Flying in the Dark Ages
Bali Airport Suffers Another Extended Power Outage on Sunday, January 5, 2014
Bali News: Flying in the Dark Ages
(1/5/2014) Beritadewata.com and detik.com reports that between 10-20 flights operating from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport suffered delays on Sunday, January 5, 2014, when the Island’s gateway suffered the latest in a series of prolonged power blackouts.
Varying reports give differing versions of the length and severity of the power outage, which began at 7:55 am. Detik.com claims the power failure persisted, at least in part, for five hours when full power was returned to the airport at 12:55 pm. Meanwhile, Beritadewata.com quotes the general manager of PT Angkasa Pura I, the airport’s managers, as saying full power was returned by 10:00 am.
The power outage is another in a long series of outages, the previous outage occurring on December 10, 2013 when Bali’s sole air gateway went dark for 30 minutes. After that outage, a spokesman for PT Angkasa Pura I claimed any future blackouts would be immediately corrected by a back-up power supply.
A member of Commission V of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) has weighed in on the latest outage, saying the situation at the airport has become an embarrassment.
DPR member Muhidin Mohamad told detik.com: “I deeply regret this. This is terribly embarrassing, an international airport experiencing such situations. The airport must be ready at all times and power resumed a couple of seconds after any power failure.”
Muhidin called on the Ministry of Transportation to investigate the incident to ensure such a situation is never repeated in the future.
Taking Leave of Tanah Ampo’s Shores
French Cruise Ship Refuses to Disembark Passengers at Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal
Bali News: Taking Leave of Tanah Ampo’s Shores
(1/5/2014) A French-flag cruise ship MV Le Soleal refused to disembark its passengers at the Tanah Ampo Cruise Port prepared by the regency of Karangasem on Friday, January 3, 2013.
Dissatisfied with the conditions at Tanah Ampo, the Captain of the ship carrying 156 tourists shifted the vessel to drop anchor at the Port of Amuk in order to ferry passengers to the passenger pier at Padang Bai.
Despite the less-than-ideal condition of the passenger pier at Padang Bai, cruise ships still find the water conditions and the disembarkation process far superior to those available at nearby Tanah Ampo.
A floating pontoon at Tanah Ampo meant to receive tenders from the cruise ship could not be used due to a damaged gangway connection the pontoon to the main pier. The gangway and pontoon, plagued by poor engineeing, has been built and destroyed by waves several times.
The Tanah Ampo facility that as received substantial government funding has yet to attract a following of cruise ship client due to unfavorable sea conditions and a number of shortcoming in the pier’s construction that make it unsuitable and unsafe for cruise passengers’ use.
The head of the Transportation Service Department in Karangasem, Komang Daging, confirmed to Bali Post that there are no scheduled visits by cruise ships to Tanah Ampo in 2014 due to no firm plans to repair the passenger pontoon gangway.
Too Many Rooms, Not Enough Guests
Unregulated Increase in Accommodation in Bali Fueling Price War and Causing Local Hotel Closures
Bali News: Too Many Rooms, Not Enough Guests
(1/5/2014) Bisnis Bali reports that the unprecedented increase in accommodation is outpacing demand created by an increasing number of island visitors.
As a result, price competition has become intense with simpler, traditional accommodation providers being overwhelmed by their professionally managed competitors. Locally owned hotels, unable to meet costs with declining revenues, are beginning to close their businesses.
Bali arrivals for 2013 will end the year at more than 3.2 million – a record number of foreign visitors to the Island. ??
And, despite a 13.55% increase in foreign arrivals through the end of November 2013, occupancy rates at starred hotels decreased from a number of more than 60% in 2012 to only 55.82% in 2013.
The drop in occupancy is fueled by largely uncontrolled growth in accommodation for rent in Bali. Accommodation data published by the Provincial Tourism Office (Diparda) claims a mere 1.3% increase in starred, non-starred and home stay rooms between 2010 and 2012.
The Diparda figures count only 26,025 rooms in 2012.
The “official” figures, however, are generally seen as an unreliable reflection of the number of rooms being offered on the market, with a 20% increase over the same two-year period viewed as a truer reflection of the accommodation situation.
