Bali News Update Week 2.

Swords into Airline Tickets

Garuda Indonesia And Air Timor Establish Joint Venture Air Service

 

Negotiations over a six-month period have concluded in the signing of a joint venture agreement in Jakarta on December 18, 2013 between Air Timor and Garuda Indonesia.

 

Under the agreement Garuda will provide a dedicated aircraft to Air Timor to open up 3 (three) new international routes between Dili and Darwin, Dili and Denpasar, and Denpasar and Christmas Island. 

 

Air Timor will now be finalizing interline agreements for passengers as well as cargo. 

 

Air Timor will be operating a Boeing 737 aircraft fitted with Business and Economy class seating. Subject to government approval, plans are to commence operations before May 2014.

 

Air Timor currently operates a thrice-weekly Dili - Singapore service utilizing a Silk Air Airbus A319 aircraft. The airline will be operating daily schedules to both Darwin and Denpasar under the new agreement. 

 

Air Timor aims to create a significant increase in tourism from Australia as well as develop new business from Indonesia. 

 

Air Timor is Timor-Leste‘s only airline company. 

 

Honoring the Best, Inspiring the Rest

Bali Companies Dominate Winners of Indonesian Travel Tourism Awards 2013-2014

 

At a gala dinner held at the Ritz-Carlton Jakarta Mega Kuningan on Monday, December 16, 2013, the annual Indonesian Travel Tourism Awards 2013-2014 were presented.

 

In a selection process of open nominations, expert assessment, on-line voting anda  final review by a panel of judges -  outstanding Indonesian hotels, resorts, villas, serviced apartments, travel agents, tour operators, amusement parks, airlines, airports, tourism boards, destinations are recognized.

 

Representing leading brands across Indonesia – the winners are judge to have demonstrated exemplary service towards their customers.

 

In all, 45 separate awards were presented.

 

The Bali-related companies among this year’s crop of winners:

Indonesia's Leading Boutique Hotel, - BALI NIKSOMA BOUTIQUE BEACH RESORT

Indonesia's Leading Global Hotel Chain - SWISS-BELHOTEL INTERNATIONAL

Indonesia's Leading Green Hotel - MELIÃ BALI

Indonesia's Leading Family Resort - INTERCONTINENTAL BALI RESORT

Indonesia's Leading City Hotel - THE MAGANI HOTEL & SPA

Indonesia Leading Independent Spa - PRANA SPA – SEMINYAK

Indonesia Leading Local Hotel Chain – INTIWHIZ

Indonesia Leading Spa Resort - THE LAGUNA, A LUXURY COLLECTION RESORT AND SPA, NUSA DUA, BALI 

Indonesia's Leading Luxury Resort - THE ST. REGIS BALI RESORT

Indonesia's Leading Romantic Hotel - THE L HOTEL SEMINYAK

Indonesia's Leading Beach Resort - DISCOVERY KARTIKA PLAZA HOTEL BALI

Indonesia's Leading Thematic Resort - ALAYA RESORT UBUD

Indonesia's Leading Romantic Villa - VILLA DE DAUN

Indonesia's Villa Of The Year - KAYUMANIS JIMBARAN

Indonesia's Leading Boutique Resort - PREMIER HOSPITALITY ASIA RESORT

Indonesia's Leading Low Cost Airline – CITILINK

Indonesia's Leading Inbound Travel Agent - PANORAMA TOURS

 Indonesia's Leading Theme Park - BALI SAFARI & MARINE PARK

Indonesia's Leading Coach/ Bus Company - WHITE HORSE GROUP

Indonesia's Leading Water Sport Company - BALI MARINE WALK

Indonesia's Leading Island Resort – Bali - NUSA DUA BEACH HOTEL & SPA, BALI

Indonesia's Leading Tour Operator - DESTINATION ASIA

Indonesia's Leading Golf Resort - NEW KUTA GOLF AND OCEAN VIEW

Indonesia's Resort of The Year - BANYAN TREE UNGASAN, BALI

Indonesia's Leading Taxi/Limousine Company - BLUE BIRD GROUP

Indonesia's Leading Consumer Bank – BNI

Indonesia's Leading International Airline - GARUDA INDONESIA

Indonesia's Leading Romantic Resort - GRAND ASTON BALI BEACH RESORT

Indonesia Travel Tourism Awards List of Winners

 

Go East Young Man!

TransNusa Aviation Flying Three Times a Week Between Bali and Sumbawa Besar

 

TransNusa Aviation has commenced operating a thrice-weekly service between Denpasar (Bali) and Sultan Kaharuddin Airport at Sumbawa Besar on the island of Sumbawa.

 

Republika.co.id reports that the inaugural flight departed on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 with 52 of the aircraft’s 70 seats filled.

