Bali News Update week 39 N.

A Darwinian Devolution

Jetstar Reducing Flight Capacities on its Bali to Darwin Service

 

Jetstar have announced that they will cut almost half of their flights between Darwin and Bali beginning in October 2014. Jetstar will cut their daily flights to Bali to four times a week.

 

The cutback in flight services by Jetstar came only one week after Airline spokesman Stephen Moynihan assured the NT News that the Airline would not be cutting any Bali to Darwin flights. Shame faced, Moynihan was now telling the same newspaper that the decision to curtail flights was the result of "low consumer demand" and "increasing demand on international service from Darwin."

 

The change to only four flights a week takes effect on October 26, 2014. 

 

Flights time will also be changed with the Darwin to Denpasar departure changed from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Meanwhile, Denpasar to Darwin flights will depart at 6:10 pm - a change from the present 11:20 pm departure slot.  .

 

Passengers holding paid reservations affected by the cancelled flights are being offered alternatives bookings on other flights operated by Jetstar or full refunds. 

 

Air Fares that are Laissez Faire

Government Remains Wary of Leaving Airline Ticket Prices to be Determined by Market Forces

 

Demands by the Indonesian National Air Carriers Association (INACA) for the government to eliminate maximum price ceilings on busy air routes are reportedly not in compliance with government regulations.

 

The director of civil aviation at Ministry of Transportation Djoko Murjatmojo said that before the government could remove maximum fares that can be charged on busy air corridors if  Law No. 1 of 2009 on air transportation providing consumer price protection would have to first be changed.

 

As reported by bisnis.com, Murjatmojo said his concern that any alteration of the law would allow airlines to charge very high fares on popular routes during high season by allowing fares to be set merely by market mechanisms.

 

While  market mechanisms would automatically control fares on busy routes served by a large number of competing airlines, the public served by routes with fewer airlines would fall victim to monopolistic market practice remain a concern of discussions underway at the Ministry of Transportation to adopt a more laissez faire approach to airline ticket pricing.

 

Commenting on the debate, the CEO of the Air Asia Group, Tony Fernandes said flexibility in pricing, especially in Indonesia, is needed because of the near-25% depreciation of the Indonesian Rupiah against the U.S. Dollar and the reality that around 70% of expenditures by airlines is tied to the U,S, Dollar.

 

 

Garuda Reaps its Awards

Garuda Indonesia Nets Two Gold Awards from Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)

 

The State News Agency Antara reports that Garuda Indonesia returned from The Pacific Asia Travel Association Travel Mart (PATA Mart) held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with additional awards to place in its trophy case. 

 

In the annual award program intended to acknowledge excellence and innovation in the Asia-Pacific travel industry, two PATA Gold Awards were presented to Garuda Indonesian Airways in the categories of service, and heritage and culture.

 

Garuda's "immigration on board" offered on selected international routes won top honors from PATA as a service innovation while the Airline's concept and marketing campaign of the "Garuda Indonesia Experience" was similar honored for its homage to heritage and culture.

 

Both awards were presented to Garuda's director of service, Faik Fahmi, in a ceremony held during the PATA Mart in Phonm Penh.

 

On Garuda flights operating between Shanghai - Jakarta, Tokyo (Narita) - Jakarta, Seoul - Jakarta, Sydney - Jakarta, Tokyo (Narita) - Denpasar, Osaka - Denpasar and Sydney - Denpasar immigration officers fly on board ssuing visas on arrival to inbound tourists eligible for that class of visa. 

 

The "Garuda Indonesia Experience" service concept exalts the Indonesian cultural hallmarks of hospitality and friendliness to visitors as an intrinsic part of the Airline's on-board experience that Garuda says blends seamlessly with the destination experiences after landing.

 

This most recent honor for the Indonesian flag carrier comes on the heals a bevy of other awards that include:

The World's Best Cabin Crew 2014 from Skytrax

Gold Award for Amenity Kits from the Airline Amenity Award 2013

The Worlds Best Economy Class from Skyrax in June 2013

Best Airline in the Asia-Pacific Region 2014 from Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)

 

Making a Beachhead on Environmental Care

Bali Hotel Association Deploys 1,600 Volunteers to Clean Up Bali's Beaches

 

The Bali Hotel Association (BHA) - an organization representing more than 100 starred hotels in Bali with more than 15,000 rooms and 30,000 employees - took to Bali's beaches on Saturday, September 20, 2014 as part of an International Coastal Cleanup campaign.

t 1,600 volunteers drawn from workers in Bali's large hospitality industry cleaned up kilometers of beachfronts in several beaches and rivers banks in Nusa Dua, Legian, Kuta, Seminyak, Tambanan and Ubud. 

 

In all, some 19.5 kilometers of shorelines where, as in years past - cleared of plastic bags, containers, cutlery, cans, cigarettes and household waste together with abandoned shoes and fishing debris. An estimated 7,565 items were collected, filling 435 large bags weighing 1,525 kilograms.

