Business as Usual
Fuel Price Increase Not Expected to Dent Indonesia’s Fast-Growing Tourism Industry
(6/23/2013) Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, has declared that domestic and international tourism targets will not be revised following dramatic increases of between 22%-44% in fuel prices.
Speaking at the opening of a cultural festival in Jakarta on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, Pangestu said, “There will be no correction in tourism targets because all impacts and implications have been take into consideration.”
Indonesia continues to target 9 million foreign tourist visits for all of 2013. Meanwhile, the government is holding firm on its expectation that 250 domestic tourist trips will be undertaken in the current year, a number the Ministry of Tourism thinks will increase to 400 million trips by 2022.
The Minister, quoted in The Bali Post, said she anticipated that the tourism industry would find ways to be more efficient in its use of energy, such as occurred after the last increase in fuel costs. The higher energy cost is expected by the Minister to give new impetus to green hotel and green environment programs.
Not Going with the Flow
Angry Bali Villagers Close Ayung River to White Water Rafting Operators
(6/24/2013) Angry villagers living along the banks of the Ayung River in Central Bali brought river rafting operations to a complete halt on Sunday, June 23, 2013, when they cut trees, felling them across the river and making the passage of the rubber rafts used by rafting companies impossible.
Reported by both Nusa Bali, The Bali Post and DenPost - hundreds of villagers blockaded the river in protest at the failure of river rafting companies to pay an agreed Rp. 500,000 (US$50) per month to each of the 11 communities (banjars) for the past ten months.
Villagers complain that the hundred of tourist visitors traveling the river on rafts prevent traditional economic pursuits such as fishing or the breeding of live fish. For this reason, the rafting companies agreed to provide each Banjar a cash compensation of Rp. 500,000 each month. But, for the past 10 months, the rafting companies argue they are no longer able to make these payments.
Police and military personnel were deployed along the river on Sunday to keep the peace on Sunday while rafting operations came to a halt.
Villagers have pledged even stronger action if any attempt is made to remove the fallen trees blocking the river before an acceptable settlement is reached between local residents and the rafting operators.
Meanwhile, the chief of the local police precinct has promised to convene a meeting of between rafting operators and the local banjars to try to achieve a peaceful solution to the protests.
An estimate 12 rafting companies operate river trips along the Ayung River.
Balidiscovery.com has learned that rafting operations along the river resumed on Monday, June 24, 2013.
Hammering the Point Home
U.K. Man in North Bali Held by Police After Attacking his Wife with a Hammer
(6/23/2013) An U.K. national is under arrest by police in the North Bali regency of Buleleng suspected of having brutally attacked his wife with a hammer, sending the woman to hospital.
Police say evidence, eyes witnesses and interviews with John Burns (58) indicate the man assaulted his wife Kadek Suryadi (30) with a hammer causing the Balinese woman head injuries and bruising on various parts of her body.
The incident was reported to police on June 16, 2013 when Suryadi was admitted to a hospital in Singaraja.
Speaking to The Bali Post, the police in Singaraja have asked for the assistance of the U.K. Embassy in Indonesia, pledging they will handle the case in a proportional way according to the laws of Indonesia.
Bali’s Wanara Wana Monkey Forest Asks Visitors Not to Feed the Monkeys Nuts
(6/23/2013) The Wanara Wana Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali is asking visitors to refrain from giving the hundreds of monkey living there any form of nuts.
Concerned that the monkeys living in sacred preserve are getting too corpulent, those who “guard the guards who guard the forest” want visitors to stop giving the primates nuts of any kind.
The curator of the Monkey Forest, I Putu Suardika, told The Jakarta Post: “Please do not carry nuts into the forest and do not feed the monkeys with nuts since it will badly affect their health. There will be no sanction imposed upon visitors who do not follow this policy, but I believe the visitors will do their best to ensure the health of these animals.”??
Animal health experts have identified the high cholesterol and protein content of nuts as the root of an obesity epidemic among the long-tailed macaques at Wanara Wana Forest.
In an effort to provide a more varied and healthier diet for the monkeys. the monkeys are now fed sweet potatoes, rambutan, coconut, papaya and vegetables. Once every two days bananas supplement the diet of the monkeys with raw eggs added as a special treat on the Tumpek Kandang holy day when the Balinese honor domestic pets and livestock.
Eggs, like peanuts, are tightly controlled as Suardika links a high protein diet to enhanced libidos. Fearing an overpopulation of monkeys, Putu explained: “We carefully control the monkey population because we only have a limited space here. An uncontrolled population explosion could lead to nasty turf wars between rival monkey packs.”
There are currently an estimated 600 monkey now living in the 14-hectare forest on the southern border of Ubud.
BIZNET Bali International Triathlon 2013
BIZNET Bali Triathlon 2013 Ends as Organizers Prepare to Meet Challenges on the Road Ahead
(6/24/2013) The 7th BIZNET Bali International Triathlon was held on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at Jimbaran Beach and along the southernmost peninsula of Nusa Dua.