 

TransNusa is operating Fokker 50 aircraft on the new route with a flight time of around 50 minutes between Bali and Sumbawa Besar.

 

The new Transnusa Aviation service will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The flight will leave Denpasar at 9:00 am with the return flight from Sumbawa Besar taking off at 12:40 pm. 

 

The normal price of a ticket on the new service is currently selling for Rp. 468,000 (US$37.50).

 

As a special promotional offer, TransNusa is selling tickets on all its routes until February 16, 2014 for only Rp. 89,999 (US$7.20).

 

From Indonesia with Love

Laguna Bali – Luxury Collection Presents Month-Long Paintings by Sasya Tranggono

 

Laguna Bali - Luxury Collection presents painting by Sasya Tranggono from January 23- February 28 2014. 

 

The Bali exhibition will display the latest work from the Indonesian painter, featuring watercolor and mixed media paintings of butterflies, flowers, and traditional Indonesian puppets. 

 

his solo exhibition represents Sasya’s career that spans over twenty years. “Wayang” or traditional Indonesian puppets, along with flowers and butterflies were Sasya’s first works in the early stages of her career as a painter. 

 

Having always been fascinated with “wayang” puppetry, Sasya believes these cultural icons of puppet theatre in Indonesia represents the diverse cultural life of Indonesia and perfectly portrays life on earth via the stories told by these puppets. The vibrant colors she uses to paint each puppet figure are, according to Sasya, symbols of the colors of life: laughter, sorrow, love, joy and deceit. 

 

Similarly, the butterfly paintings in this exhibition are personal expressions that hold a dear meaning to the painter. Each butterfly expresses her story, symbolizing the metamorphosis of her life. The artist insists that each brush stroke tells a story of different periods of life’s triumphs and struggles, happiness and sadness. 

 

Born in Jakarta on December 25th, 1963, Sasya was brought up in a Javanese family with conservative traditional values. After completing her Bachelor studies in the United States of America and her Masters degree in The Netherlands, Sasya started taking art classes and workshops in the Vrije Academie Rotterdam in The Netherlands. 

 

What started as a mere hobby eventually became her full-time career and upon her return to Indonesia, Sasya held her first exhibition in 1999. Having spent a number of years overseas, she is determined to introduce the culture and values of her home country to the world. Sasya has since held numerous successful exhibitions in Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore and The Netherlands.

 

Collectors of Sasya’s work include Former President of Indonesia Megawati Soekarnoputri, the founder of Air Asia Dato Tony Fernandes, former Indonesian Tourism Minister Joop Ave, and the late and former President of The Philippines Corazon Aquino. 

 

The paintings displayed during the Bali exhibition are available for purchase with part of the proceeds going to UNICEF. 

 

Partners for over 15 years, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and UNICEF have raised more than US$ 25 million and transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children worldwide.

 

From Indonesia with Love

Paintings by Sasya Tranggono

 

January 23 – February 28, 2014

The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa

Nusa Dua, Bali

 

 

Luxury Loves Company

The Mulia – Nusa Dua, Bali Joins the Leading Hotels of the World

 

The Mulia – Nusa Dua, Bali has been inducted into membership at The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. – the first hotel in the Nusa Dua area of Bali to win a place in that international circle of elite hotels.

 

Opening in February 2013, the all-suite Bali property occupies a prime beachfront at Nusa Dua overlooking the Indian Ocean. Private butlers form the front line of service concept seeking to provide the highest level of privacy and meticulous attention to detail.

 

Each of the 111 suites are luxuriously apportioned with the smallest suite starting from 105 square meters up to 296 square meters. A one-bedroom suite option includes a living area facing a glass sliding door opening onto a full-length patio that creates an indoor-outdoor relaxation area. Also available are 2-bedroom suites with oversized bedrooms, luxurious living rooms and dining area equipped with a high-tech entertainment system. Every suite is complemented with a Jacuzzi located on the patio.

 

The Leading Hotels of the World features more than 430 luxury properties in over 80 countries. Established in 1928 by several influential European hoteliers, it started with just 38 initial members.

 

Book a Stay at The Mulia - Nusa Dua Bali

 

Storm Warning

Indonesian Weather Forecasters Was Cyclone Forming Near Darwin Could Bring Foul Weather to Large Areas of Indonesia

 

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) is urging the Indonesian public to be cautious and prepared for the threat posed by a tropical cyclone forming in the waters between Indonesia and Northwestern Australia.

 

The deputy in charge of climatology at BMKG, Widada Sulistya, told Suara Pembaruan on Friday, January 10, 2014, said: “A rotation of the winds -  the seeds of a strom system has already been formed and if it grows in strength will become a tropical cyclone.”