 

Part of a world-wide program organized under the banner of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Clean Up, the event traces its roots to 1986 and claims itself to be the world’s largest volunteer effort for ocean health.  Each year millions of eco-friendly warriors from all over the globe help to clear trash from the shores of lakes, streams, rivers and oceans.

 

Both the amount and variety of trash are recorded providing Ocean Conservancy with insights into the state of health of the world's coastal areas. “Cleanups alone can’t solve the pollution problem. Nevertheless, by having a detailed index of all trash collected provides a snapshot of what's polluting our oceans so we can work to prevent specific items from reaching the water in the first place. We hope that this initiative will start a ripple effect. Ideally we want to encourage more people, locals and tourist alike, to assume responsibility for their daily consumption of one-time products that effectively contribute to the oceans trash problem,” commented Jean-Charles Le Coz, vice-chairman  of the Bali Hotels Association. 

 

"It was an absolute pleasure to participate in the Bali Hotel Association's International Coastal Cleanup 2014. We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved. We look forward to an even bigger and better cleanup next year to continue raising awareness and encouraging everyone to be more conscious about their trash," said Clinton Lovell, director of environment committee for BHA. 

 

Shown on balidiscovery.com are photos from the BHA beach clean up campaign.

 

 

Mobilizing the Community

Indonesian-Chinese Entrepreneurs Donate More than 100 Wheelchairs for Bali's Handicapped Poor

 

The head of the Indonesia-Chinese Association (INTI) in Bali handed over a large number of wheelchairs to needy Balinese in the village of Pengotan, Bangli on Saturday, September 20, 2014. The wheelchairs will be used to help the handicapped across Bali.

 

As reported by beritabali.com, the wheelchairs donated by INTI were of an advanced design that allows users to bathe, made possible by the use of waterproof material in their construction.

 

The chief of the traditional village of Pengotan, Wayan Kopok,, thanked INTI on behalf of the eventual recipients of the free wheelchairs, saying: "I am most thankful. This assistance is needed by our people who are physically disabled, especially those coming from families of limited economic means."

 

Making the donation on behalf of INTI was Pastor Paul Tan, who has spent the last 16 years organizing donations to needy parties in Indonesia.

 

"We hope these wheelchairs will inspire other business people to help the handicapped while inspiring the handicapped themselves to a better life and not lose spirit because of their affliction," said Tan who has lived in the United States for the past 35 years.

 

Tan explained that in addition to the wheelchairs given to handicapped people in the village of Pengotan, INTI has also prepare 100 other donated wheelchairs for people requiring them across the island of Bali.

 

The founder of INTI Bali, Dr. Frans Bambang Siswanto, joined Tan in his call for more assistance to Bali's handicapped, saying: "We care about the people who are our brothers and sisters in Bali. Hopefully, others will follow our donation. It is apparent that many of our friends in Bali need a hand of assistance. There are many business people who have more than enough wealth permitting them to share with others in need."

 

 

Green with Enticements

Tourism Minister want Hotels to be Given Tax Breaks for Becoming "Green"

 

The Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu seeks to increase the number of hotels in Indonesia embracing sustainable environmental practice by offering incentives and rewards. 

 

Pangestu, as reported by bisnis.com, complained that the number of hotels in Indonesia with a green label is still limited due to a limited understanding by management of the need for sustainable development.

 

The Minister who it is assumed will soon be leaving office with appointment of the new Presidential Cabinet, said she hope that incentives such as tax breaks who entice hotles to begin paying attention to the surrounding environment. Pangestu is convinced that a commitment to sustainable development will not only help protect the environment, but in the end, also contribute to operational sustainability.

 

Speaking on Sunday, September 21, 2014, Minister Pangestu said the at the beginning hotels could be given voluntary incentives to become "green" that can later be supplemented with sanctions and penalties for hotels who refuse to adopt sustainable practice.

 

Pangestu lamented that to date only international standard hotels in Indonesia are becoming "green" and there remains an urgent need for an expanded educational process to be conducted by the Government to make both hoteliers and the general public more environmentally aware.

 

 

Sensual Hospitality in Bali

Six Senses to Manage Major Villa Development at Pecatu, Ulawatu, Bali

 

PT Cahaya Warna Prima (CWP), a subsidiary of the Kencana Graha Group, has  begun developing an 11.5 hectare site at Pecatu, Uluwatu to accommodate 108 villas comprised of 28 "sky villas" and and 80 regular villas as retreat villas, as well as villas of 1,2 and 3 bedroom configurations.

 

Public areas of the new project will include an all-day dining facility, a specialty restaurant and a spa.

 

As reported by beritadewata.com, Harry Gunawan, the president firector of CWP said on September 20, 2104 during a site visit that: "We will bring an atmosphere of relaxation and natural calm to the area. Our target is that by the end of 2014 'phase one' construction will have commenced and be finished by the end of 2016."

 

CWP will work together with Six Senses Resorts as the operator of the new property.

 

CWP told the press that the Six Senses brand is identical with uniqueness and authenticity, privacy and sustainability that fits into each local environment. "By always adopting the local culture, Six Senses Uluwatu will operate in keepng with progress and new technology. They have the ability to play host cultural host in an area that promotes social welfare, supported by anticipative service that pays attention to every detail," said Gunawan. 

