Bali News Update week 27 N.

HIV/AIDS' Heavy Toll in Paradise

Most Cases of HIV/AIDS in Bali Found in Island’s Capital of Denpasar

 

As many as 3.699 cases of HIV/AIDS were identified in Bali during the period of January-June 2014, with the majority of cases found in the island’s capital city of Denpasar.

 

Quoted in Kompas.com, the head of the provincial health service, Dr. Ketut Suarjaya said in Denpasar on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, “Depasar has the greatest number of cases of HIV/AIDS when compared to the remaining eight regencies and metropolitan areas of Bali.”

 

The figures break down further to 1,876 cases of HIV and 1,823 cases of AIDS.

 

The second highest number of HIV/AIDS cases are found in Buleleng in North Bali where1,632 cases of HIV/AIDS are reported.

 

Coming in third in terms of HIV/AIDS cases in Bali is the regency of Bandung with 1,343 cases.

 

Ubud and its surrounding regency of Gianyar reports 683 cases of HIV/AIDS. Tabanan 556 cases, Jembrana 505 cases, Karangasem 292 cases, Klungkung 219 cases and Bangli 170 cases.

 

The Michelin Man Times 2

Banyan Tree Ungasan Bali Hosts Dynamic Duo of Two Parisien Michelin Chefs August 1-9, 2014

 

Banyan Tree Ungasan, Bali’s Ju-Ma-Na Restaurant welcomes “Le Duo Parisien” – Sous Chef Christophe Schmitt and Head Station Chef Gaëtan Fiard from the Michelin-starred Le Diane Restaurant – Hôtel Fouquet's Barrière, Paris, from August 1-9, 2014.

 

Representing what is widely considered as one of Paris’ finest Michelin-starred dining establishments, the highly acclaimed pair jointly bring honors from gastronomy’s internationally venerated competition Le Taittinger Prix Culinaire 2012 and Mondial Des Art Sucrés 2014 - the confectionary world championships.

 

The duo’s return to Bali for a second year celebrates a shared vision held with Ju-Ma-Na’s own award-winning team of chefs – championing culinary precision while approaching flavors and ingredients with an experiential “methode de cuisine.” 

 

“My main goal in life is to please clients. By constantly honing my skills and evolving the taste and technical presentation of my dishes, I wish only to delight, and share these delicious nuances and discoveries. To stay challenged and seek excellence is reason why I will participate this year in the Meilleur Ouvrier de France,” explained Chef Christophe Schmidt.

 

Reputed for pushing gastronomic boundaries, Chef Christophe is regarded as one of France’s most prominent culinary talents. Technically astute, he continues to hone his professional abilities by competing against other kitchen heavyweights in prestigious industry events.

 

The remaining half of the culinary double-act is the young rising star, Chef Gaëtan Fiard. His ability to imbue the sumptuous to the sublime with his sweet confections, was recognized recently at the recent Mondial Des Art Sucrés – International Confectionary Art Competition where he was crowned ‘World Champion’. His artistry in “haute-pâtisserie” presents a wonderful pièce de résistance to complete an unparalleled dining experience. Chef Gaëtan said: “My goal is to create beautiful pastries. I love to experiment and be adventurous – in the kitchen and in life. Travel and meeting people inspires me, adding to the melting pot of what I enjoy doing most.” 

 

Commenting on the team’s return to Bali before departing Paris, Chef Gaëtan added: “Coming from the heart of Paris; not only do we face the city’s upstanding reputation in gastronomy, we must also excite Europe’s most discerning clientele on a daily basis. We are proud to share our savoir-faire and our passion, direct from the Champs-Elysée. I cannot wait to go back and join the camaraderie with our friends at Banyan Tree.” 

 

Chef Christophe chimed in: “This trip to Bali allows me to re-live the amazing and rich experience I had last year. I feel inspired and enjoy the creativity of working with the Ju-Ma-Na team. I can also put into practice some preliminary training before this major competition this autumn.” 

 

Lovers of fine dining visiting Banyan Tree, Ungasan, Bali August 1-9, 2104 can expect to savor the duo’s “culinary atelier” - exquisitely crafted dishes that thoughtfully enchant and invigorate.