 

The tropical low-pressure system is forming between Darwin, Australia and Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. He said that if the storm cell grows in strength it could be expected to come into being  in 5-7 days time (January 15-17, 2014).

 

Widada said that Indonesia would not suffer a direct hit from the tropical cyclone but must remain vigilant to its side effects. If the storm develops areas in East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara, South Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi can expect heavy rains, strong winds, high waves and landslides.

 

The Choosing Path

Election Season Opens Leading to Legislative Elections April 9, 2014

 

The legislative election process is now officially underway in Bali and the rest of Indonesia.

 

In accordance with regulations of the National Election Commission (PKPU), the campaign period leading up to parliamentary elections on April 9, 2014 will run from January 11 until April 5the when a 4 day “quiet” period goes into effect.

 

As reported by Beritabali.com, the chairman of the Election Commission (KPU), Jusni Kamil Manik, attended a coordination meeting in Bali on Thursday, January 9, 2014, where he reviewed how the campaigns would be conducted.

 

The highlights of the schedule for election related activities

March 30 – April 6, 2014 – Voting and tabulation of votes by overseas voters.

April 6-8, 2013 -Audit of campaign funding

April 9, 2014 – Election Day and vote counting followed by announcement of winners.

May 11 – 18, 2014 – Finalization of winning candidates.

The Indonesian Presidential Election will take place July 9, 2014.

 

Unanswered Questions

Bodies of Two Australian Woman Returned from Bali to Australia for Autopsy

 

The bodies of two Australian women, Noelene Bischoff (54) and her daughter Yvana (14), arrived in Brisbane on Saturday, January 11, 2014, where an autopsy will be carried out to determine why the two suddenly died in Bali on the early hours of January 5th.

 

Family members refused an autopsy in Indonesia, insisting that a detailed forensic examination must be done in Queensland.

 

Bali police remain unable to determine why the mother and daughter fell suddenly ill and subsequently died after checking into a seaside hotel in Padang Bai, East Bali. Rushed to medical facilities, the elder Birchoff died in Padang Bai while her daughter succumbed several hours later in a hospital in South Bali.

 

Police has collected vomitus and a wide range of prescription drugs owned by the women in an effort to find a possible cause of death. Speculation in the press has run from food poisoning to a violent allergic reaction.

 

New.com.au interviewed the Balinese driver who spent seven hours escorting the women around the Island just prior to their deaths who said both women were happy and not ill during their tour that included elephant rides, an excursion on a local lake and a traditional dance show.

 

The driver said the women lunched at a local warung near Ubud where they dined on seafood and tuna fish.

 

The driver took leave of the two women at the their Padang Bai hotel at 3:50 pm.

 

The mother and daughter were in Bali on a two-week holiday that began on December 31, 2013.

 

A Top Draw Bureau

Bali Names Five to Formulate Plan to Establish a Bali Convention Bureau

 

The Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD) has enlisted five volunteers to help formulate a plan intended to lead to the establishment of a Bali Convention Bureau.

 

Volunteering to help establish the Bali Convention Bureau are:

Saraswati Subadia a director of the Bali International Convention Center (BICC).

Rika Maylanu a director of the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center.

Ketut Jaman of the Indonesian Congress and Convention Association (INCCA).

Wiwien Gunawasika from the Indonesian Exhibition Companies Association (Asperapi).

Mangku Kandia from the Indonesian Tourism Promotion Body (BPPI).

Funding for the proposed Convention Bureau to help Bali secure a larger share of the lucrative conference and convention remains unclear, reflecting a general predisposition among Bali officials to underfund tourism promotion.

 

Cooking for Royalty

Jocelyn Arguad Joins Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan as Executive Sous Chef

 

Jocelyn Argaud has taken on the role of executive sous chef at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan.

 

A native of Lyon, France, Jocelyn was initially drawn to cooking by watching his mother in the kitchen. That inspired his culinary passion and, at the age of 16, he started as a kitchen apprentice in a local restaurant. Over the years he has worked in leading establishments in Paris, St. Petersburg, Dubai and southern California.

 

One of several highlights in Jocelyn’s distinguished career was a three year period in the kitchens of the Royal Palace of Qatar, serving the royal family as the French and international specialty Chef. There he prepared numerous dinner parties for visiting politicians and dignitaries, and served also as the executive sous chef for the royal wedding of a Qatari princess and prince.

 

For the past two years, Jocelyn has been executive sous chef at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa. 

 

Commenting on his move to Four Seasons, he said: “I appreciate the company’s investment in its employees, providing opportunities for growth and development, and the consistent respect for the Golden Rule – treating others as you wish to be treated yourself.”

 

“My wife and I have always wanted to work in Bali,” says Jocelyn, “and now this has become an exciting reality for us. We love the peace and tranquility of Sayan. We’re looking forward to exploring the countryside by bike and travelling all over Bali to learn more about its culture.”