 

Continuing, Gunawan said: "We will introduce the occupants of our villas to an opportunity to better undersand organic agriculture. Our desire is that this project can bring a new color to Bali's tourism industry and help attract more visitors, both domestic and international."

 

 

Regent Out, Fairmont In

Regent Bali on Sanur Breach to Be Managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts

 

The owners of the luxury Regent Bali Resort on Sanur Beach in Bali have announced their decision to end the management agreement with Regent Hotels and join efforts with Fairmont Hotel and Resorts.

 

In making the announcement, PT Pancaran Kreasi Adiprama extended a vote of thanks to Regent Hotel and Resorts who opened the 94-suite and 26-two and three-bedroom pool villas beachfront property in June 2013. In little more than a year since welcoming its first guests, Regent has secured a certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor and been nominated to Asia's Leading New Resorts 2014 by World Travel Awards.

 

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (FRHI) operates 119 properties worldwide under the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel brands. 

 

In what appears to be an amicable parting of the ways from Regent, the current management team of the hotel has pledged to remain for several months to facilitate a seamless transition for the incoming group of managers.

 

Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali will be the first Fairmont property to open in Indonesia.

 

 

Parting Thoughts from Minister Pangestu

Tourism Minister Pangestu Calls for Better Airports, Free Visas and Coordinated Promotion of Indonesian Tourism

 

In order achieve significant gains in national tourism, the Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy Mari Elka Pangestu maintains that three main points must urgently be addressed.

 

Quoted by bisnis.com, Pangestu said on Monday, September 22, 2014, that the outlined steps must be undertaken if Indonesia is to achieve its stated goal of 20 million visitors by 2019.

 

Pangestu leaves office on October 20th with the inauguration of President Joko Widodo and the swearing in of a new cabinet of State Ministers

 

The three steps that the Minister say must be addressed are:

User-friendly airports at Indonesian tourism destinations. While the carrying capacity of an airport is important, the tourists using Indonesian airports must be made to feel both comfortable and secure in using the nation's airpoprts.

Immigration procedures must be easily completed, ideally with visas granted on a free-of-charge basis. Pangestu admitted that Indonesia's current visa-on-arrival is relatively good, but it is still be preferable if the number of countries eligible for free visas were increased.

Indonesia needs a program of tourism promotion that is both integrated and consistent. A consistency of message is needed to persuade tourist visitors that Indonesia is a suitable destination for a holiday visit.

Indonesia has an announced target of 9.5 million foreign visitors for all of 2014. During the first six months of the year a total of 5.3 million internationals visitors came to Indonesia.

 

Indonesia's newly elected President Joko Widido has challenged the nation's tourism industry to double foreign arrivals to 20 million by 2019.

 

In 2103 some 3.27 million foreign visitors came to Bali, an increase of 13.3% over the total visitors in 2012. Current projections from balidiscovery.com are that Bali will end 2014 with approximately 3.75 million foreign visitors.

 

 

A Situation Most Taxing

Lawmakers Complain that Increase in Bali's Domestic Airport Departure Tax is Too Burdensome

 

The increase of the domestic departure tax (airport service charge) at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport on September 15, 2104 from Rp. 40,000 (US$3.50) to Rp. 75,000 (US$6.50), coinciding with the opening of the new domestic terminal, has met with mixed reactions.

 

As reported by DenPost, a number of parties in Bali are asking that the increase in the airport service charge be reviewed, claiming the large hike represents a substantial burden to the general public.  

 

A member of the Bali provincial House of Representatives (DPR-Bali), I Ketut Tama Tenaya, said on Sunday, September 21, 2014, that increasing the airport service charge from Rp. 40,000 to Rp. 75,000 is too burdensome for travelers. 

 

Tenaya told the press that the increase in price should have been done incrementally over time. Adding: "This increase must be adjusted in accordance with local economic conditions in Bali. The airport is in Bali. (But) the payments from the airport tax are not enjoyed by the region. All this money is sent to Jakarta."

 

Tama Tenaya is seeking a total review of the Bali Airport Tax. That review, he suggests, should include the taxes administered from Jakarta and securing a share of the revenues for use in the region. 

 

Agreeing with Tenaya is Made Duama, a member of the Badung House of Representatives (DPR-Badung). Duama said that while the amount of the airport service charge was within the purview of PT Angkasa Pura as airport operators, both the negative and positive repercussions of the increase on Bali and its residents needs to be considered. Saying he was not necessarily opposed to increasing the airport tax, but the amount of the increase should not unduly burden the public or tourists. 

 

Bali Still A Winner for Smart Travelers

Island of Bali and Bali Resorts Win Honors in Smart Travel Asia 'Best in Travel Poll'

 

SmartTravelAsia.com has just published the 10th edition of their "Best in Travel Poll" presenting their readers take on the best travel brands and services.

 

An on-line poll that ran for three months, voters participating in the toll are experienced travellers making an estimated 12 trips per year.