 

A full à-la-carte menu is available together with a special degustation menu with paired wines featuring:

 

LA NOIX DE ST JACQUES 

scallop and mango carpaccio, Nepal pepper marinated crabmeat salad

 

WINE: 2012 Ugni Blanc, Semillon, Chateau Roubine Cru Classics 

 

+ + + +

 

LE CHOUX FLEUR 

“crème dubary”, smoked salmon, crème fraiche, Avruga caviar

 

+ + + + 

 

L’AGNEAU

grilled marinated saddle of lamb with thyme, turnip, almond & barberry lamb jus

 

WINE: 2010 Syrah Crozes Hermitage, Vidal Fleury, Côtes du Rhône

 

+ + + +

 

LE CHOCOLAT & LES AGRUMES

chocolate & citrus entremets, crispy tuile, orange yuzu sorbet

 

WINE: 2012 Gros Manseng, Domaine du Tariquet, 1ere de grieves, Côtes de Gascogne 

 

 

Set course menus start from USD75++ per person with Set course dinner with wine pairing from USD130++. per person. 

 

All prices subject to 21% tax and service.

 

Reading and Writing on Saraswati Day

Program Announced for 2014 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival October 1-5, 2014

 

What has become one of South-East Asia’s largest literary events return to Ubud in Central Bali from 1-5 October, 2014.

 

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival will host over 150 writers from more than 30 countries exploring this year’s theme of ‘Wisdom & Knowledge’ and paying tribute to Saraswati, the Balinese Hindu goddess of learning.

 

Somewhat ironically, this year's UWRF will encompass the date of October 4th – Saraswati Day in Bali – a day dedicated to books during which devout Balinese refrain from reading!

 

The program just released features an array of literary lunches, in-depth conversations, panel discussions with some of the world’s leading thinkers and writers, twilight performances, film screenings, poetry slams, street parties, cultural master classes, art exhibitions and book launches.

 

Among the confirmed international writers include acclaimed author Amitav Ghosh, Pulitzer Prize finalist Deborah Baker, scientist and Australian of the Year Tim Flannery, 2014 DSC Prize-winner Cyrus Mistry, 5 Star Billionaire author and Booker Prize finalist Tash Aw and much-loved children’s book writer Mem Fox.

 

On top of that, ‘genius’ debut novelist and Baileys Prize-winner Eimear McBride has joined the line-up, as well as graphic artist Reinhard Kleist,

Women of Letters founder Michaela McGuire, memoirist Liam Pieper, 2014 Miles Franklin shortlisted nominee Fiona McFarlane, and intrepid adventurer and author of On the Trail of Genghis Khan - Tim Cope.

 

Those on hand in Ubud can also look for Tracks creator Robyn Davidson with her memoir that was made into a hit film starring Mia Wasikowska in 2014. Esteemed film auteur Rolf de Heer will join UWRF following a ‘standing ovation’ of his latest film Charlie’s Country in Cannes. 

 

American-in-exile and poet Kosal Khiev will speak about surviving the prison system, while writer Kate Holden will share how she has survived a heroin addiction and life as a prostitute.

 

From Indonesia the festival will welcome pioneering publisher and founder of Tempo magazine Goenawan Mohamad, architect Made Wijaya, Islamist intellectual Azyumardi Azra, well-regarded ARMA gallerist Agung Rai, indie rock artist Made Bayak Muliana and award-winning documentary maker Dwitra J Ariana.

 

Early Bird 4-DAY PASSES are now available to purchase with saving of 20% available until July 31.

 

4-DAY Passes are valid for the 4 days of Main Program events (including panels, in-conversations, discussions, talks and more), from 2 – 5 October.

 

For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow

Pamor Budi Kurniawan of Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort and Bene Italian Kitchen Named Indonesia’s Bets Sommelier

 

Pamor Budi Kurniawan, the kitchen manager at Bene Italian Kitchen, has won the top award in Indonesia’s annual Sommelier Association Competition. 

 

“What a wonderful honor for Pamor Budi and Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort,” said Dario Orsini, general manager of Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort. “We are proud of Pamor Budi’s accomplishments and, in turn, are delighted to offer guests, visitors and locals alike the best wine and best cuisine at Bene Italian Kitchen.”

 

As sommelier at Bene Italian Kitchen, Pamor Budi carefully curates and manages an extensive international wine collection and makes wine and food pairing recommendations for guests. He particularly enjoys expanding and enhancing the collection of Italian wines at Bene – now at 100 different selections to choose from. 