 

With a background in fine French and international cuisine, Jocelyn will add his own elegant dash to Sayan’s authentic Balinese dishes. “I love the different spices and tastes of Bali and I look forward to gaining a better understanding of Balinese cuisine.” 

 

The Frenchman says his favorite local dish is babi guling – suckling pig roasted over a coconut husk fire. It’s a frequent specialty at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, served during the Ubud Night Dinner at Ayung Terrace.

 

He will supervise the Resort’s three main dining venues: Ayung Terrace for Asian-inspired and Indonesian specialties; the Riverside Café for casual fare during lunch and a Mediterranean cuisine during dinner; and the Jati Bar for tropical cocktails and light snacks. 

 

Jocelyn will be enhancing the menu with his own French influence, always with a Mediterranean twist. One of his personal specialties is milk-fed veal with morels. “I’m hoping to bring more of a farm-to-table focus by using the very best of Balinese ingredients and working with the local farmers.”

 

Book a Stay at the Four Seasons Resort Sayan

 

A Traditional French Feast

Rare Chance to Experience Authentic Provencal Cuisine at Mozaic Ubud Saturday, January 18, 2013

 

The Mozaic Ubud brings the culinary artistry of Provence to Bali for one night only with the appearance of chef Bernard Chatton from the 2-Star Michelin L’Oustau de Baumanière.

 

On Saturday, January 18, 2014, Chatton will celebrate traditional haute cuisine with a classic six-course degustation menu epitomizing the region and  featuring regional stalwarts such as roasted duck with cherries and crêpe soufflé.

 

Chef Bernard Chatton

 

Adding to the celebratory atmosphere at the Mozaic is the fact that the dinner will represent something of a “homecoming” for Mozaic founder Chef Chris Salans who began his career as an intern at L’Oustau de Baumanière under the tutelage of Chef Bernard Chatton.

 

Bernard Chatton has worked as a chef since he was 14 years old. He commenced his professional career at 3-star Michelin restaurant Troisgro Brothers in Roanne, France, as a chef de partie as well as working

at other Michelin starred restaurants before joining L’Oustau de Baumanière in 1983 in Provence where he continues to work to this day.

 

Bernard has competed in several regional cooking competitions, travelled the world representing L’Oustau at events and dinners, been consulted for technical training advisories and led private cooking classes.

 

“I’m super excited to welcome L’Oustau de Baumanière to Bali,” said Salans. “This is where I began my career which no doubt has influenced my cooking and dishes at Mozaic Ubud.”

 

“While the cuisine of southern France has evolved like other cuisines across the globe I have asked Bernard in this instance to prepare classic dishes that have made Provence famous. It will offer tourists and residents of Bali a rare chance to taste some of the finest cuisine in the world that has inspired chefs like myself,” explained Salans.

 

Commenting on his mentor and teachers, Salans continued explaining that Chatton has worked for 30 years at L’Oustau, adding: “Bernard is indeed a ‘veteran’ when it comes to French cuisine and leaves no technique unturned. We are very fortunate to have him ‘take over’ our kitchen for the evening and show us his skills in the kitchen.”

 

L'Oustau de Baumanière

 

Raymond Thuilier purchased a Provencal farmhouse in 1945, near the foot of the citadel of Les Baux, an area washed by Mistral winds. The Val d’Enfer (Hell’s Valley) made immortal by Dante is where Thuilier decided to create a gastronomic landmark in a remote corner of les Alpilles.

 

Known as a businessman, painter and poet - Raymond Thuilier's first passion was cooking. In the intervening years since its founding L'Oustau has hosted the literati, royalty, gourmets and tourists from every corner of the world.

 

L’Oustau de Baumanière Comes to Bali

With Chef Bernard Chatton

Saturday, January 18, 2014

 

Menu

 

Aubergine caramélisée au miel de lavande

Caramelized eggplant with lavender honey

+ + + +

Soupe de topinambour, huitre parfumée au curry

Jerusalem artichoke soup with oysters and curry

+ + + +

Rouget poêle sur son pistou aromatisé au basilic

Pan seared red mullet with tomato and basil ‘pistou

+ + + +

Raviolis de ris de veau, poireaux et truffes,

Sweet bread, leek and black truffle raviolis in black truffle sauce

+ + + +

Canard aux Cerises

Roasted duck with fresh seasonal cherries served with eggplant gratin and potato dauphinois

+ + + +

Crêpe Soufflé en souvenir de Mr. Thuillier

Souffle Dedicated to the Memory of Mr. Thuillier

+ + + +

Orange zests and Grand Marnier

 

Cost of menu Rp. 1 million plus 21% tax and service (US$96.80) 

 

Optional wine pairings available at an additional cost.

