Australian Visitors Flat-Lining to Bali
Bali by the Numbers: Bali Welcomes Record 266,502 Foreign Visitors in October 2013 on the Way to 3.2 visitors for Entire Year.
(12/16/2013) Foreign tourist arrivals for October 2013 totaled 266,502 - an increase of 4.3% over October 2012 when 255,709 foreign travelers came to the Island.
Arrivals for the first 10 months of the year totaled 2,675,836 - demonstrating a 12.34% improvement year-on-year over the same period in 2012.
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If the 12.34% lead over 2012 is sustained through the end of the current year, arrivals for all of 2013 will total more than 3.2 million foreign visitors.
Total visitors for 2013, both foreign and domestic, will exceed 7.25 million.
Foreign Arrivals by Major Markets
Australia - Despite having gone largely stagnant, Australian visitors to Bali remain securely in first place, exceeding by 100% the number of Mainland Chinese visiting Bali. The 668,902 Australian visitors who came to Bali January – October 2013 is 2.11% less than the number in the same ten month period in 2013.
PRC – The Mainland Chinese market, aided by more flight frequencies from new areas, is bolstering travel to Bali. Arrivals from the PRC are up 23.22% year-to-date for the first 10 months of 2013.
Japan – Japan continues to mend, up 8.32% on a cumulative basis through the end of the first 10 months of the year totaling 171,670 visitors. This represents the strongest performance in Japanese arrivals to Bali since 2010.
Malaysia – Holding down 4th place among foreign arrivals to Bali, Malaysian arrivals are up 8.59% year-to-date,
South Korea – Visitors from South Korea remain strong at 5th place and 9.78% ahead of 2012.
Taiwan – After a dramatic drop in Taiwanese visitors in 2012, the Taiwanese are back with a vengeance in Bali, up 34.23% year on year through the end of October.
Europe is experiencing resurgence in Bali with year-on-year arrivals up across the board from France (14.77%), U.K. (3.78%), Germany (11.99%), Russia (8.36%) and The Netherlands (12.52%).
U.S.A. arrivals rank 10th among all foreign arrivals to Bali, improving 11.99% year-on-year.
India has become Bali’s new emerging market. Ranked at 14th among all foreign arrivals, Indian visitors have increased 51.10% year-on-year through the end of October 2013.
Look Better – Feel Better – Live Longer
PrimaFit Opens its Bali Office
(12/16/2013) PrimaFit - Indonesia’s leading supplier of world class fitness equipment and design consultants to hotels, resorts, corporate offices, sports clubs, golf, country clubs and premium home gyms has opened an outlet in Bali at Jalan Sunset Rp. 29B in Kuta, Bali.
The opening of the Bali showroom was market by an informal cocktail reception for business colleagues and leaders from Bali’s hotel and villa sector.
PrimaFit founder, Brian Billdt, started the business over 30 years ago with a vision to help Indonesian’s lead a healthy lifestyle through fitness and fat loss. PrimaFit have done this successfully through the network of Retail stores, Commercial division with major gym chains
Currently PrimaFit has six retail stores - four in jakarta, one in Surabaya, and one in Bali. The next shop will open soon in early 2014 in Medan.
PrimaFit is also the sole distributor of several high end international fitness brands in indonesia including LifeFitness (USA), Octane (USA), TRX (USA), POLAR (Finland) and Trigger Point (USA).
Hosting the Bali gathering were Owners Rohan, his wife Nunung, and Brian Bildt.
Carnival de Bali
Westin Resort Nusa Dua Celebrates a Memorable Year in its Journey Towards Transformation
(12/16/2013) The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali marked the end of a multi-year and multi-million dollar revitalization project with an upbeat Carnival de Bali held on Friday, December 13, 2013.
Over 600 invited guests were welcomed via a walking tour that started at the foyer of newly launched Heavenly Spa by Westin that continued on through the Resort's new family-style Italian restaurant Prego and a chance to see one of the 99 luxurious rooms just added in the new Premier Wing of the Westin.
After the tour, guests paused in the foyer of the Mangupura Halls for pre-dinner cocktails and canapés. Tribal drummers, statuesque dancers and canapé tables surrounding masked dancers circulated among the guests.
When the doors to the Mangapura Halls opened, guests were ushered into an elaborately decorated venue – in keeping with the Westin’s and Bali’s reputation for unforgettable meetings and conference events.
Non-stop entertainment included a dazzling laser show, Brazilian dance, live music – all part of the Carnival de Bali theme for the evening. Food stands and sumptuous culinary displays dotted the Mangapure Halls.
The Westin’s Managing Director, Bipan Kapur offered words of welcome and presented a slide tour of the Resort’s transformation.
Tens of lucky draws for stays across the region at Starwood properties as far afield as Fiji, Australia and China were handed out and a live auction for a new Heavenly Bed netted a generous amount for the local charities supported by the Westin Bali.
“It was encouraging to see so many people gathered to help us celebrate the climax of our revitalization project. The resort has been transformed before our very eyes and this renewing journey has been a detailed-driven process with the needs of today’s modern travelers in mind. It truly complements the Westin brand philosophy of preserving wellness in travel,” said Bipan Kapur, Managing Director of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali.
