Bali to Host World Leaders
14 World Leaders Now Confirmed to Attend APEC Summit in Bali in October 2013
(8/26/2013) U.S. President Barack Obama has confirmed his attendance at the coming high-level conference on Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to be held in Bali in Early October 2013.
Also confirmed to attend is Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping in a group expected to eventuallu include 20 of the world’s top leaders.
Thus far, 14 heads of state from 21 participating countries that are members of APEC have confirmed their attendance in Bali. An additional 7 heads of state may still confirm travel plans to Bali for early October.
APEC was founded in 1989 to foster economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
The members of APEC are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taiwan, Thailand, U.S.A. and Vietnam.
Chased by Costs
Garuda Indonesia Books a Loss Despite Record Revenues & Passenger Loads
(9/1/2013) Tempo.co reports that PT Garuda Indonesia booked US$10.7 million (Rp.116 billion) in losses during the first six months of 2013.
In the previous year (2012) Garuda recorded a net profit of Rp. 20.7 billion (US$2.7 million).
In Garuda’s financial reports for the first six months of 2013 the income of the airline increased 14.1% when compared to the same semester in 2012. The Airline’s income for January-June 2013 totaled Rp. 18.7 trillion, up from Rp. 16.3 trillion for the same months one year before.
Despite higher income levels profits were dragged down at the National Carried by expenses that increased to Rp. 18.5 trillion from Rp. 15.2 trillion during the first semester of 2012.
Operational costs totaled Rp. 9.4 trillion during January – June 2013, a figure representing 58.3% of all expenses. Fuel costs comprised Rp. 7.1 trillion of all operational costs. Financial costs for Garuda increased 92% during the first six months of 2013 totaling Rp. 251.7 billion.
Company profits for Garuda during the first half of the year declined 0.6% totaling 155.8 billion for January-June 2013.
Strangers in a Strange Land
Bali By The Numbers: Bank Indonesia Survey Analyzes Bali Foreign Visitors
(9/1/2013) A survey conducted by Bali Indonesia in May 2013 showed that 70.11% of the international tourists who visit Bali stay in the starred hotels.
As reported by Beritabali.com, only 10.81% of foreign tourists chose to stay in non-starred hotel and 16.36% in villas.
The same report shows that foreign tourists in Bali visitors to Bali stayed an average of 8.55 days, an increase from the 7.67 days spent on the Island in 2012.
Elaborating further on survey, Dwi Pranoto who heads the Bali Bank Indonesia office said 60.27% of foreign tourists coming to Bali seek a destination linked with nature while 30.15% percent prefer a destination with cultural and historical links.
Pranoto said the study shows that the time has come for Bali tourism to be managed under a single roof. “I wish to underline that whenever Bali is managed under a ‘one island management’ system it will continue to advance via an integrated vision, free of egotism and other impediments,” said Pranoto.
Dwi Pranoto also revealed that the latest survey by Bank Indonesia showed an increase in purchasing power from US$144.40 per day to US$150 per day.
Other interesting results from the Bank Indonesia study:
- 88,74% of foreign tourists visiting Bali do not use an Indonesian flagged air carrier.
- 84.52% of foreign visitors to Bali do not purchase or use a packaged tour program.
- 52% of all foreign visitors to Bali are women.
•55,26% of foreign visitors to Bali work as professions, 10.90% work in technical capacities and 10.20% were students.
Bali as a Cheap Destination
Pricing at Unrealistic and Non-Sustainable Levels in Bali’s Hotel Price War
(9/1/2013) The Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Restaurant and Hotel Association (PHRI-Bali) has expressed its public dismay with the increasingly unhealthy state of hotel prices in Bali.
As reported by Beritabali.com, PHRI-Bali's observations in the marketplace show the nightly cost for a City Hotel in Bali is between Rp. 300,000 (US$30) and Rp. 200,000 (US$20).
The chairman of PHRI-Bali, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, said the growing number of rooms in Bali and the increasingly aggressive pricing has him worried.
He also complained that many new hotels are being built without following the investment procedures of the country, with some storefronts now being converted into City Hotels. He is persuaded that this boom in new hotels will lead to even more unhealthy price competition in the hotel sector.
Sukawati repeated his oft-sounded call for a moratorium on new hotel construction in Bali.
No to Tobacco
Growing Opposition to World Tobacco Conference to be held in Baku September 2014
(9/1/2013) Controversy continues grow with objections from several quarters over plans for Bali to host the World Tobacco Asia Conference 2014 (WTA) set to be held on the resort island September 24-25, 2014.