 

Rooms to Spare, And then Some

Bali’s Leaders Urged to Enforce a Moratorium on New Hotel Permits

 

Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports that The Indonesian Tourism Association (GIPI) is once again calling on the local governments in Bali to urgently implement a hotel moratorium in order to halt the rampant overdevelopment now underway on the Island.

 

The chairman of GIPI-Bali, Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, said: “Many tourists complain about the current condition of Bali. Too many buildings make them feel uncomfortable, as it is too crowded. Buildings are everywhere and it is hard to find green areas.”

 

The Association is calling for the long-discussed moratorium to be implemented in 2014 in order to stem the rapid growth in starred hotels, non-starred hotels, villas and guesthouses.

 

While accurate figures apparently do not exist, it is estimated that 90,000 accommodation rooms exist across Bali’s south, far outstripping demand.

 

Wijaya added: “We are facing an oversupply of accommodation in Bali. The government should take real action as the oversupply is also causing a price war, with customers being offered inexpensive hotel rates. If the government has no policy, Bali will become a cheap holiday destination.” 

 

Wijaya complained that the high rate of development is causing Bali’s cultural identity to be compromised.

 

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika called for a moratorium on new hotels in Badung, Gianyar and Denpasar in 2011 - a pronouncement ignored by the heads of local governments in Bali who have continued to issues licenses and permits at an unprecedented rate.

 

Claiming the need to increase the local tax base as their justification for granting new hotel permits, the Regents refuse to address the inherent corruption of the Hotel and Restaurant tax collection system, estimated by some sources to under collected by as much as 60%. Were taxes more fully collected in Bali, the raison d'être for granting new hotel permits would cease to exist.

 

Also unconsidered by the Regents is the zero-sum game of increasing the number of taxable rooms when that results in drastic drops in room rates and room taxes.

 

Governor Pastika remains ready to implement a moratorium on new hotel but unless the provincial government’s approval becomes needed to build a new hotel, such a moratorium will continued to be ignored by the regencies.

 

Does Bali Need a Rail System?

Candidate for Legislative Office Says Bali Must Develop a Mass Transit Rail System.

 

An Indonesian transportation community leader, Anak Agung Ngurah Wiryawan, has stated that Bali needs alternative forms of transportation, such as a train service circling the island.

 

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Wiryawan said: “With the congestion of roadways in Bali, especially in the South, the government must be thinking of providing public transportation to facilitate movement.”

 

He continued to say that if plans were not formulated soon, traffic in Bali will become completely congested in 10-15 years time and begin to resemble other areas like Jakarta and Surabaya.

 

“This is the prediction because the growth in vehicles is outpacing the creation of new roads. There are no limits on vehicle growth, while at the same time additional road capacity is not being built,” said Wiryawan.

 

The former youth leader and candidate for legislative office in the April 2014 elections said he hopes Bali would build a rail-based mass transport system connecting the regions with the cities of Bali.

 

Where Goes the Bali Economy in 2014?

Bali Economy May Slow in 2014 as Rupiah Weakens and Government Focuses on Elections

 

The chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Entrepreneurs Association (APINDO), Drs. Panudiana Kuhn predicts that 2014 will be a political year dominated by the legislative election on April 9th and the presidential election on July 9th.

 

Quoted in Bisnis Bali, Panudiana said: “Expenditures in 2014 will be largely dedicate to pay expenses related to holding the elections.”

 

While admitting that the economy in Bali in 2013 was relatively healthy, he warned that foreign exchange would be under threat. The value of the Indonesian Rupiah against the U.S. Dollar will continue to slacken in 2014, causing the Indonesian economy to weaken somewhat.

 

While State budgets will increase in 2014, the dollar and the cost of many elements of public and private spending will also increase. Citing a case in point, Panudiana mentioned the dramatic cost increase for LPG gas that took effect on January 1, 2014. “At the same time our exports are decreasing, while state-supported fuel and electrical subsidies have reached Rp. 330 trillion (US$26.4 billion). These factors can deplete foreign exchange reserves,” explained Panudiana.

 

Meanwhile, export figures published by the Bali Statistic Bureau (BPS-Bali) recorded exports declined 9.07% in October 2013 with total exports valued at US$47.46 million. 

 

Handicrafts, fish and prawns, jewelry, wood-based products, ready-to-wear clothing and furniture dominate Bali exports.

 

Panudiana said tourism prospects for Bali remain strong in 2014, warning that security and safety are essential to sustaining Bali’s tourism industry.

 

Too Young to Retire

Retirement Age for Junior Indonesian Civil Servants Raised to 58

 

The Ministry for administrative Reform (PAN-RB) has announced a postponement in the retirement age for lower-ranking civil servants from 56-years to 58-years.