 

Promoted as the poll conducted with "readers in the know" - Smart Travel Asia is an online travel magazine with readers comprised of one million frequent travelers worldwide. 70% of the respondents in the latest poll were based in the Asia Pacific with 15% in UK/Europe and 15% in North America.

 

Bali Wins 

 

The Island of Bali was voted the most popular holiday destination in the latest poll.

 

The Indonesian and Bali-based travel products aso ranked high in the 2014 Smart Travel Asia Poll:

 

Top Ten Airlines - Cathay Pacific ranked as #1 with Garuda Indonesia ranked as #10.

 

Top Ten Business Class - Singapore Airlines ranked #1 with Garuda Indonesia at #8.

 

Top Ten Cabin Service - Singapore Airlines ranked #1 with Garuda Indonesia at #4.

 

Top Ten Budget Airline - Air Asia ranked as #1

 

Top Ten Holiday Destination - Bali won poll honors ranking as #1, followed by Hong Kong as #2.

 

Top Ten Boutique Hotels - Bali's Tanjung Sari Resort ranked #6

 

Top Twenty-five Conference Hotels - Grand Hyatt Bali ranked #9 and The Westin Resort Nusa Dua ranked #19.

 

Among the Top Twenty-five Leisure Hotels and Resorts:

Amankila on Bali's east coast ranked #3.

Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay and The Legian Bali tied at #4.

Amandari in Ubud and Grand Hyatt Bali tied at #5.

Bulgari Resort Bali ranked #6.

AYANA Resort and Spa Bali ranked #10.

Alila Villa Uluwatu Bali and the Chedi Club at Tanah Gadjah tied at #12.

InterContinental Bali Resort ranked #17.

St. Regis Bali Resort ranked #18.

W Retreat and Spa at Seminyak ranked #21.

 

Among the Top Twenty-five Spa Hotels and Resorts:

AYANA Resort and Spa Bali ranked #2.

Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay ranked #4.

Bulgari Resort Bali ranked #7.

Grand Hyatt Bali ranked #10.

Hotel Tugu Bali and The Legian ranked #10.

St. Regis Bali Resort ranked #15.

The Royal Pita Maha Bali ranked #16.

W Retreat and Spa Bali Seminyak ranked #18.

The Samaya Seminyak Bali ranked #19.

InterContinental Bali Resort ranked #20

Complete Results of Smart Traveler Poll

 

 

Bali High in a Survey

Bali Ranked the Best in Asia by Travel + Leisure

 

Bali has again scored high in the international Travel + Leisure Magazine of the “best of the best.”

 

In the prestigious reader’s poll of the best holiday islands in the world the Greek island of Santorini ranked “best overall” at #1with Bali ranking #5.

 

Among holiday destinations in Asia, Bali was named the best resort island.

 

The same poll ranked the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay with a score of 89.50 (out of a possible 100).

ted by the National News Agency Antara, Bali’s deputy-governor Ketut Sudikerta said the Travel + Leisure recognition for Bali underlines the world’s trust in the provincial government’s and Balinese people’s commitment to advance tourism.

 

Commenting further upon hearing Bali has won recognition from Travel + Leisure, Sudikerta said: “We must develop an excellent destination, upgrade the current destination, create beauty in Bali, preserve the Island’s culture and enhance security.”

 

 

It Must Have been Something he Et!

German Singer Arrested with Large Haul of Cocaine Hidden in his Gut at Bali’s Airport

 

A 48-year-old German national, Hans Peter Naumann, is under arrest in Bali after being apprehended on Friday, September 26, 2014, at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport where Customs officials discovered 17 capsules of cocaine concealed in the man’s alimentary tract.

 

The State New Agency Antara and Bali Tribune both report that the man who landed in Bali with Thailand Air Asia FD-396 from Bangkok ay 11:42 a.m. on Friday, hid in a public toilet for one hour before a “ion-scan” of the man showed traces narcotics on the his outer body.

 

This prompted a complete examination of the man including x-rays that revealed the 6 capsules of cocaine hidden in Naumann’s gut. The total weight of the capsules once eliminated was 38 grams.

 

When custom’s officials inspected the airport bathroom where the German hid before examination a further 11 capsules wre discovered that brought the entire stash of cocaine to 239 grams.

 

Naumann, who told police he works as a singer, said he had been offered US$5,000 to carry the drugs to Bali.

 

The German now faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of Rp. 10 billion. (US$870,000).

 

 

Tax Avoidance

Garuda Announces End to Including the Airport Tax in Domestic Ticket Price Effective October 1, 2014

 

Garuda Indonesia has announced that effective October 1, 2014, the airport authority – PT Angkasa Pura, will collect separately the passenger service charge/airport tax now included in the price of an air ticket on Garuda.

 

Apparently Angkasa Pura has complained that it is exclusively their purview to collect the charge. Moreover, Garuda complains that losses of Rp. 2.2 billion each month due to airport taxes not paid by connecting flight passengers had to be made good by the carrier.

 

Meanwhile, there’s a contradictory regulation issued by the Department of Civil Aviation that decrees beginning September 9, 2014, the airport service charge should be included in the ticket price of all Indonesian airlines.