There are other tourism observers who put the number of rooms available on the market in Bali at 85,000.
The vice-chairman of the Indonesia Tourism Association for Bali (GIPI-Bali), Bagus Sudibya, said the number of new rooms on the accommodation market in Bali is a source of concern. Reflecting o the unregulated growth in rooms, Sudibya said, “I am worried there will be a tariff war that will result in the destruction of local tourism elements.”
He went on to say that there are many local hotels that have been forced to close.
Meanwhile, the vice chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), IGN Rai Suryawijaya, also complained that new rooms coming on line was outpacing growth in tourism arrivals. This has resulted in a price war that will in the end hurt Bali tourism and the government.
Look for Chinese Tourist Numbers to Rise
Hainan Airline and China Eastern Airlines Commence Flights to Bali
(1/5/2014) Two additional Chinese Airlines are now flying between China and Bali over the Lunar New Year period.
Hainan Airline – the fourth largest air carrier in the People’s Republic of China – will stat flying three times a week between Denpasar (Bali) and Beijing.
The new flights will be operated in conjunction with the CaIssa Touristic Group - a German-Chinese travel business, operating China Holidays.
The new flight service between China and Bali will start on January 15, 2013 using Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft configured for 233 passengers fling from the Mainland Chinese capital to Bali in 7.5 hours.
Chinese Eastern Airlines is flying a limited season between December 31, 2013 and February 27, 2014 between Beijing and Bali three times a week.
The flights are intended to meet increased demand over the Chinese New Year period.
Chinese Eastern Airline will fly Airbus A330-300 aircraft on the Bali route.
Bali’s Governor Wonders if Increased Tourist Totals for 2104 are Realistic
Bali News: Counting Conservatively
(1/5/2014) Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika is expressing pessimism regarding Bali’s ability to sustain growth in tourism numbers in 2014 and beyond.
As reported by The Jakarta Post, the Governor has called into doubt projections of 3.5 million foreign tourists to Bali in 2014, an increase of approximately 10% from the 3.2 million tourists expected to be the end tally for 2013.
Pastika, speaking to journalists, said he thought it would be hard to attract 3 million foreign tourists to Bali in 2014. Pastika said: “In 2014, we can’t hope for more than 3 million foreign tourists as 2014 is a political year. We will be very busy with politics. But I remain optimistic that we could reach at least 3 million.”
Pastika was quick to underline that Bali would remain safe for tourists, even though it was a political year. He said that Balinese culture and a shared understanding or “local wisdom” of the importance of tourism to the economy would prevent rioting on the Island.
Death Stalks the New Year
Bali Starts the New Year 2014 with a Rabies Death in Singaraja
Bali News: Death Stalks the New Year
(1/5/2014) A 37-year-old builder in Singaraja, North Bali, died on Friday, January 3, 2014, from rabies lnked to a bite he suffered on December 17, 2013.
The deceased is Nengah Suastika who works as a farmer and builder who died at the Buleleng General Hospital.
The man's brother-in-law, Wayan Sumba, told Nusa Bali that the dog bite came from a three-month-old dog that that Suastika engaged in play at a construction site that resulted in a bite to the man’s thumb.
The man thought nothing of the wound, continued his work and never sought anti-rabies vaccine.
The dog soon disappeared from the project site, giving no clue that the animal was suffering from the deadly virus.
Initial symptoms of joint pain and fever sent Suastika to a local masseur who, alarmed at the man’s declining health, recommended he see a doctor.
Suastika sought medical helped at 3:00 am on Wednesday, January 1, 2014, when he was immediately hospitalized for two days prior to his death at 2:00 pm on the following Friday.
His wife survives the man together with two children aged 6 and 1.5 years.
Had Suastika sought medical treatment for the bite, including VAR anti-rabies shots, he would have most probablu survived the illness.
2013 Breaking Arrival Records
Bali by the Numbers: Penultimate Report for 2013 Confirms Bali will End Year with More than 3.2 Million Foreign Visitors
(1/5/2014) The foreign arrival numbers for Bali through the end of November 2013 are in totaling 2.97 million, surpassing, even before figures for December are in, the highest total for any year in the history of Bali arrival.