Joining a growing chorus opposed to the conference being held in Bali is leading academics, community leaders, anti-smoke activists and students.
Forming part of the front to see the WTA moved from Bali is Artawan of the Faculty of Public Health at Bali’s Udayana University. “We refused this meeting in Bali and anywhere else in Indonesia,” said Artawan while speaking at a seminar held on Saturday, August 31, 2013.
Urging a nationwide refusal of the WTA being held anywhere in Indonesia, Artawan reminded his listeners that Indonesia is a member of G-20 and the only country in ASEAN yet to adopt the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC).
Quoted by Beritabali.com, Artawan continued: “The countries that are members of G-20 are all large and strong nations. But only Indonesia has failed to ratify the FCTC.”
He said that together with the anti-smoking network active in Indonesia would continue to work for the conferences cancellation in Bali. “We will send a petition to the provincial government of Bali, the Minister of Health and the President, Our friends will recruit support in their respective areas,” he said.
Artawan’s view is that controlling tobacco does not mean forbidding people to smoke. Moreover, he sees the consumption of tobacco products as the right of every individual, but should not to be confused with human rights. Adding: “All we want is to breathe clean air. And, the right to clean air is clearly a human right.”
Artawa went on to explain that cigarettes are a major health issue, making cigarette smoking closely connected with the health goals stated in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of 2015.
Claiming Indonesia is late in its pursuit of MDG, he concluded: “Smoking is one of the main causes of non-communicable diseases. One of the biggest causes of death is linked to cigarettes. Because of this, our commitment to tobacco control is a top priority. Because of this, we urge the government to urgently ratify the FCTC Convention.”
Banking on Tourism
Bank Indonesia Calls for Bali to Integrate Tourism, Agriculture and Culture
Bank Indonesia is recommending to the government of Bali and the island’s tourism industry that tourism and agriculture be integrated.
In the Bank’s opinion, the integration of tourism and Bali’s endemic agricultural culture will create new destinations, such as the current trend for “tourist villages” (desa wisata).
Bali’s unique subak water management system is internationally renowned and forms an attraction in its own right for both domestic and international tourists.
Dwi Pranoto, the head of the Bali office of Bank Indonesia told a gathering in Denpasar that tourism clusters must form associations with tourism villages to promote Bali’s culture and agricultural tourism (agrowisata).
To date, Bank Indonesia in cooperation with banks on the Island, has managed to establish seven separate fully operating tourism villages (desa wisata).
Limited Lease on Life
Lindsay Sandiford Death Sentence Upheld by Indonesian Supreme Court
(9/1/2013) Brit Lindsay Sandiford, seeking to overturn a death sentence handed down by the Denpasar District Court for smuggling 4.7 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of US$2.4 million via Bali’s airport in May 2012, saw her hopes that hre life would be spared temporarily dashed when the Indonesian Supreme Court rejected her appeal last week.
When her initial verdict was announced in January 2013, many were shocked when judges ignored prosecutors’ demands for a 15-year prison sentence, choosing instead to impose the maximum penalty of death before a firing squad.
Sandiford was the only member of multi-member drug ring busted by police in May 2012 to be sentenced to death.
Sandiford told the court she was compelled to carry the drugs under threats made against her children. Another member of Sandiford’s group, Rachel Dougall, told the U.K. press after her release from Bali’s Kerobokan Prison that Sandiford was, in fact, “pure evil” and a well-know member of the drug smuggling fraternity.
Sandiford’s only hope of avoiding the firing squad is a final appeal to the Indonesian Supreme Court or a commutation of sentence by the Indonesian President.
Destined to Lead
Bali Working to Provide Historical and Knowledge to Local Guides at Key Tourist Destinations
(9/1/2013) Local guides who offer there services at various tourist attraction in Bali are being encouraged to increase their local knowledge in order to improve in the visitor experience.
Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) quotes Amos Lio, a spokesman for the Indonesian Tour Guide Association (HPI), describing the need for local guides well informed on their locales, saying: “In places like Besakih, the mother temple in Karangasem regency, and Kintamani, local guides who understand the history and culture of the places would be helpful for visitors to learn more.”
Lio explained that while HPI has many registered guides, the rapid increase in tourist numbers means that well-trained new guides are urgently needed.
Continuing, Lio said: “In addition to providing training to the locals, this would also empower local residents to get involved in tourism. It would be beneficial to the local people to get professional guide training in these places.”