 

“I became a sommelier because I love sharing my knowledge of wine with our guests and my fellow associates,” said Pamor Budi. “I truly enjoy helping people discover something new and opening the door to new experiences. I enjoy teaching people how they can create perfect pairing of wine with different types of cuisine.”

 

Pamor Budi’s favorite Italian wines are Guado Al Tasso from Antinori and Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia from Tuscany, and Luce from Frescobaldi. He also enjoys making fresh Red Sangria at Bene, using Italian red wine – preferably made with Sangiovese grapes from Tuscany – mixed with Italian herbs and cherry tomatoes. 

 

The 5th annual Indonesian National Sommelier Competition was held in Jakarta at the Jakarta Wine and Cheese Festival with 32 of the country’s top sommeliers competing for the prestigious prize. The sommeliers were put through a rigorous process which included a written test, tasting and service scenarios. 

 

Pamor Budi will represent Indonesia at the 2014 South East Asian Sommelier Competition in November in Bangkok.

 

Monumental Ubud

‘Human Roots’ – Sculptures by Mickaël Obrénovitch on Exhibit July-October at Como Shambhala Estate and Uma by Como in Ubud

 

Two luxury properties in Ubud, Central Bali — COMO Shambhala Estate and Uma by COMO, Ubud – will host from July until October 2014 an exhibition of wooden sculptures by artist Mickaël Obrénovitch.

 

This exhibition and sale entitled ‘Human Roots’ follows a successful show of paintings recently held at Uma Ubud.

 

Born in Toulon, France in 1979, Obrénovitch studied design and applied arts before moving to Paris to begin work as an art director in new media.

 

Sharing his time now between Bali and the Reunion Islands, he explores a passion for woodcarving and digital communication.

 

The current exhibition will see artwork displayed from July 18 until October 18 in Uma Ubud’s in the COMO Shambhala Retreat wellness sanctuary, the pool bar, lobby and Italian-inspired restaurant Uma Cucina.

 

Meanwhile, other pieces will be on show at sister property COMO

Shambhala Estate in the lobby, teahouse and Ojas lounge.

 

Obrénovitch uses 200-year-old teak wood from Java for his work influenced by the notion of the Indonesian forest role as Asia’s lung.

 

Drawing inspirational from the natural world, Uma Ubud will use monies raised form the exhibition for the ‘Give a Gift that Grows’ Project.'

 

To mark the opening of the event, a charity dinner will be held at the Uma Ubud’s Cucina Italian restaurant on July 18th, with 25% of the proceeds going to local forest preservation. 

 

Click Image to Enlarge

From 6:00 p.m. guests will enjoy canapés and welcome drinks accompanied by musical entertainment followed by a three-course set dinner.

 

For more information on the exhibition or to book a table at the charity dinner telephone +62-(0)361- 972 448 or Email.

 

Before the Fall

Two Killed and Four Injured in Truck Accident Near Gitgit Waterfall at Bedugul, Bali

 

A tragic road accident took place on Friday, July 4, 2014, on the Denpasar-Singaraja road in the village of Gitgit, near the popular tourist stop of the Gitgit Waterfall. 

 

A truck traveling from the south and descending the steep mountain road ran off the road and rolled over in the parking lot of the Waterfall attraction, crushing a motorcycle before colliding with a roadside vegetable stall (warung).

 

As the result of the collision with the motorcycle and the roadside warung, two people died and four were injured, one seriously.

 

NusaBali report the truck involved in the crash was transporting Aqua water bottles when the accident occurred at 6:00 am. The driver has been identified as Made Suka Yadnya (47) of Sudaji, Buleleng  hwo died from injuries sustained in the accident while being transported to the hospital\.

 

In the accident the out-of-control truck first struck a motorcycle driven by Kadek Sukarana (42) and carrying his son Komang Agus Ardiarta (4).

 

Sukarana died at the scene of the accident while his son was badly injured and is in intensive car at the Bulelelng General Hospital in Singaraja.

 

Three other people suffered light injuries in the accident that did not require hospitalization.

 

Pay at the Door

Visa on Arrival Fee Increased to $35 on July 1, 2104 Together with an Entire Range of Immigration Fees



On May 30th President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed a regulation raising the charges on an entire range of government services, including charges levied at government health facilities, licenses issued to notaries and the charges that can applied by immigration.