 

It now remains to be seen how Angkasa Pura will implement this decision and begin collecting the charge from all the domestic airlines flying from Denpasar.

 

Perhaps anticipating the chaos ahead, Garuda is recommending that passengers arrive early when checking in for a domestic flight.

 

As reported separately by Bisnis.com, the Minister of State-owned Enterprises, Dahlan Iskan said that while he understood Garuda’s decision to stem losses and remove a tax from their ticket price that made the national carrier’s tickets appear more expensive, the move of separating the tax from the ticket price is nonetheless a “very primitive” practice.

 

Iskan called on the Ministry of Transportation to address the problem and require the airport tax to be included in all airline tickets sold in Indonesia.

 

Garuda apparently chose to ignore the Ministry’s instructions, that should have required all other domestic carriers to conform to Garuda’s long-standing practice of including the tax in the ticket price.  This occured when Garuda determined that other airlines were ignoring the new regulation without suffering any sanctions.

 

 

This is Your Wake Up Call

Many Bali Residents Roused from their Sleep by a 4.6 Earthquake on September 23, 2014

 

An earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale shook Bali in the early hours of Tuesday, September 23, 2014.

 

The seismic event hit at 5:05 a.m. local time at a very deep depth of 195 kilometers off the shore at Klungkung, East Bali.

 

While many across the island reported feeling the shake by social media, no injuries or property damage have been linked to the quake.

 

The depth and relative moderate nature of the quake posed no threat of a tsunami.

 

 

When a Leg Fails to Cooperate, Shoot it

Police Shoot Two Men Linked to a Rape and the Robbery of Many Villas in North Kuta

 

Beritabali.com reports that two robbers specializing in targeting villas occupied by foreigners in North Kuta, Bali were shot in the course of being arrested by members of the North Kuta Police Criminal Investigation Division.

 

Police say the two men robbed tens of villas and are also linked to the rape of a woman that occurred in the course of one housebreaking.

 

The two men have been identified as Junaedi and Muhasim. They were arrested on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai where police shot them both in the leg for reportedly “being uncooperative with the arresting officers.”

 

After being shot, the two men admitted to 15 separate robberies in North Kuta.

 

In connection with the arrest of the two men, Police managed to confiscate a large array of evidence that included a range of Smart Phones, computer tablets, jewelry, video cameras and cash. Police also collected a large blade and an air gun used by the two when they robbed a residence.

 

The modus used by the two to rob villas comprised jumping a wall and then forcing open a window. Once inside and whenever they encountered occupants, the men threatened the foreigners with their weapons. 

 

Police say among the tens of villas entered by the men, one incident included the rape by both men of a woman staying at the villa.

 

Police continue to investigate the case, trying to determine if the thieves belong to a larger crime ring.

 

 

Power to Accommodation Owners

Hotel Link Solution-Indonesia Team Attends Vietnam Conference to Help Indonesia Hotels Obtain Larger Share On-Line Booking Business.

 

Chandra Himawan, general manager, and Rikardus Guru, partner service manager, for Hotel Link Solutions-Indonesia have just returned from Ho Chih Minh City, Vietnam where they attended the Global Conference and Workshop for Hotel Links Solutions.

 

Established in Indonesia in late 2012, Hotel Link Solutions-Indonesia provides affordable, efficient and highly effective digital marketing solutions for hotels, villas and other accommodation providers seeking to to increase their on-line presence and Internet sales. By creating comprehensive websites operating in concert with a powerful and state-of-the-art booking engine, Hotel Links Solutions has managed to help its Indonesian partners change the way they do business on-line by allowing dynamic pricing and inventory control, instituting channel distribution via links to the worlds leading on-line travel agencies (OTAs) and strategizing the on-line presence of accommodation partner that maximize high yielding direct bookings.

 

The fast growing list of Indonesian accommodation providers who have become partners of Hotel Link Solutions proves the success of their low cost approach with some hotels reporting a more than 400% increase in their on line bookings and even larger rates of increase in direct bookings.

 

Emblematic of how Hotel Link Solutions customers feel about their “partnership” is demonstrated in the comments of Frances B. Affandy, president director of Panghegar Hospitality Manager who recently wrote: “We haven’t had even one minute when you were not accessible to our staff for advice on how to do something better. We feel personally cared for as customers. With all the emphasis these days on ‘customer relationship management’ we don’t feel 'managed' but we do feel valued. Kudos and keep up the good work!”

 

While in Vietnam, Chandra and Rikardus attended intensive training sessions preparatory to the new Hotel Link Solution platform and the unrivaled number of analytical tools now being made available to accommodation providers designed to help them enhance online sales.

 

Speaking on his Vietnam experience, Chandra said: “The amount of work and industry expertise invested globally by Hotel Link Solutions in upgrading our platform, website and booking widget has taken an already outstanding range of products and now provides us with exciting tools. The Indonesian team can’t wait to share with our existing clients and the many new partners joining us each week.”