HPI says the skill sets needed by local guides include communication skills, and historical and local information.
Describing the challenge of working in an international setting, Lio said: “Visitors from certain countries may have different characteristics and habits from others. A good guide must understand how to properly interact with them.”
In 2012 Bali has 8,334 registered guides speaking a wide range of foreign languages
Rupiah’s Rapid Decline
Decline in Rupiah is a Double-Edged Sword for Bali’s Tourism Economy
(9/1/2013) The rapid decline in the value of the Indonesian Rupiah against the U.S. Dollar and a host of other currencies is presenting a myriad of challenges to Bali and its tourism industry.
That most of the starred hotels in Bali are priced in U.S. dollars is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, hotels pricing in dollar will enjoy something of a windfall in income against their Rupiah-based expenses. While, on the other hand, Bali hotels will generally become more expensive to the vast majority of their customers who do not earn their income in U.S. dollars.
Quoted in The Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post), Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, head of the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association for Bali (GIPI-Bali), acknowledge the potential boost in hotel incomes from a strengthening dollars, but also warned that the cost of imported goods used by hotels and restaurants would also certainly increase.
The head of the Bali Chapter of the Bali Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace), spoke of the many “bitter pills” that Bali’s tourism industry has had to swallow in recent months in the form of increased fuel and energy costs. He also highlighted the coming 2014 election for the presidency of Indonesia and House of Representatives, saying the national economic condition will be largely dictated by the developing political condition.
In the light of all this uncertainty, Cok Ace outlined the course ahead, saying: “What we need to do is to strengthen our promotional activities, improve our tourism products and also upgrade facilities at our tourism sites.”
Dwi Pranoto, the head of Bank Indonesia’s Bali Office foresees the strengthening dollar as having a positive impact on Bali’s exports as well as tourism. Said Pranoto: “It can be considered as a blessing for exporters and the tourism sector. But for the island’s general economy, that will slightly slow its usually robust growth.”
Bank Indonesia predicts Bali would end the current year with a growth rate of between 6.6 to 7.1%. Advising a more cautious approach, Pranoto said, “We have had to evaluate and lower the economic growth forecast to between 6 and 6.5 percent.”
IThe Bank Indonesia executive, Pranoto, said: “However, we must be optimistic, hoping that the island’s tourism sector will remain a powerful catalyst for its economy.”
A Life Down the Drain
Calls for Tabanan, Bali Regency to Take Responsibility in Death of Boy Killed by Open Sewer
(9/1/2013) Open drainage ditches and sewers without covers are an unfortunate hazards pedestrians in Bali must learn to navigate.
DenPost reports that an open sewage drain on Jalan Anggrek in front of the Telkom office in Tabanan, West Bali tragically claimed a young victim on Thursday, August 28, 2013.
14-year-old I Gusti Agung Putu Pratama died from wounds suffered when he fell into an open sewer ditch over which the protective cover had long collapsed.
The incident happened at 10:30 pm when the young man had left a local billiard hall on an errand to a nearby cigarette seller to purchase tobacco for a friend.
The boy was lifted out of the drain and rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
A member of the Tabanan House of Representatives (DPRD-Tabanan) from the Democratic Party Faction, Ida Bagus Kade Adnyana Suryawan, has called on the Tabanan regency government to accept responsibility for the boy’s death. “Public facilities, such as drainage ditches, are automatically the responsibility of the regency or the relevant government department on matters of supervision and maintenance,” said Suryawan.
Suryawan said that the care and maintenance of all elements of the public infrastructure must be included in public budgets and local village units must deliver regular reports on the condition of these structures.
The former chairman of the DPRD-Tabanan, I Made Arimbawa, also called for the situation causing the death of the boy to be given top priority by the regency. “If plans are to build statues and roadways the money is quickly made available, the same attention must be given to the care and maintenance of the basic infrastructure. Let’s not just pay attention to making high profile area look ‘wow’, while the location like that of the (boy's) death, that is not far from the City’s center, are neglected.”
DenPost returned to the location of the boy’s death a day after the incident to discover the open sewer was being being inspected by Tabanan Public Works officers. A simple bamboo fence had been erected around the hole.
Management Problems Causing Lion Air Slow-Down?
Lion Air Flights Delayed for Hours at Bali Airport and Other Destinations Due to Apparent Industrial Unrest
(9/1/2013) Metrotvnews.com together with a number of other Indonesian media, reported major delays for Lion Air passengers departing from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on Saturday and Sunday August 31 and September 1, 2013.