 

Effective on the first of July 2014, official fees charged by immigration for both national and foreigners increased across the board.

 

As a result of the new regulation, foreign visitors to Bali and Indonesia are now paying US$35 for a 30-day Visa-on-Arrival, an increase from the former charge of US$25.

 

A sampling of the new charges now applied by immigration, include:

 

Naturalization

Naturalization by personal election Rp. 50 million.

Naturalization based on mixed marriage with an Indonesian national Rp. 2.5 million

Naturalization of a child from a mixed marriage Rp. 1 million.

Naturalization of a foreigner who has provided service to the nation Rp. 2.5 million.

Passport Charges

Issuance of a 48-page regular Indonesian passport Rp. 300,000.

Issuance of a 48-page E (electronic) passport Rp. 600,000.

Issuance of a 24-page regular Indonesian passport Rp. 100,000.

Issuance of a 24-page E (electronic) passport Rp. 350,000

VISA Charges to Foreign Nationals

Visitor Visa (VOA) for 30-days Issued on arrival $35.

Visitor Visa (Visa Kunjungan) $50.

Multiple Entry Visitor Visa for One Year $110.

Limited Stay Permit (KITAS) valid for Six Months $55.

Limited Stay Permit (KITAS) valid for One Year $105.

Limited Stay Permit (KITAS) valid for Two Years $180.

Limited Stay Visa Valid for 30 Days Issued on Arrival Rp. 700,000.

Cost of Telegram to an Indonesian Embassy Confirming Visa Authorization Rp. 100,000.

Limited Stay Visitor Visa Issued at an Indonesian Embassy Rp. 450,000.

Limited Stay Regular Visa Valid for 6-months Rp.450,000.

Limited Stay E (Electronic) Visa Valid for 6-months Rp. 650,000.

Limited Stay Regular Visa Valid for 12-months Rp. 800,000.

Limited Stay E (Electronic) Visa Valid for 12-months Rp. 1 million.

Limited Stay Regular Visa Valid for 2-years Rp. 1.4 million.

Limited Stay E (Electronic) Visa Valid for 2 years Rp. 1.6 million.

Permanent Resident Permits

Regular Permanent Resident Permit (KITAP) Valid for 5 years Rp. 3.5 million.

E (Electronic) Permanent Resident Permit (KITAP) Valid for 5 Year Rp. 3.7 million.

Extension of a Regular Permanent Resident Permit (KITAP) for an Unlimited Period Rp. 10 million.

Extension of an E (Electronic) Permanent Resident Permit (KITAP) for an Unlimited Period Rp. 10.2 million.

Entry and Reentry Permit

6-month Multiple Reentry Permit Rp. 600,000.

12-month Multiple Reentry Permit Rp. 1 million.

2-year Multiple Reentry Permit Rp. 1.75 million.

Overstay Fines

Daily Fine for Foreigners Overstaying Visa for Not More than 60 Days – Rp. 300,000 per day.

 

 

Fire Sale

Fire Decimates Siririt Traditional Market in North Bali

 

For the second time in recent history, the Siririt traditional market in north Bali was ravaged by a fire hat started at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 3, 2014. 

 

A similar fire destroyed large areas of the same market in 2003.

 

The most recent fire appears to have started on the second floor of the market and quickly spread within the short span of 30-minutes to the fare corners of the market. 

 

According to Radar Bali (Jawa Post), one trader told of seeing the fire grow and spread over a large area in only ten minutes.

 

Seven fire trucks were dispatched from the Siririt, Singaraja and Kubutambahan Fire Stations. Despite pumping 30 tanks of water onto the scene, the fire still raged two hours after its start.

 

Efforts by firefighters to extinguish the flames were hampered in part by traders rushing in and out of the fire scene trying to salvage goods and merchandise from their shops. Access to the fire scene by emergency vehicles was also impeded by thousands of spectators who thronged to the scene. 

 

Police and Fire Officials estimate that as many as 1,500 traders’ stall were destroyed in the fire threatening the livelihood of as may as 3,000 people.

 

Local government administrators estimate the Siririt market prior to the fire had a daily turnover in sales of Rp. 450 million.

 

Delayed Arrival

No Casualties as Java-Bali Ferry Sinks at Gilimanuk

 

Overloading and bad weather are being blamed for the grounding and subsequent sinking of the inter-island ferry LCT Pancar Indah at Gilimanuk Harbor, West Bali, on Wednesday night, July 2, 2014.