 

Health Checks

 

Chandra said that he is particularly keen to share the revolutionary new “Health Check” program launched in Vietnam that will be rolled out for use in October 2014. A complimentary service of Hotel Link Solutions, “Health Checks” provides a comprehensive overview on the major components of an accommodation provider’s current on-line marketing presence. Those requesting a health check will benefit from no-obligation visit from a Digital Marketing Associate, who will share a confidential objective report ranking their hotel or villas performance in each key area of successful digital marketing 

 

To request more information on Hotel Link Solutions Indonesia or request a complimentary Health Check [Email] 

 

Until Kingdom Come

Bali to be Home to Lavish Museum Commemorating the Majapahit Era

 

Beritabali.com reports that a museum housing artifacts from the Majapahit era of Indonesian history will be built in the Balangan area of South Bali.

 

The Majapahit Empire was centered on the Island of Java whose influence and military victories extended across much of Southeast Asia. The Majapahit Era lasted from 1293 to 1500 A.D., with its zenith occuring during the reign of Hayum Wuruk and his trusted Prime Minister Gajah Mada from1350 to 1389.

 

The collection of Majapahit memorabilia will be housed in the new Museum Jali Mali – an acronym formed from “Jawa Bali Majapahit Kembali” (Java-Bali Majapahit Returns). 

 

A massive 30-hectare site will surround the new museum intended to both demonstrate the majesty of the Majapahit Empire and become a major tourist attraction on the Island.

 

Yuniani AR, the construction consultant for the Museum Jali Mali said: “At this time, we are in the process of collecting items to be displayed at the museum. To date we have already collected some 30,000 items that include prehistoric items, ancient keris (daggers), beds, seals of the Majapahit Court, paintings, statues, batik and decorative accessories from the era.”

 

Yuniani explained that the museum dedicated to the Majapahit Empire is being constructed on the initiative of national businessman Hasyim Djojohadikusumo. Djojohadikusumo is a wealthy businessman and the younger brother of failed presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto.

 

In addition to a vast collection of items from the Majapahit Era, the Museum Jali Mali will also house a replica of the Majapahit Royal Palace of which no trace remains in modern times.

 

“The reason we are building (the museum) in Balangan, Bali and not in Trowulan, East Java is because we feel the Bali location is a better choice in order that tourist visiting to Bali can view the collection,” Yuniani explained.

 

The projected cost of the museum is put at Rp. 5 trillion (US$ 435 million). Construction is scheduled to start in 2015 and be completed in 2016.

 

In closing, Yuliani said: “The name ‘Jali Mali’ was selected because Bali and Java are inseparable. We hope the museum can educate the younger generation that the history of Majapahit existed, that the King of Majapahit existed and this is our ancestry.”

 

 

Two Decades for Depraved Decadence

Prosecutors Demand 18 Years Prison for Man Who Murdered Englishwoman in Ubud, Bali

 

Prosecutors in Denpasar have demanded a sentence of 18 years for Hambali, the 32-year-old construction laborer who broke into the Ubud villa of Englishwoman Anne-Marie Drozdz (40) and took her life on May 22, 2014.

 

As prosecutors read the sentence demand on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, Hambali appeared resigned to his fate. According to Tribun-Bali.com, the man’s eyes were open wide and fixated on the Prosecutor as he heard the sentence demand, later grabbing his forehead in despair.

 

When the prosecutor ended the reading of the sentence demand, Hambali took a deep breath heard across the courtroom.

 

The Chief prosecutor, I Made Dama, told the panel of judges that Hambali was proven beyond doubt of having killed the English tourist (shown) living in Ubud.

 

The trial continues in Denpasar, Bali.

 

 

Running for Hearth and Home

Eight Bali & Lombok Results Stage Charity Run to Build Low-Cost Housing in Bali

 

Eight resorts from Bali and Lombok have joined hands to organize an inaugural ‘Charity Run’ to aid a housing renovation project in Mengwi, Badung regency, Bali.

tnership with Bali International Sport Week and the Nusa Dua Fiesta, the charity run will be held on Sunday, October 12, 2014 within the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) at Nusa Dua on the island’s southern peninsula.

 

The run is open to participants of all ages including children. Registration is priced at Rp. 100,000 (US$8.70). All runners will receive a running shirt and opportunities to win many door prizes. 

 

The Charity Run is organized by a group of eight resorts from Bali and Lombok including Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort; Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort; The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali; The Westin Ubud Resort & Spa; Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran; The St. Regis Bali Resort; W Retreat & Spa Bali – Seminyak; and The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali. 

 

The inaugural hosting of the event is expected to attract 2,000 runners. The race will start at 7:00 a.m. in front of the BIMC Hospital, run the length of the BTDC complex to the northern gate and return to end at the Nusa Dua Peninsula.

 

Funds raised through the Run will assist a housing renovation project for needy residents in Mengwi, Badung Regency. 

 

The even forms part of the Bali International Sports Week and the Nusa Dua Fiesta.

 

For more information and registration [Email Stephanie Gunawan] 

 

 

Meetings, Bloody Meetings!