 

Ministerial Secretary Tasdik Kinanto made the announcement on Wednesday, January 8, 2014.

 

Quoted by Bisnis Bali, Kinanto said: “Civil Servants entering their pension period on February 1, 2104 or later will automatically have their retirement postponed for two further years. Technical details of this postponement will be addressed in a circular letter to be issued by the head of the National Civil Service (BKN).”

 

Senior Civil Servants retire at 60 while junior level civil servants will now pension at 58-years of age.

 

The delay in retirement is expected to affect the pension time of 11,000 government employees.

 

More Russians are Coming

Russian Honorary Consul in Bali Predicts 15-20% Growth in Russian Market in 2014

 

The Honorary Russian Consul in Bali, Chairul Nuku Kamka, is predicting Russian tourism to Bali will grow 18% in 2014.

 

As reported by Balidiscovery.com, Russian visitors to Bali through the end of November 2013 totaled 71,177 – an increase of 4.42% over the same eleven months in 2012.

 

Despite the actual figure above, Chairul Nuku Kamka told Bisnis Bali that his office calculated Russian visitor to Bali increased 18% in 2013 and predicts a 15-20% increase for 2014.

 

The Russia Honorary Consul is optimistic visitor totals will increase because of strong air connections provided by airlines serving Bali such as Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. He also cited the support of charter flights between Russia and Bali operated by Tran Aero.

 

Describing the Russian tourists served by the Consulate, Nuku Kamka said they were minimalists, rent vehicles for touring and tend to reserve their accommodation in Bali on-line. He said the Russian tourist seldom eat at hotels, preferring to dine at local restaurants.

 

Working for the Yankee Dollar

Bali Targets to Earn US$5.5 billion in Foreign Exchange from Tourism in 2014

 

The head of the Bali Tourism Agency, Ida Bagus Subhisku predicts Bali will earn US$5.5 billion in foreign exchange generated by tourism in 2014.

 

As reported by Bali Daily, the foreign exchange will be generated by a targeted 3.5 million foreign tourists expected to come to Bali in 2014. This will constitute a near 10% increase over the 3.2 million preliminary count of total tourist visits in 2013.

 

In addition Bali is expecting 6.5 million domestic visitors in 2014.

 

All projections for 2014 are predicated on the understanding that Bali will remain tranquil during a year in which legislative and presidential elections will be held.

 

Subhisku is predicting growth in Australian visitors to Bali in 2014, despite the fact that growth in Australian numbers, still the main source of foreign visitors to Bali, remained flat in 2013.

 

The top tourism official for the province of Bali is also predicting growth in visitors from Japanese and selected European markets.

 

No Padding Needed

Swede Faces Possible Death Penalty for Trying to Bring 3.1 Kilograms of Narcotics to Bali

 

Suara Pembaruan reports that a 60-year-old Swedish citizen, Lindgren, was arrested at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport on Monday, December 30, 2013, carrying 3.1 kilograms if methamphetamines destined for Bali.

 

A policeman from the narcotic criminal division of the national police, Brigadier General Arman Depari, said the drugs were intended to be sent directly to Bali for New Year’s celebrations.

 

Arman said the drugs were concealed in packets taped to Lingdren’s body. Preliminary investigations indicate the drugs originated from Dakar, Senegal, where they were purchased for US$2,000.

 

Police say the arrest traces back to suspicious behavior by the Swede on his arrival in Jakarta. This led to a thorough search by custom’s officers.

 

The Swede now faces a possible sentence of death or a minimum prison term of 20 years.

 

Blowing in the Wind

Mini-tornado Causes Damage to Housing Estate in East Bali

 

A localized whirlwind, known as puting beliung in Bali, touched down in a housing estate in Karangasem on Friday, January 10, 2104, causing severe damage to at least three homes and lesser damage to tens of others.

 

As reported by Denpost, Wahyu Subagan Permai Housing Estate in Subagan, Karangasem was hit by the mini-tornado at mid-day on Friday, January 10th, 

 

One local woman, Linda (40) suffered a hand injury when she was struck by flying roofing while trying to protect her motorcycle.

 

Damage from the whirlwind, estimated to have a diameter of 50 meters, was limited to the housing estate. The storm struck without warning, with light rain falling at the time of the incident.

 

In all, 26 homes suffered some degree of damage in the storm that lasted no more than 5 minutes.

 

Law Enforcement Lacking Bark or Bite

Udayana University Seminar Discusses Legal Recourses for Halting Animal Cruelty in Bali

 

The Law Faculty of Bali’s Udayana University conducted a seminar on animal protection on Thursday, January 9, 2014.

 

Invited to attend were representatives the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA), the Bali Police and academics from the law faculty. 