 

The ferry departed the East Java port of Ketapang between 9:00-10:00 p.m. on July 2nd carrying 16 trucks, around 26 passengers and 13 ship’s crew. 

 

Radar Bali reports that the ferry was unstable and overloaded when departing Ketapang, with the ship listing badly to starboard. The listing of the ship reportedly worsened as the short voyage across the straits proceeded.

 

When the ship was only 150 meters from its Bali landing point at Gilimanuk, at approximately 11:00 p.m., the ship seemed to be in danger of tipping over, resulting in a a general panic on board the ship as passengers and crew sought to save themselves. 

 

Passengers evacuated the ship, boarding another nearby vessel, before it sank at approximately 11:15 p.m.

 

The cause of the sinking continuing while plans are developed to refloat the shipm now sitting on sea bottom at a 35 degree angle and still visible from the shore line.

 

Belgian Dies in Ubud

Belgian Tourist Collapses and Dies at Ubud Guest House.

 

A 70-year old Belgian tourist, Jean-Michel Paul, has died in Bali. 

 

The man’s body was discovered on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, by his wife, Michaeline Jose He (65) at his lodging in Jati House on Padang Tegal in Ubud, Central Bali.

 

The man complained of dizziness while taking a morning bath and collapse a short time thereafter.

 

The Belgian had checked into the Jati House on June 29.

 

A doctor was called to the accommodation venue where the Belgian was declared dead before his body was moved to the Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar.

 

Slap on the Wrist?

Kiwi Leeza Tracey Ormsby Gets Off with a Sentence of Only 10 Months Prison

 

38-year old New Zealand native and Sydney resident Leeza Tracey Ormsby has been sentenced to 10 months in prison after being convicted of possessing 0.30 gram of hashish.

 

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 15 months in the case.

 

The presiding judge at the Denpasar District Court agreed with State Prosecutors who claimed the dugs found in the woman’s possession were for her own use.

 

Ormsby has been in custody since February 12, 2014 when she was apprehended with a small amount of hashish weighing 0.3 gram in her purse. 

 

Investigators and prosecutors chose not to connect Ormsby to additional amount drugs found at the villa where she was taken under arrest.

 

Peak Holiday Period Ahead

Bali Prepares for Record Lebaran Holiday Travel Period with 242 Additional Flights

 

Bali is preparing for one of the busiest travel period of the year over the Moslem New Year and the end of the fasting month as six airlines are preparing to add flight frequencies to meet the sudden urge in demand expected over the holiday period.

 

The “official” holiday period in terms of peak airline demand runs from July 12 – August 5, 2014.

 

According to Bisnis Bali, six airlines have asked permission from the Bali airport authority to be allowed to operate additional flights over the holiday period.

Cathay Pacific has asked to add eight flights with a total of 2,488 seats on flights between Hong Kong and Bali.

Lion Air is seeking to add 68 flights with a total of 14,629 seats on its Jakarta-Bali sector.

The Garuda subsidiary Citilink wants to add 10 flights between Jakarta and Bali with a total of 1,800 seats.

Nam Air and Sriwijaya Air want to a total 34 flights between Surabaya-Bali and Jakarta-Bali with a combined total of 8,488 seats.

Indonesia Air Asia is seeking to add 108 flights from various destinations to Bali with a total of 19,440 seats.

On an aggregate basis, the six airlines are seeking to add 242 flights with a total of 46.796 seats to meet peak demand during the July-August peak travel period. This is a dramatic 178% increase in the number of flights and a 295% increase in the number of seats from the additional capacity added for the 2013 Lebaran holiday period.

 

Where the Boys Are

Man Arrested for Trying to Coerce Money From Russian Tourists After Transvestite Massage

 

Ismail Marzuki, a 24-year old member of a local gang in Bali and reportedly working as a gigolo for a transvestite masseur in Kuta, has been detained by police after threatening a Russian tourist with a switchblade.

 

NusaBali reports that Ismail was arrested on Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 4:40 a.m. at the Hotel Komala Indah in Kuta. 

 

The arrest was preceded by a report given to the police by I Ketut Wicana, a hotel employee, who heard screams coming from room 204 occupied by a Russian tourist, Aleksander Dedenko.