Incoming President Joko Widodo Transition Team Identify that US$1.5 Billion Spent Each Year on Government Meetings

 

Signaling that fiscal conservancy may be a hallmark of the new Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla administration, the transition team for Indonesia new President and Vice-President has identified that Rp 18 trillion (US$ 1.5 billion) is spent on meetings held annual by the government.

 

A member of Commission X from the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR-RI). Dolfie O.F. Palit, told finance.detik.com that one of the main factors contributing to the enormous cost of government meetings is the tendency to starred hotels, when less luxurious venues would do.

 

Speaking on Thursday, September 25, 2014, Dolfie contends that meeting held in the capital do not need to rent hotels when ministerial meeting rooms, also luxurious in their own right, would suffice.

 

The new presidential transition team calculates that Rp. 11.6 trillion (US$1 billion) is spent on government meetings convened in the nation’s capital of Jakarta, while the remaining RP. Rp. 6,4 trillion (US$557,000) is spent on meetings held in the provinces. 

 

Incoming Indonesian president Joko Widodo has promised to trim wasteful spending in his new administration.

 

Canggu Drowning Victim

South African Tourist Drowns at Canggu

 

A 56-year-old South African, Dr. Mark Allan Ramsey, has drowned at Pererenan Beach, Canggu, in West Bali.

 

Dr Ramsey, who earned a Ph.D. in “leadership in performance and change” from the University of Johannesburg in 2009, was washed out to sea while swimming on the shoreline at 11:30 a m on Thursday morning, September 25, 2014.

 

Dr. Ramsey, who had been on holiday in Bali since September 20th at the Kirana Bali Hotel in Canggu, was accompanied by his wife, Patricia Ramsey, at the time of the incident.

 

Efforts to try to revive the man were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead on arrival at the nearby Kapal Hospital. His remains were moved at 3:30 pm to the morgue at the Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar.

 

 

We Get Mail!

Balidiscovery.com Readers take Issue with Tommy Soetomo – the Boastful CEO of Bali’s Airport Authority

 

Balidiscovery.com’s recent article Happy Landings Galore quoting the CEO of PT Angkasa Pura I claiming that Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport aims to be recognized as the world’s best and most beautiful airport evoked widespread comment, mostly critical, from our readers.

Helen wrote:

“What is the point of bragging about a beautiful new airport when once you arrive inside the passengers are treated no better than cattle. The running of the airport is so poor it is unbelievable.”

Lyndon Bradshaw wrote to add:

“It might be the most beautiful in the world but when it takes up to 2 hours to get through immigration then its beauty soon disappears. Old airport might not have been so beautiful but immigration was much quicker. Please get your act together.”

Terry Hill commented:

“The best airport in the world? He must have been eating magic mushrooms at the time of the interview. Massive line ups upon arrival, not enough immigration counters open but plenty of touts (off duty immigration officers) offering fast exit for $25 - all this corruption money is shared amongst airport authority people and some goes to the top people who are the ones who could put a stop to this corruption. The best airport in the world? I think not."

Andrew Young, living in Bali, wrote to say:

“All my customers are complaining about the long wait at immigration at the new wonderful airport. Up to 3 hours is common.”

 

“Taxi's driver are now freelancing and charging above the fare price posted at the exit to the airport.”

 

“The place is really a shambles when compared to other airports like Malaysia, which I did 2 days ago with a wait of less than 5 minutes and a lot more planes to service than Bali. The baggage claim at Bali is a mess as there are too many bags there because the tourists are waiting to get through immigration. The baggage carousels don't register the flight the baggage is from so one has to physical check the flight numbers on the revolving baggage to check what flight the baggage is from.”

Henry sent the following sole comment supportive of the new airport:

“For once, a positive reply!”

 

“I was on my to Lombok for humanitarian work in Mataram and my first impressions of the new domestic terminal was ‘The jewel in the crown’ - absolutely wonderful what they have done to this terminal. There is an air of Bali, Bali, Bali about it...simply, it is just beautiful. I was mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the design - the spaciousness, just wonderful. I was even surprised at how the shops were laid out and even more surprised at their prices, I don't think any airport in the world can boast the 'street' prices that can be found here, and not to mention the most beautiful smiles in the world from the staff. I just love this new terminal I think it is going to increase people's desire to travel domestic more. Well done everybody!”

David was less kind:

“This man Soetomo must be blind to the disaster of the new Bali airport. Has he had to arrive and wait in the incredibly long lines for immigration?And listen to ‘guests’ arriving to spend money on Bali get angry and say they will never return? The airport is ugly and you have no sense you are arriving on Bali, one of the (formerly) most beautiful places on earth.”

Andrew was also critical:

“He has to be kidding. Its only welcoming factor is getting out of the place.”

 

“The waiting lines are horrible, often taking nearly 2 hours to even get your baggage. The Red brink work looks like plastic, the white stonework is cracking and chipping, the no smoking rule just means throw your butts in the garden. The staff in the restaurants has no clue what’s going on. The toilets, especially the women’s are jammed, the carpets looks second hand. If I was having gusts arriving at ‘my’ airport, I would want it to be a happy and efficient experience, not a shambles like it currently is.”