Over one thousand athletes took part in the Olympic distance, Sprint distance and 5-kilometer fun run at this year's event.
Slovenia athlete Michael Bucek was awarded the best overall time in the Olympic Distance event with a time of two hours seven minutes forty-three seconds, beating out Indonesian athlete Andi Wibowo with a time of two hours, thirteen minutes and forty-seven seconds.
Best overall Olympic distance time for a woman was turned in by Michelle Boyes of Australia at two hours thirty-six minutes and fifty-one seconds. Boye’s time bested fellow-Australian Nathalie Laurendeau and Britain’s Katherine de Rome.
The races formed the centerpiece of three days of activities starting on Friday with bike course tours, a Balinese bike blessing, group swims and an athlete reception at the Private Residence Villas of the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay.
On Saturday, group runs and swims were conducted leading up to a late afternoon race briefing and a sumptuous high-car dinner presented by the Le Meridien Jimbaran Bali Resort.
On Sunday race-day a brief ceremony on the beach at Jimbaran, officiated over by the Regent of Badung, Anak Agung Gede Agung, and the President Director of BIZNET Networks, Adi Kusma, preceding the start of the Olympic distance swim at 7:00 am, followed 20 minutes later by the Sprint Distance event and the 5km fun rub a short while later.
Throughout the morning the spacious Race Expo and Transition Area provided by the InterContinental Resort Bali was alive with the through-flow of athletes transitioning from swimming to cycling to the running race. Meanwhile, a large number of vendors offer food, drink and services against the background of live music and award presentations.
BIMC Hospital manned a well-equipped medical field hospital to assist racers; BIZNET connected racers and the press with their sophisticated Fiber Optic Internet service; Herbalife distributed nutritious drinks; Jari Menari provide complimentary massages to exhausted athletes – representing a sampling of the many interesting stands in operation throughout the morning.
Just before sunset athletes and others gathered on the cliffside of the AYANA Resort and Spa Bali for the traditional “Rock the Race Party” co-sponsored by Bir Bintang and Plaga Wines. The events concluded with a joyous fireworks display under a splendid full moon before all those in attendance were invited down for a cocktail at the legendary Rock Bar.
During the final nights cocktail, Brennan Lindner of Generic Events and a co-founder of the Bali Race spoke to those in attendance, highlighted how traffic and Bali’s rapid growth continued to challenge organizers. Despite the deployment of additional pacalang (community enforcement officers) and police for the 7th running, significant problems were encountered that are concerning to both the race organizers and the government of the Island who seen the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon as a valuable component of the Island’s yearlong schedule of activities.
Fundamental changes in the racecourse are now under discussion at a number of levels that will secure the future of the Bali International Triathlon for years to come.
New Road to a Near Neighbor
Air Niugini to Fly Port Moresby to Bali Starting August 5, 2013
(6/23/2013) Air Niugini, the national airline of Papa New Guinea, has announced its intention to commence direct flights between Port Moresby and Bali effective August 5, 2013.
Garth McIlwain, chairman of the board, told PNG Media that his airline will fly once each week to Bali using a Boeing 737 aircraft.
Operating under a code-sharing arrangement with the Indonesian national airline Garuda will allow passengers bound between the two destinations to fly on either airline thereby increasing flight frequency and access to the respective route systems of each carrier.
Air Niugini flies to 10 international destinations including Hong Kong, Fiji, Australia, Singapore, Tokyo and Cebu.
Stop (Building) in the Name of the Law
Villas in Jembrana Being Issued Permits and Licenses for Non-Conforming Construction
(6/23/2013) The surge in villas being built in the Bali regency of Jembrana has brought attention to bear on the legality of the permits held by these structures.
As reported by Beritabali.com, many of the newly built villas clearly violate minimum setback rules from the shoreline but somehow manage to hold a full set of permits and building licenses. This anomaly is fueling suspicion of official collusion and corruption in the issuance of building and site permits.
Several of the “suspicious” villas are located in the village of Perancak, Jembrana.
One, named “Villa 33” is still under construction. This particular villa has raised protests because its distance from the shoreline is less than 50 meters while the minimum legal setback from the shoreline for all areas in Bali is 100 meters.
And, despite what is an obvious violation of building and zoning codes, “Villa 33” appears to have a complete set of permits and licenses.
A member of commission C of the Jembrana House of Representatives (DPRD-Jembrana), Putu Kamawijaya, said on Friday, June 14, 2013, that he deeply regretted such flagrant disregard for the law could occur, especially when the rules are so clear.
He was also concerned that construction is being allowed to continue on the construction of a building that violates the law, with local officials choosing to close their eyes.
“This is not happening only in Perancak, but in many other places. Violations occur, but no one takes action,” complained Putu Kamawijaya.
He said that permits have been issued points to official collusion to break the law.
Kamawijaya said any building being built in violation of the law requires the relevant authority must have the courage to take corrective action.
He called on authorities to move against the illegal villas, regardless of who owns or back the subject projects.
Meanwhile, the head of the local enforcement office for Jembrana, Putu Widarta, said that his authority was only to check several documents that must be held by the villa project.