Hundreds of frustrated and irate passengers waited extended periods for their delayed flights to depart and, in at least one case, sat on the ground in the airplane for at least one hour waiting for a loaded plane to take off.
Passengers were reportedly compelled to sit for hours at departure gates 17 & 18 at Bali's demestic terminal without any news on when their flights would leave.
Industrial Action by Lion Air Ground Staff?
Radio Republik Indonesia reports that in response to widespread public complaints a spokesman for the Transportation Ministry, Bambang S. Ervan, said on Sunday, September 1, 2013, that delays on Lion Air in Bali were due to “internal problems” at the carrier.
Ervan said: “I have received a report from the (Bali) airport authority that there is an internal management problem at Lion Air. But, there is no explanation and Lion Air staff is refusing to handle flights. This has been happening since last night (Saturday).”
Hundreds of Lion Air passengers flying to various cities waited for hours on end without any explanation. Angry passengers verbally abused staff, pounding on counters at the departure gate. In Jakarta, hundreds of Lion Air passengers demonstrated at the airport, protesting their treatment by the low-cost carrier.
One European passenger flying from Bali to Jakarta on Sunday, September 1, reported on Facebook that his departing aircraft was hours late and, when it did depart, was overbooked with some passengers asked to sit four a three-seat aisle. He wrote that military personnel were assisting in the boarding process.
Ervan said his Ministry’s request to Lion Air to resolve the matter and address passenger complaints remained unanswered on Sunday.
Angkasa Pura, who manages the Bali airport, together with officers from the Indonesian Air Force, were deployed to assist stranded passengers with their baggage. Because of an increasingly tense situation at the airport, additional security personnel were assigned to maintain the peace.
Bambang S. Ervan said the government would urge Lion Air to take responsibility for the losses caused to passengers, both material and non-material, in accordance with Law Number 77 of 2011.
Ervan said the government would not "punish" Lion Air for causing losses to its passenger, preferring, instead, that the airline voluntarily take responsibility for its actions.
Passenger Rights in Indonesia – What you Need to Know
The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation has established laws that apply to all domestic air operations that stipulate the following levels of compensation in the event of flight delays:
Delays of 30-60 minutes: The airline must supply light food and drink refreshment.
Delays of 90-180 minutes: The airline must provide drinks, light refreshment, lunch or dinner. The airline is also obliged to book the passenger(s) on the next available flight or another airline.
Delays of more than 180 minutes: The airline must provide compensation in the form of food and drink, lunch or dinner.
If the passenger cannot be booked on the following flight or on another airline: Passengers are entitled to accommodation until such a time they can follow a flight to their destination.
If the airline cancels the passengers’ flight: The passenger is entitled to a full refund of the ticket price.
In the event of force majeure (i.e. weather or natural disaster), no compensation is due to the passenger due to flight delays other than a full ticket refund.
Taking Care of Business
Bali to Hotel Small & Medium-Sized Enterprise Exhibition September 4-7, 2013
(9/1/2013) Bali will host an international exhibition of small and medium-sized companies September 4-7, 2013.
The Indonesia International SME Exhibition 2013 will form one of the lead-up events to the 20th APEC SME Ministerial & Related Meetings to be held in October in Bali.
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the Minister for Cooperatives and SME, Sjarifuddin Hasan, said: “The exhibition will be followed by 200 SME entrepreneurs from Indonesia and the other members of APEC that include Russia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
The Indonesia International SME Exhibition 2013 will be held at the Bali International Convention Center at The Westin Bali, Nusa Dua.
Hasan said he hoped the Bali exhibition would improve and enhance the competitiveness of Indonesian SMEs in the global market, making the Indonesian companies better able to confront a free global market.
Hasan said Indonesia is targeting 30,000 visitors to the exhibition who are expected to commit to transactions valuing Rp. 10 billion (US$1 million).
Fire in Kuta
Fire at House In Kuta Snarls Traffic on a Friday Afternoon, August 30, 2013
A fire at a house used to store foodstuffs in Kuta on Friday afternoon, August 39, 2013 brought traffic in Kuta and surrounding areas to a standstill for several hours.
Six fire trucks were summoned to put out the fire that started ay about 5:00 pm.
According to a local resident quoted by OKEZONE.com, the structure was owned by Eng Land, an Indonesian of Chinese decent who trades at the nearby Kuta public market.
Local residents help fire crews put out the flame and prevent it spreading to adjoining buildings in the densely built area of Kuta.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by police.
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