 

One of the topics discussed was the presence of “RW” or “ErWe” stands across the island selling cooked dog meat. These businesses are blamed for the disappearance of thousands of dogs each year, purchased from dog meat dealers or stolen from unsuspecting pet owners.

 

I Gusti Bagus from BAWA told the seminar participants, “Every day we receive tens of reports regarding cruelty in the form of torture, poisoning and the theft of dogs.” Bagus told the group that the growing abuse of dogs in Bali could be linked to the many RW stands operating in Bali.

 

BAWA estimates, based on a field survey, approximately 80 RW stands are in operation in Bali.

 

Bagus also warned the audience of the growing popularity of Pitbull fights taking place in Bali used to support illegal gambling on the island.

 

The BAWA spokesperson, quoted in NusaBali, complained the current criminal code against animal cruelty (KUHP 302) was too lenient, punishing violators only with one month’s prison or a fine of Rp. 4,500 (US$0.36). Bagus said such levels of punishment do not reflect the current conditions in Bali.

 

A legal expert form BAWA, Simplexius Axa, said cruelty to animals could also be addressed under paragraph 170 subsection 1 regarding damage caused to the personal property of others that carries a stiffer penalty of a maximum 5 years in prison. 

 

He revealed that another section of the criminal code (KUHP 363) pertaining the theft of animals carries a 7-year prison sentence, although the intent of that law was the protection of livestock.

 

The police said they need complaints and reports from the public in order to take action against those committing cruelty to animals. Sugiran of the Criminal Division of the Bali Police said someone must first file a criminal complaint against an RW stand for police to investigate and make arrests. Police also do not have a legalgrounds to close RW stands in Bali. The only exception to the enforcement and closedown rule is if the subject activity is causing public unrest threatening peace in the community.

 

Tobacco at Premium Prices

US$4 Fine or 3 Month Jail for Smoking in Non-Smoking Areas in Bali

 

NusaBali reports that a seminar held on the socialization of Smoke-Free Areas has told the public that commencing January 2014 those caught breaking no-smoking rules in public places in Bali can be subject to fines of Rp. 50,000 (US$4) or three months in prison.

 

Provincial Law No. 7 of 2013 on “Smoke-Free Areas” is now in effect in Bali.

 

The head of the health department for the municipality said the new lawhave been put in place to protect people from the dangerous effects of both passive and active smoking.

 

The anti-smoking regulations stipulate smoking is not allowed in public places in Bali, including places of education, work places, places of worship, recreation areas or areas frequented by children. 

 

The prohibition against smoking also applies to public transport, medical centers and sporting venues.

 

Business and public areas affected by the new ruling are being urged to create well-ventilated smoking areas.

 

Children’s rights and children protection advocates are welcoming the new rules that will prevent children from suffering the health effects of second-hand smoke.

 

Magical Mystery Tour of Bali

Naked Man High on ‘Magic Mushrooms’ Rescued from Kuta Building Ledge

 

Denpost reports that on Sunday, January 5, 2014 a naked young man managed to make his way to the second floor of the office of the Kuta Lurah where he attracted a large crowd while indicating his desire to jump.

 

Both police and firefighters responded to the scene, trying to coax the man to safety and leave the window’s ledge via the stairs.

 

Wahyu Setyo of the Kuta Police Precinct said: “I suspect he was drunk with mushrooms. We couldn’t even get him to talk.”

 

Eventually Nyoman Resa of the Kuta Police managed to coax the naked man off the building’s ledge at 11:30 a.m., after he had spent two hours preparing to jump.

 

The non-communicative man was bundled off by police for observation at Bali’s Sanglah General Hospital. 

 

Restaurants and coffee shop in many areas of Bali openly sell "Magic Mushrooms" that are propagated in cow manure. Also known as psilocybin mushrooms, the drug can deliver a mild or powerful psychedelic experience, depending on the dosage and the metabolism of the user. 

 

While the active substance of psilocybin found in these mushrooms technically qualifies as a “class 1”addictive narcotic'  as defined  by the Indonesian Anti-Narcotics Agency, these mushrooms are openly sold in Bali.

 

Bali – to the Max!

Max Kay to Lead Robert Burns Night in Bali on January 25, 2014 at Bali Dynasty Resort

 

Well-known Perth, Western Australian civic leader and entertainment personality Max Kay will soon be packing his bags to Bali to lead a time-honored Scottish tradition – Robert Burn’s Night.

 

In what is hoped to become a lasting tradition in Bali, the birth date of the Robert Burns – Scotland’s immortal poet laureate – will be celebrated on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at the Bali Dynasty Resort.

 

In simultaneous celebration with a worldwide clan of Scotsmen and Scotswomen, Bali’s “Robert Burn’s Night” will be celebrated with the sound of bagpipes, Scottish song, a traditional menu including the iconic haggis and generous libations.