November arrivals totaled 307,208 - increasing month-on-month 26.95% over November 2012 when Bali had 241,985 foreign visitors.
On a cumulative basis, Bali ended the first eleven months of 2013 with totals that were 13.55% ahead of the same period in 2012. It now seems certain that Bali will conclude 2013 with 3.28 million foreign visitors.
Arrivals across the top 15 major markets for Bali, all source countries are demonstrating fairly strong growth with the notable exception of Australia that, although still the predominate source of visitors, has gone stagnant with arrival figures virtually flat.
Having said that, Australia still holds a 25.31% market share of all foreign arrivals, far ahead of the second largest source market of Mainland China with only a 12.31% market share.
Among the top 15 foreign sources of visitors strongest growth was recorded by:
India is now ranked 14th as a source of Bali tourists with numbers year-to-date that are 43.34% ahead of last year's performance.
Taiwan has recovered lost ground over the past five years and turned in results that were 35.56% ahead of 2012 through the end of November 2012. Taiwan is now the six most important source of visitors, up from 9th place in 2012.
Mainland China is the 2nd largest source of foreign visitors to Bali, a position it has held since 2011 when it nudged Japan out of the #2 position. Chinese visitors year-year-on year at the end of November are 25.10% ahead of 2012
France - the 7th largest source market - grew 18.35% January-November 2013. France has moved up from the 8th ranking it held last year.
German arrivals are also at al all time high to Bali. The 94,244 German tourists who came to Bali in the first eleven months of 2013 represented an increase of 17.31% year-on-year. German is now ranked 11th as a source market for Bali, unchanged in ranking since 2012.
Other markets demonstrating double-digit growth through the end of November were: the Netherlands (15.97%) and Singapore (15.10%).
Japan - now ranked at 3rd place among source markets for Bali visitors, grew 10.62% through the end of November 2013. With a total of 192,391 visitors year-to-date, Japan's recovery in terms of arrival to Bali continues, reversing a trend of declining numbers over recent years, but still far short of more than 300,000 Japanese visitors recorded through the end of November in 2008 and 2009.
A Bad Case of Gas
LPG Cooking Gas Increase of 68% Sparks Inflation Surge Across Indonesia
Bali News: A Bad Case of Gas
(1/5/2014) A sudden increase in the cost of LPG cooking gas by the State-owned Petroleum Company (Pertamina) has seen liquified gas prices increase by more than 60% and has shock wave across the Nation sparking a rapid round of inflationary price increases.
The LPG increase - a decision apparently made unilaterally by Pertamina without consulting the President – shocked President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) who took to Facebook to publicly question the increase.
The President, noting the growing public protest over the sudden price increase for 12 kilogram tanks of LPG, claimed that the decision made by by Pertamina now requires Presidential intervention because of its wide-ranging effects on society.
Yudhoyono said that while he knew that the State Audit Board recorded losses of Rp. 7 billion (U$560 million), the solution to that situation was not to increase LPG prices by 68%. SBY said that such a large and sudden increase would result in rapid increases of goods and services, creating burdens on the economically disadvantaged.
Reacting to the price increase, SBY instructed the Vice-president to rapidly convene the cabinet and seek a solution that avoids inflation and burdens the public.
The cost of a 12-kilogram canister of LPG prior to the increase was Rp. 70,200 (US$5.60), but is now selling for Rp. 117,708 (US$9.40). Prices in the marketplace vary, averaging Rp. 130,000-Rp. 150,000 (US$10.40 – US$12). Following the increase, prices in Jayapura (Papua) rose to Rp. 310,000 (US$24.80) for the 12-kilogram LPG canister.
In Bali, the 68% increase in price has had an immediate impact on pricing of goods and services in Bali. In the Klungkung Market in east Bali, the cost of basic commodities such as rice, cooking oil end eggs have increased significantly since January 1, 2013. Rice has increased 6%-11% rising as high as Rp. 9,000 a kilogram. Cooking oil has increased 20% to Rp. 12,000 per kilogram. Meanwhile, eggs have gone up 37.5% from Rp. 800 to Rp. 1,100 each.