“He must be mixing his thoughts up with Singapore's airport, or be seriously delusional.”

Rick Powell said:

“Who is this guy trying to convince? The other week it took 3 hours to get processed through immigration. We had to wait outside and sit on the floor, as there are only a few seats in waiting area. The sit-down toilets were a disgrace - water all over the floors and basins, while the attendants stand outside using their hand phones. The shops at the exit are a total rip off! To me and my friends that travel a lot on international flights, it seems that the people who designed it were wearing blindfolds. Get your act together and stop self promoting yourself!”

Eric contributed:

“The chairman of Bali airport operator should be humble and modest if intelligent. There is no other airport where you have to walk through such a narrow space to get to the boarding area full of useless shops. And how can you be happy when you have to leave the international arrival terminal through a dangerous and ridiculous little black corridor. Just read all the feedbacks and you will see how bad they are. The same feedbacks are very good for Garuda so you can trust them."

 

"A lot of works to do to compete with top airport like Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul......”

Renate & Arthur Bassi of Switzerland Bali Update to say:

“After 30 years visiting Bali every year we must say: the Airport gives the worst impression of Bali. Like everything in Bali today, it is too big, too crowded and badly organized. Bali used to be a beautiful island, but for the past ten years the tourism authorities only target to increase the number of tourists. For many years, I recommended people spend their holidays in Bali. But, today: No more! I think Bali will have big problems in this business in the future!”

 

“I prefer the airport of 1985 when dogs were running over the runway...”

 

A President in a Class All His Own

President –Elect Joko Widodo Flies Economy from Bali to Jakarta

 

Republika.co.id reports that President-elect Joko Widodo caused something of a stir when he flew from Denpasar to Bali on Sunday, September 28, 204 on a Garuda Indonesia commercial flight as an economy passenger.

 

Many of the other passengers on the flight could not be calmed before they had the chance to make a “selfie” on the flight departing Bali for Jakarta at 6:45 pm. 

 

The President-elect's security detachment were said to be kept very busy dealing with passengers eager to get close to Joko Widodo both before takeoff and after the plane landed in Jakarta.

 

The Minister for State-Owned Enterprises, Dahlan Iskan, sent an SMS to friends and colleagues noting the joy, happiness and pride felt by passengers in the economy class section of the aircraft who discovered Indonesia’s next president were sitting amongst them.

 

Joko Widodo reportedly took pains to accommodate as many request as possible for photographs from many passenger aboard the flight.

 

President-elect Joko Widodo was in Bali September 27-28, 2104 to attend meetings with local social activists and view Bali’s air and seaport.

 

 

Carte à Jouer

Two Frenchmen Arrested in Kuta for Stealing a Credit Card

 

Police from the Kuta Police Precinct have apprehended two Frenchmen – Bastian Sune (34) and Phil Cater (30) - suspected of stealing the credit card of a Czechoslovakian, Petra Lindrova (25).

 

The men were arrested by police at commercial accommodation address on Jalan Popies I in Kuta.

 

I Nyoman Sebudi of the Kuta Police said Lindrova reported her credit card was taken from her purse left in room 21 of the Kedin Inn on September 17, 2014, while she was swimming in the pool. When she returned to her room her credit card was gone.

 

A check with the woman’s bank showed substantial purchases had been made with the card from several leading retail outlets in Kuta. 

 

When police checked the CCTV tapes at the subject stores, the two Frenchmen were caught using the card to pay for goods. 

 

The users of the stolen card were identified by the woman as people also staying in room 23 at the Kedin Inn.

 

When police visited the men at their hotel in Kuta they discovered the missing credit card and some of the items purchased with the stolen card.

 

Police continue to investigate the case.

 

A Kiwi Courting Criminal Charges

Kiwi Tourist Richard James Wackrow Arrested at Bali Airport for Stealing Personal Items of American Tourist.

 

A 40-year-old New Zealand man, Richard James Wackrow, has been arrested by North Kuta Police in connection with the theft of a surfboard, hand phone and two wristwatches from a villa on Jalan Batu Mejan in Canggu. North Kuta.

 

Police arrested Wackrow on Saturday, September 20, 2014, at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport as he was preparing to fly home to New Zealand.

 

Police are investigating a police report filed by Mary Joe Oelejniczak (43) of the United States who alleges Wackrow stole her personal belongings from a villa on Jalan Batu Mejan in Canggu that she shared with Wackrow.

 

James Wackrow disappeared from the villa at about the same time as Oelejniczak’s belongings went missing.

 

The woman’s attempt to contact the stolen hand phone number to request the return of the items was unsuccessful and was met with threats of physical violence by Wackrow. Threatened with disfigurement and death, the woman reported the case to police.

 

Based on information provided by the victim, police were able to apprehend Wackrow at the airport as he prepared to leave Indonesia. 

 

According to NusaBali, at the time of the man’s apprehension he was in possession of the surfing board reportedly stolen from the woman.

 

Police are now investigating the case preparatory to formally charging the New Zealander with criminal theft punishable with imprisonment in Bali.

 

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

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