015, “I will coordinate and correspond with television and radio stations in order that all broadcasts in Bali stop for 24 hours on Nyepi Day.”

.

“On Nyepi day last year all broadcasts of radio and television stopped for 24-hours in Bali. This year the same rules will apply,” said Sahadewa.

 

Meanwhile, the chairman of Commission I of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), Ketut Tama Tenaya, explained that the cessation of all TV and radio broadcasts in Bali on Nyepi Day is done to respect the Bali-Hindu religious tenets for honoring the day of “Beratha Penyepian” – namely: “amati karya” (no work), “amati geni” (no open fires), “amati lelungan” (no journeys) and “amati lelanguan” (refrain from pleasure).

 

 

A Number to Double by 2019?

Indonesian Arrivals Increased 7.19% in 2014 at 9.44 Million

 

National tourist arrival in 2014 for Indonesia hit 9.44 million – an increase of 7.19% compared to the 8.32 million foreign arrivals in Indonesia in 2013.

 

The Indonesian Tourism Ministry is targeting to achieve 20 million tourists by 2020.

 

The head of the National Statistic Bureau (BPS), Suryamin, said the largest percentage increase in foreign tourist arrivals took place via Lombok’s International Airport that saw arrivals increase 73.06%.

 

Meanwhile, in Bali 14.92% more foreigners arrived via Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport in 2014, followed by Padang in West Sumatra up 13.73%.

 

Foreign arrivals at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport increased only 0.26% in 2014.

 

In December 2014, the total number of foreign tourist arrivals nation-wide totaled 915,300 – a 6.35% increased when compared to arrivals in December 2013 when 860,700 foreign visitors came to Indonesia. One month earlier, in November 2014 month-on-month arrivals increased 19.74%.

 

Month-on-month December arrivals in Bali increased 16.75% in 2014 when compared to December 2013.

 

As reported by Bali Post, the average occupancy at starred hotels across the nation was 50.13%, down 5.6 points when compared to 2013 when the average occupancy was 55.73%.

 

According to BPS, the average length-of-stay at starred hotels nation-wide in 2014 was 1.91 days, a figure that remains unchanged when compared to 2013.

 

 

Listen to the Quiet

“Silence of Nature” an Exhibition of Paintings by Nyoman Sujana Kenyam in North Bali February 10 – March 29, 2015.

 

Art Patio in Lovina, North Bali hosts a solo painting exhibition by Balinese-born artist Nyoman Sujana Kenyem February 10 – March 29, 2015.

 

A prominent member of the new generation of Balinese artists, he was among the first crop of young painters who graduated fro the Bali Indonesia Art Academy (STSI-Bali) in the 1990s.

 

In the intervening years, he has held numerous solo and joint exhibition winning praise both in Indonesia and abroad for the poetic beauty of his canvasses.

 

His latest exhibition – “Silence of Nature” at Art Patio on Seririt, Lovina presents the artist’s perception on how life should best be lived, championing a meditative journey that allows nature to become the true teachers, providing insightful glimpses of the infinite surrounding all humanity.

niscent of Op Art in Kenyem’s bold use of color and visual effects, his works are multi-layered in both presentation and the message they impart. His works have a poetic narrative aroma, urging introspection and the commencement of an inner dialogue with the earth at its most peaceful, silent and holy

 

 

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.

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