Vendors are complaining that consumers have reduced the quantity of good purchased, buying smaller amounts of key items to ensure they are still able to place food on their families’ tables.
Traders and consumer remain hopeful that the emergency cabinet meeting will result in a reconsideration of the economically precipitate increase in LPG cost.
Sirens Calling from the Shore
Bali Receiving More Tsunami Early Warning Sirens
Bali News: Sirens Calling from the Shore
(1/5/2014) The province of Bali will receive three more tsunami sirens in 2014 installed in key locations by the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BKMG) and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPNB).
The chief of BPNB for Bali, I Gede Made Jaya Seratberana told Republika.co.id on Tuesday, December 24, 2013: “There were actually 10 locations that we surveyed, five in Bali’s west and five in the east. All 10 locations should, ideally, be equipped with tsunami sirens, but only three have received approval from Jakarta.”
The three new sirens granted by BMKG and BPNB will be installed near Serangan Island (Denpasar), Tanah Lot (Tabanan regency) and Seririt (Buleleng regency).
These will supplement six existing tsunami sirens installed in Bali on Pantai Matahari Terbit (Sanur), Tanjung Benoa at the BTDC, Kedonganan, Kuta and Seminyak.
At the three new locations, as with the existing alarms, maps and signs showing evacuation routes will also be installed.
The care and maintenance of the new sirens will be paid by Jakarta for one year after which that costs moves to the provincial budget of Bali.
Other areas identified in the survey at considerable risk of tsunami and needing an early warning system are Pantai Lebih (Gianyar), Nusa Penida (Klungkung regency), Pantai Jasi (Karangasem), Yeh Gangga (Tabanan) and the southern shoreline at Jembrana.
At 10 am on the 26th day of each month the sirens in place across Bali are sounded and tested.
According to Jaya, funds have been budget to establish a temporary evacuation zone near Serangan for use in the event of a tsunami.
Your Part as a Beachcomber
Governor Wants Hotels & Restaurants to Participate in Clean Up Effort of Kuta Beach
Bali News: Your Part as a Beachcomber
(1/5/2014) Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika is calling on hotels and restaurants located along Bali’s Kuta Beach to demonstrate greater concern in dealing with with the trash and debris currently washing ashore in great quantities that has made the iconic beachfront an eyesore and negatively impacted the visitor experience of tourists traveling to Bali.
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the Governor said on Sunday, December 29, 2013, while joining a clean up of Kuta beach, said: “Please help the cleaning crews, don’t just sit back and take profits, pick up some trash.”
The governor does not see trash along Kuta beach as the fault of any specific individual or party, but as a natural cycle of nature that happens in Bali every December until February.
“Because of this, all parties must participate (in the clean up), especially hotels and restaurants along Kuta Beach,” the Governor added.
Meanwhile, the head of Hygiene and Parks Department (DKP-Badung) for the Badung regency, I Putu Eka Mathawan, says his office has deployed “Fast Reaction Units" to deal with the removal of the trash washing up on Bali’s shores.
The Units assigned to clean Kuta Beach comprises 36 personnel, 11 rubbish trucks, 5 loaders and 2 barber surf rake.
The clean up units will stay on the beach until the season ends and the condition of the beach returns to normal.
Joining the paid civil servants in the beach clean up are local environmental activists, local village members and visiting tourists.
Sun Island Hotel Legian Opens
Sun Island Hotel Legian is Fourth Property of Sun Island Group to Open in Bali
Bali News: Sun Island Hotel Legian Opens
(1/5/2014) Sun Island Bali – a privately held Bali-based hospitality management – has soft opened its fourth property in Bali on December 20, 2013.
Sun Island Hotel Legian is located on Legian street within walking distance to many popular nightspots, shopping venues and nearby fabled Kuta beach. Sun Island Hotel Legian has 99 Superior Rooms, 8 Suites, 3 restaurants and bars, spa, main swimming pool and a rooftop whirl pool.