After he surveyed the new villas in Perancak, he said all held the complete set of licenses, including principle permits and building permits. “So everything is OK,” insisted Widarta.
The Provincial Zoning Law of Bali (RTRWP 2009) stipulates that any official issue a building permit that does not conform to the zoning law is subject to 5 years imprisonment.
Money, Money, Money
Local Tourism Leaders Sees Indonesia Tourism as Underfunded and Lacking a Long-Term Plan
(6/22/2013) I Nyoman Kandia, a member of the Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board has told BeritaBali.com that Indonesia ideally needs at the minimum of Rp. 1 trillion (US$100 million) to promote the country’s tourism industry.
This contrasts with the mere Rp. 20 billion (US$2 million) allocated in the state budget for this purpose.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD) held in Bali on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, Kandia said that limited funding available for tourism promotion was holding back tourism development.
“The House of Representatives (DPR) see tourism as an industry already in operations, thinking ‘so why should we give it funding.’ The DPR is not aware of the strong effect of tourism and how one tourist staying a week in Bali can create employment for 50 people. Drivers work. People visit shops. But, the DPR doesn't see these figures,” said Kandia.
I Nyoman Kandia bemoaned that Malaysia spends 20 times more on tourism promotion than Indonesia. He added that the great weakness of tourism promotion in Indonesia is the lack of an overall, long-term strategy.
Celebrating the Environment with Kids
Join Kids’ Day at the R.O.L.E. Foundation Campus in South Bali on Saturday, June 29, 2013
(6/22/2013) On Saturday, June 29, 2013, Yayasan R.O.L.E. (Rivers, Oceans, Lands, Ecology Foundation) will celebrating Kids’ Day in Nusa Dua with interactive games emphasizing environmental sustainability.
The Kids’ Day takes place from the 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Island Sustainability Education Centre (ISEC) Eco Park, located at Jalan Celagi Nunggul No. 101, Sawangan, Nusa Dua.
The afternoon will feature kid’s play and arts and crafts. The Kids’ Day will also present a number of educational activities designed for the whole family. Guests can join interactive Eco Tours that explore different environmental stations within the Park focusing on permaculture, waste management and health plants. Other attractions and activities include a wild animal stand by the Bali Safari & Marine Park, organic drinks and snacks made from the Park’s produce and prizes to be won.
Prizes include an overnight stay at Bali Eco Stay and a night safari through the Bali Safari & Marine Park.
“On this Kids’ Day we want the children to go an environmental journey, that will not only last for this day but for the whole summer and hopefully their entire future” said Laura Walter, volunteer and Eco Tours Coordinator at R.O.L.E.
With an estimated 5,000 tons of waste illegally dumped in Bali each day, Bali’s natural beauty is under serious threat together with the health of the Island’s ecosystem.
R.O.L.E. Foundation as the organizer of Kids’ Day view the event as the perfect opportunity to reach out to inspire the community to protect the environment. All money raised from the day will support R.O.L.E.’s interactive environment programs and diet and exercise education programs for children. Each year, R.O.L.E educates 2,000 primary school students on the connection between the environment and health issues; sustainable solutions on waste separation, composting, permaculture, organic farming and reforestation; as well as the importance of nutrition and exercise.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Bali’s Ambassador to the World
Real Madrid’s Champion Striker Cristiano Ronaldo Bali-Bound
(6/24/2013) Cristiano Ronadlo, Real Madrid striker and media icon, will be in Bali on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, to attend a tree planting ceremony in Bali's southern mangrove that will also be attended by Indonesia’s president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
According to Beritasatu.com, Ronaldo will land in Bali at 10:00 pm on Monday night and spend the night at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel before attending the planting the following morning.
The planting, organized by the Artha Graha Peduli Foundation, will take place at Telaga Waja in Benoa Bay with the Indonesian president and the Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan.
A media conference is planned for the afternoon at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel before participating in an invitation-only dinner on Wednesday evening.
Cristiano Ronaldo serves as an international mangrove ambassador for the Bali-based Peduli Mangrove Forum (Mangrove Care Forum) operated by the Artha Graha Peduli Foundation.
At the Stroke of Midnight
Gasoline and Diesel Prices Increased in Indonesia at Midnight, Friday, June 21, 2013
(6/22/2013) Fuel prices increased across Indonesia at midnight on Friday, June 21, 2013.
A liter of premium rose 44% to Rp. 6,500 (US$0.65) per liter, while diesel fuel rose 22% to Rp. 5,500 (US$0.55) per liter.
According to the Bali Post, the increase was announced by the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jero Wacik, at the office of the Coordinating Minister of the Economy on Friday. The increase took effect from midnight that same day.
Jero Wacik said the government pledged in the wake of the hike to increase national production of fuel targeting 1 million barrels of crude oil per day with a concomitant increase in gas production.
In Denpasar, the government's announcement sparked long lines at gas pumps as people line up to full up their tanks for the last time at the “old” price.
In the ensuing rush, some gas stations reportedly ran low on fuel supplies during the course of the evening.
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