 

When Wicana checked the source of the commotion he saw the Russian being threatened by a switchblade held by Ismail who was also threatening to strike Dedenko with a hard object.

 

Police were summoned to the scene and took Ismail - a member of a local gang (Ormas), into custody and seized his weapons as evidence. 

 

M. Ismail, the man arrested by police, was reportedly demanding additional money from the Russian who had just received a massage from a transvestite who asked Ismail’s assistance to obtain the additional payment for services rendered to the Russian.

 

Police say Ismail Marzuki now faces the possibility of 2 years in prison trying to coerce money from the Russian via a threat of violence.

 

Arriving in Style

Blue Bird Taxi Open Golden Bird Lounge at International Arrival Terminal at Bali’s Airport

 

The Blue Bird Group have created a special lounge for their customers arriving at the International Terminal of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.

 

The new lounge opened on May 5, 2014 when it was inaugurated the CEO of the Blue Bird Group, Noni Purnomo.

 

The lounge measures 68 square meters and offers light refreshment to Blue Bird customers arriving on flights and waiting for their transfer to a local address with a Blue Bird vehicle

 

The Fools on the Hill

Bangli Officials Claim they are Unable to Stop Illegal Parking Operations at Kintamani Blamed for Traffic Jams

 

NusaBali reports that illegal fees are being demanded from visitors to the Kintamani volcano that tourism authorities appear helpless to stop.

 

Visitors to Penelokan, the community that sits on the ridge of the ancient caldera overlooking Mount Batur and Lake Batur, are stopped and required to pay an "official" admission fee levied by the Bangli regency that is supposed to be the only retribution required by tourist visitors.

 

According to press reports, “no parking” and “no stopping” signs along the busy roadway are ignored, with unlicensed and non-uniformed local parking attendants facilitating parking in these area that often causes traffic congestion and delays.

 

The parking attendants charge fees but do not issue formal parking tickets to those paying for their services.

 

It is unclear if these parking attendants are enterprising “free lancers” or have been designated by surrounding villages as a way of gathering revenues.

 

Bangli officials insist these attendants have not granted permission to operate their illegal parking operations andalso plead that they have been unable to apprehend the perpetrators.

 

In further defense of their inability to enforce the rules, Bangli officials also claim that the right to take steps against the illegal parking fee collectors rests not with their office but with the police.

 

 

It’s Nice to Share

Time Running Out for Merpati Nusantara to Restructure Debts to Shares

 

NusaBali reports that the now-grounded PT Merpati Nusantara Airline (MZ) will not fly again unless its outstanding loans are converted to shares.

 

According to Dahlan Iskan, the Minister of State-owned Enterprises (BUMN), the government would be wasting its time if it injected funds into MZ if its debt was not first converted to shares.

 

Clarifying his position, Dahlan added, “For instance, restructuring funds of Rp. 200-400 billion will only allow the airline to fly for a month, and then be grounded again.”

 

Dahlan says no restructuring fund will be released to MZ when it is still heavily burdened with debt. As a result, Dahlan has asked the commission supervising BUMN at the House of Representatives (DPR) to understand MZ’s current financial position and quickly pave the way for a restructuring of the airline’s debt in order they can resume flight operations.

 

Through January 2013, Merpati’s debt totaled Rp. 7.6 trillion.

 

The airline ceased operations in February due to severe cash shortages.

 

In order for the desired conversion of debt to shares to take place, the Airline’s creditors must agree to the scheme and permission must be given beforehand by the finance commission of the DPR. 

 

Dahlan contends that when the Airline’s debt is converted to shares the balance sheet of Merpati can become positive as its debt will disappear, clearing the way for loans and new investors.

 

Separately, the CEO of Merpati, Asep Ekanugeraha, cautioned that the conversion of debt to shares must be done soon because the flight operating certificate of the Airline will expire in February 2015. Failure to begin flight operations again before that deadline will cause the Ministry of Transportation to declare the now frozen operating certificates irrevocably suspended.

 

A False Sense of Security

Kuta Hotel Uniformed Security Guard Caught on Camera Robbing Guest Room

 

A uniformed security guard at The Sun Hotel & Spa on Jalan Lebak Bene in Legian, Kuta was arrested by Kuta Police on Monday, June 30, 2014 for stealing cash and a hand phone from the safety deposit box of an Australian guest, Shane Robert Groves (36).

 

The security guard was arrested based on evidence provided by a CCTV camera installed at the hotel.