The 4-star Bali resort feature rooms and suites designed in a simple and elegant style featuring top quality amenities, 24-hour room service and complimentary WiFi connection.
Sun Island Legian has created dining options that meet and exceed the high standard of restaurants that populate this corner of Bali.
Topix Asia highlights Asian cuisine with Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Indian, Malay, Singaporean and Philippine selections presented in a contemporary up-beat setting.
Poolside Restaurant & Sunken Bar offers a uniquely refreshing dining experience at poolside "water level" presenting a fresh concept of healthy and mouthwatering fare.
Skylight Rooftop Bar serves a selection of delicious hot and cold snacks accompanied by a full range of liquid refreshments. A rooftop whirlpool and sun deck lounge area creates a perfect place for a sundowner while plotting the night ahead in Legian.
In keeping with Bali’s reputation as the world’s leading spa destination, the Sun Island Hotel Legian has created The Island Spa – staffed by well-trained therapists providing a whole range of pampering treatments.
The Sun Island Hotel Legian becomes the fourth property managed by the Sun Island Group in Bali that include:
Sun Island Boutique Villas - Seminyak
White Rose Hotel & Villas
Jl. Legian No.123
Law and Order Bali
Bali Police Claim Crime in General Declined on the Island in 2013
Bali News: Law and Order Bali
(1/5/2014) NusaBali reports that, on the whole, criminality in Bali declined in 2013 when compared to 2012. During all of 2013, the Bali police processed a total of 7,785 criminal cases.
In a year-end press conference, Bali chief of police Inspector General Benny Mokalu said crime had reduced 3.89% in 2013 from the 8,100 cases handled in 2012.
The police chief for Bali said that cases involving the theft of motorcycles had become a major concern of his office, with such cases increasing to 541 stolen motorbikes in 2013, up 54.57% from 350 similar cases in the previous year.
At the same time, General Mokalu also told the press that conventional crime declined 5.04% and transnational crime declined 5.92% in 2013 as compared to 2012.
Traffic accidents also declined both in terms of quantity and quality in 2013. At 1,994 reported cases, there were 21.53% fewer traffic accidents in 2013 than in 2012, when a total 2.535 accidents occurred. The quality of accidents in 2013 was less dramatically tragic than in 2012. Fatalities attributed to road accident were down 10.55% in 2013 at 500 deaths. Similarly, the number of severe injuries linked to traffic accidents declined 50.68% to just 617.
In 2013 the calculation of property damaged caused by traffic accidents declined from Rp. 3.752 billion in 2012 to Rp. 3.53 billion.
Crimes committed in Bali in which foreigners were the victims increased to 170 in 2013 from 147 cases in 2012. Criminal cases in which foreigners were the perpetrators totaled 68 in 2013, up from 65 cases the previous year.
In 2013, police counted 54 foreigners as having died in Bali.
Bali top policeman used the press conference to call on the men and women under his command to spare no effort in enforcing the law and solving the cases occurring on Bali, especially cases involving the theft of motorcycles.
Police Investigate Death of Australian Women
Food Allergy or Food Poisoning Suspected in Death of Australian Woman and Teenage Daughter Die in East Bali
Bali News: Police Investigate Death of Australian Women
(1/5/2014) The deaths of a 54-year-old Australian woman and her 14-year-old daughter on holiday in Bali are being tentatively blamed on food poisoning or allergies, pending results of an official autopsy.
Dead are Noelene Gay Bischoff and her daughter Yvana Jeana Yuri Bischoff who had just checked in to an East Bali beachside resort at Padang Bai when they both fell sick.
Assisted by resort staff the two were taken by ambulance to a local medical clinic where the mother died at 1:45 am. The daughter was then rushed to the BIMC Hospital in Denpasar but could not be saved.
The two were from the Sunshine Coast in Australia where Bischoff worked in public health.
Police found a large amount of pharmaceuticals in the woman’s rooms.
Authorities continue to investigate the case while awaiting forensic results of the autopsy.
The Australian Consulate-general in Bali is assisting police and the deceased’s family in the case.
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