 

Leading the evening of ritualized fun in Bali will be Scottish-born Western Australian entertainer and businessman Max Kay.

 

Max first arrived in Perth from Scotland in 1967 and soon became one of Western Australia’s most sought after performers! In 1976 he opened the Civic Theatre in Inglewood where he wrote, produced, and performed his own shows with a personally trained cast of, dancers, singers, and actors. 

 

Building on his success, Kay restored an old meat works factory in Highgate and at a cost of over one million dollars in 1980, refurbishing the venue to make it one of the most respected private theatres in the country. Both The “Civic Theatre” and Max became Western Australian icons playing to over one and a half million customers and employing, at its height, 120 people performers, musicians, technicians, administration, sales staff and food and beverage staff.

 

Closing the theatre in 2001 to dedicate himself to community projects and public service, Max won a seat on the City of Perth Council.

 

Named ‘Citizen of the Year” for the Arts Culture and entertainment category in 2001, the same year he received Western Australia Premier’s award for “Legend of the Hospitality Industry.”

 

More honors followed when was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the entertainment industry and for charitable works. 

 

In Bali Max will don his tartan to lead a celebration of Robert Burn’s birth date in the ritualized manner that includes the saying of the Selkirk Grace, the ceremonial presentation of the Haggis accompanied by a piper and served with fine Scottish Whiskey, Scottish song and traditional toasts exchanged between the ladies and the lasses

 

ing will begin with pre-dinner drinks at 7:00 pm following by the traditional fare of:

Cock a Leekie Soup

Haggis

Neeps and Tatties

Rare Scottish Rib of Beef with trimmings and seasonal vegetables

Hot Sticky Toffee Pudding 

Free Flow Beer and wine will accompany the cocktails and dinner provided by Bali Hai Beer and Artisan Estates. Johnny Walker will provide Scotch Whiskey for the traditional toast to the Haggis.

 

Tickets for the evening cost Rp. 850,000 net (AU$80) that covers cocktails, dinner , free flow beer and wine, and Scotch whiskey toast.

 

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

 

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

 

Mega Knows Best

Former President Megawati Soekarno Putri Criticized by Zoning Activists for Ignoring Bali Building Laws

 

Many investors in the tourism sector in Bali violate with impunity the provisions of the Provincial Zoning Regulations (RTRW). That is the claim made by the chairman of the Bali Movement for Social Solidarity (GASOS), Lanang Sudira. 

 

“We observe that many investors are building facilities, especially those on beach fronts and rivers, in violation of minimum setback rules,” said Sudira on Sunday, January 12, 2014.

 

The Gianyar native and social activist cited, as an example, the villa built by former Indonesian President Megawati Soekarno Putri in the village of Kramas on Cucukan Beach in Gianyar. Sudira claims it is obvious to even the most casual observer that the villa complex violate the law on setbacks from the high-water mark. “Don’t make the excuse that this is because of beach erosion. Before erosion took place the villa was already in violation of the RTRW. Just  look at the villa on Cucukan Beach at Kramas Village owned by the former President of the Republic of Indonesia,” Sudira explained.

 

Sudira said he hope that government officialswould be brave and take action against investors who build tourism facilities that violate the law, insisting that whoever breaks the law must suffer the consequences. “Law enforcement must be firm in enforcing these rules. Don’t be frightened because an official owns the illegal facility. In a country of law, anyone who breaks the law must face enforcement," emphasized Sudira.

 

"If an official has broken the law they must be brought into line as an example for other investors. However, the current situation is just the opposite,” bemoaned the Gasos spokesman.

 

Lanang Sudira said the RTRW No. 16 of 2009 clarifies minimum setbacks for hotel facilities from seashores and riverbanks. “Unfortunately, the reality is that the provincial, regency and municipal governments are not able to maximize the enforcement of the zoning rules. The proof (of this fact) is that many hotels and villas violate setbacks from rivers and sea fronts,” he complained.

 

He said many hotels and villas in violation of the law are found in the regency of Gianyar, with examples found all along the Ayung River in the Kedewatan region of Ubud. Adding: “There, if seen from the rule on setbacks from rivers its clear that violations have been committed. There are structures that even touch the riverbank. But the relevant agencies of the government are unable to firmly enforce the rules. They just close their eyes.”

 

Lanang Sudira said that many member of the public assume officials have been bribed by investors to avoid enforcement of the rules. He said that the relevant agencies should not hesitate to recheck all buildings for compliance with the law, even after they are built and even if they are already holding permits.

 

“If they are found to be breaking the law then these buildings must be demolished or their operating permits suspended. But the reality is that they are allowed to operate, even though it is clear to all concerned that they violate setback rules from the riverbank,” said Sudira.

 

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

 

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