 

The Australian reported the theft to police, claiming he lost US$500, 30 ringgit, 10 pound sterling and an IPhone 5 from his safety deposit box. 

 

According to DenPost, when police investigated the crime and reviewed the CCTV tapes the involvement of the Hotel’s Security guard in the theft was revealed.

 

The police arrested Anak Agung Putra (30) who, following interrogation, admitted the theft. Using the Hotel’s Master Key, Putra gained access to the guest room and removed the items from the unlocked safety deposit box.

 

Taxing for Training

Denpasar, Bali Government Coordinating Efforts to Collect US$100 Monthly Tax from Foreign Workers

 

Revenues earned by the Denpasar Metropolitan Government from the US$100 per month training tax (IMTA) charged foreign workers now totals RP. 2.3 billion for the period January – June 2014.

 

Meanwhile, Denpasar has set a target of Rp. 2.5 million in for IMTA for all of 2014.

 

Officials are confident that the target will be easily surpassed by year’s end.

 

There are currently around 200 foreigners holding work permits in Denpasar and paying the US$100 per month training tax.

 

Erwin Suryadarma, the head of the Social Service and Manpower Department for the City of Denpasar, told Bisnis Bali that coordination is underway to dispatch teams form immigration, police, Satpol PP and other departments to ensure all foreigners working in Denpasar have the necessary working permits and ARE paying the IMTA.

 

At Journey’s End

Australian in Apparent Suicide in North Kuta, Bali

 

An Australian national Thomas Rick Michael (34) has apparently committed suicide at the residence he shared with his wife, Restu Wilujeng, in Dalung, North Kuta, Bali.

 

The man’s body was found at 6:39 a.m. on Saturday morning, July 5, 2014, hanging behind the couple’s residence.

 

Metrobali.com reports that the deceased and his wife watched television together on Friday night during which Restu her husband in front of the TV to go to bed. Michael usually slept in the guest room.

 

When the woman went in search of her husband on Saturday morning she discovered his body hanging at the back of the house.

 

The Australian was reportedly in the care of an psychiatrist who was treating the man  for depression.

 

The couple and their child had lived in Dalung for the past two years.

 

Police say the man left a letter in English addressed to his wife and child.

 

For Whom the Bell Tolls

78 Foreigners Die in Bali in the First Six Months of 2014

 

The morgue at Bali’s Sanglah General Hospital handled the human remains of 78 foreigners during the period January – June 2014.

 

Of that total, 16 were determined to have died of unnatural causes, including poisoning (2), drowning (6), road accidents (3), suicide by hanging (3) and homicide (2).

 

In terms of nationalities, the 78 foreigners who perished in Bali over the six month period breaks down as follows:

Australian 15

USA 12

Dutch 9

Japan 6

Canada 4

French 4

Timor Leste 3

People’s Republic of China 3

German 3

Singapore 3

Poland 2

Russia 2

South Korea 2

Malaysia 1

Swiss 1

India 1

Belgian 1

Irish 1

Philippine 1

Iran 1

Italian 1

U.K. 1

Hungary 1

As reported by Nusa Bali and Bali Post, Sanglah Hospital charges between Rp. 500,000 to Rp. 600,000 per day for the storage of human remains of foreign nationals. Indonesians kept at the morgue are charged Rp. 50,000 per day.

 

These fees appear to be in contradiction to Government Regulation Number 45 of 2014 that sets the price for the storage of human remains at a government hospital at Rp. 350,000 a day – with no distinction made in the official tariff between the remains of locals and foreigners.

 

The Falling Leaves

Green Leaf Restaurant in Ubud Destroyed by Late Night Fire

 

The Green Leaf Restaurant on Jalan Monkey Forest in Ubud was destroyed by a fire that started at 2:15 a.m. on Friday morning, July 4, 2014.

 

The restaurant, measuring only 5 x 20 meters, is owned by I Made Ardika who believes the fire started from a short circuit in the buildings electrical system.

 

2 fire trucks responded to the fire that was extinguished by 3:00 a.m.. 

 

No casualties were reported in connection with the fire.

 

Keeping Indonesia's Hotels ‘in the Game’

Hotel Link Solutions Indonesia Wins Award for Help Local Hotels Get a Larger Share of the On-Line Booking Market

 

Established in mid-2013, the Indonesia Hotel Link Solutions team has been acknowledged as the best international sales force for Q2 2014 and Indonesian team member Joe Yonathan in Bali winning honors as the best salesman internationally.

 

Chandra Himawan, Manager of Hotel Link Solutions Indonesia, ascribes the success of his Indonesian team  to the fast growing list of Indonesian accommodation providers experiencing a surge of on-line bookings, both direct and via on-line travel agents (OTAs), after signing on to the Hotel Links Solutions  program.

 

"It is emotionally rewarding for myself and the rest of the members of the Hotel Link Solutions-Indonesia team when, in just a matter of weeks, we develop world-class web sites and fully functional booking widgets that create large streams of significant revenue for small and medium-sized hotels," explained Chandra.

 

While almost all hotels and villas have some sort of website, Chandra says many Indonesian hotels and villas have failed to advance with the times, displaying sites anchored in the on line practices of 5-10 years ago, using sites and technology that has failed to advance with the rapidly changing profile of on-line customers and on-line purchasing behavior.

 

Careful studies of on-line consumer behavior have removed the guesswork from designing hotel and villa sites and booking engines able to generate significant Internet sales.

 

According to Chandra, in order to be successful, accommodation websites must, among other things, be:

Androgynous - Because of the global shift from traditional desktop computers to mobile devices, accommodation websites must display attractively on both a standard computer and on handheld devices.

Fast Loading and Attractive - Websites must load quickly or risk losing visitors before a sales dialogue can even commence.

Continuously Reviewed and Evaluated - Websites must undergo regular detailed analysis using a range of analytic tools available to measure how visitors interact with the information presented.

Be Equipped with a Sophisticated Booking Engine - The standard "contact us" form where customers write and send their requirements that can be responded to later by the hotel are relics of the "old" Internet. Today's shoppers want immediate access to a competitive price be able to instantly book, confirm and pay for their accommodation. Today, hotel bookings are often made just minutes after a traveler has booked and paid for their air travel on an airline site. As a result, successful hotel and villa websites must permit immediate on-line booking, automatic payment and instant confirmation.

Hotel Link Solutions Indonesia approach to digital marketing provides all this and more. Their websites and booking engines (widgets) empower small and medium sized hotel operators to compete with the sophisticated on-line presence of  large international chain hotels. 

 

These websites and booking engines also allow instantaneous rate changes and the launching of special offers to a worldwide network of OTAs.

 

These solutions offered by Hotel Link Solutions Indonesia  are affordable, effective and can be put in place producing new sales stream within the space of a few days. 

 

Working with OTAs is an important part of the digital marketing mix for successful hotel and villa operations. Hotel Link Solutions helps its clients pick “the best match” from among more than 50 leading OTAs and, following the best practice of major hotel brands, develops strategies to maximize the number of direct bookings flowing through a website.

 

The Hotel Link Solutions Indonesia Team conduct informative digital marketing seminars presenting the latest thinking and digital marketing solutions for accommodation providers. 

 

Presented by senior members of the Hotel Link Solutions team, these 2-hour “coffee breaks” are free-of-charge and are loaded with ideas, practical tips and strategies to help small and medium-sized hotels and villas substantially increase their on-line bookings.

 

Participants also receive a “Digital Marketing Health Check” – an objective review of a hotel's or villa's on-line presence that identifies critical steps to improve on-line sales.

 

Over the coming months Hotel Link Systems Indonesia will be conducting seminars in:

 

BALI – Kuta, Sanur, Ubud, Candidasa, Ahmed, Lovina - North Bali and Gili Trawangan.

 

JAVA – Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Semarang, Jakarta and Bandung

 

Attendance is without charge and seating is limited. Those interested in attending should 

 

Indonesia Votes!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 Declared a Holiday as Indonesians Vote to Elect its 7th President

 

Indonesians across the archipelago will go to the polls on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, to directly elect the Nation’s next president and vice-president

 

The race is between the former general Prabowo Subianto and his running mate former cabinet minister Hatta Rajasa running against Jakarta governor Joko Widodo and former vice-president Jusuf Kalla.

 

Although the man who emerges victorious will be the 7th person to head the Republic since nationhood was declared in 1945, it will only be the third time that Indonesians have gone to the polls to directly elect the Indonesia’s next chief executive.

 

To facilitate the election process, Wednesday will be a national holiday across Indonesia. 

 

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

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