Let the Soulshine In!
Bali Soulshine Festival December 27-28, 2014 in at Bali Green School
(12/16/2013) A 2-day Soulshine Festival comes to Bali December 27-28, 2013 boasting two-days of the very best in local and international musicians each day from 11:00 am until 2:00 am centered at Bali’s Green School.
Funds raised from the musical festival will support Bumi Sehat Natural Birthing Clinics in Bali and Aceh, and the Green School Indonesian Scholarship Fund.
Celebrating music and the environment, musical performance will be intermixed with environmentally themed presentations and children activities promoting sustainability.
Top Entertainment on the Stage at Bali’s Green School
Among the musical acts scheduled to appear on Friday, December 27, 2013 are Michael Franti & Spearhead, Trevor Hall, Afronesia, Supa Kalulu, Nasi Campur and DJ Stevie G. On the second day look for Michael Franti & Spearhead to return with Nahko & Friends, Ethan Tucker, Navicula, Jim Larkin & The Saucy Soul Band, Norma Jean and DJ Marco.
Headlining the festival is the American poet, musician, recording star and composer Michael Franti who has made Bali his second home since 2006.
Franti appears as the lead singer and creator of the band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Michael blends music with a strong social conscience promoting peace, social justice and the preservation of the nature environment.
Mentioning the major force driving the Festival, Franti said: “The Soulshine Festival is about coming together to celebrate life—the life of our planet—and the power we all have to make a difference. Come and join us for a magical time in Bali.”
Commenting on what will become his eighth community fund raising event in Bali, Franti added: “I’m excited to share two days of family-friendly music and inspiring environmental activities in one of the most stunning locations in Bali, the amazing Green School. The Soulshine Festival will benefit Bumi Sehat Natural Birthing Clinics, who are working to save lives of mothers and children in Indonesia. We will also benefit the Green School’s Indonesian scholarship program that offers free education to local children.”
The setting for the festival will be the Green School Soccer Field with activities running on each day from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm.
New Hospital for Bali’s North
Steps Underway to Improve Medical and Health Services in Bali’s Northern Regency of Buleleng
(12/15/2013) The Bali Daily (Jakarta Post) reports that Bali’s northernmost regency of Buleleng is planning to construct a new hospital.
Nyoman Sutjidra, deputy regent for Buleleng and a trained physician, has announced the new hospital will be built in 2014.
Sutjidra said, revealing the name and location of the new medical center: “We are expecting that the Rp 15 billion [US$1.23 million] funding can be disbursed in March or April next year. Then we can start building Pratama Hospital. We have decided the location for the hospital, which is in Tangguwisia village in Banjar district. The land belongs to the provincial administration.”
The Rp. 15 billion budget is expected to be sufficient to build a “non-class regional hospital.”
An additional allocation of Rp. 23 billion (US$1.9 million) is being provided by Jakarta to pay for an expansion and refurbishment of the existing Buleleng Regional Hospital in Singaraja.
A 2011 survey conducted by the Indonesian Health Ministry placed Buleleng’s health services at 218 out of 440 regencies across the Country.
At the root of the problem, according to Sutjidra, is a shortage of qualified doctors, specialists, nurses, midwives and paramedics working in the Island’s North. “The limited number of health professionals has hampered the improvement of healthcare services,” he explained.
As a result, many northern residents travel to Denpasar for a higher standard of medical care.
Buleleng is plagued a high mortality rate of 5% of all deliveries, higher than average HIV/AIDS rates, dengue fever and a host of other tropical diseases.
Bali Airport Suffers Another Power Outage
(12/16/2013) Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports yet another power outage has occured at Bali’s newly renovated Ngurah Rai Airport.
The latest in a series of power outages took place on Tuesday, December 10, 2013, lasting almost thirty-minutes from 8:47 p.m.. According to the Airport’s communication and legal section head, Alfansyah, service to the public continued largely unabated during the power interruption.
Promising another outage will not occur; Alfansyah said any future blackout would be resolved in minutes via a back up system of generators that is now fully operational.
Explaining the failure to quickly restore power during the Tuesday outage, Alfansyah said: “The one that happened last night was network damage, not due to a shortage of supply. We are always prepared with generators as backup. But last night was different.”
The latest blackout occurred during a peak traffic period at the airport. While battery powered light provided minimum levels of lighting, while air conditioning ceased to operate during the half-hour period.
The State Power Board (PT PLN) was quick to issue a statement that the lack of power was not due to any interruption in power supply, but due to internal problems at the airport. PT PLN did, however, dispatch a team of experts to the airport to help resident engineers identify and correct the problem.
PT PLN has established a special sub-station serving Bali’s Airport, with built-in redundancy of supplies from the Pesanggaran and Pemecutan substations.
Shorter Moments in Paradise
October Average Length of Stay for Bali Visitors was 3.22 Days
(12/16/2013) Bisnis Bali reports that the average length of stay for domestic and international tourists visiting Bali in October 2013 stood at 3.22 days.
Gede Suarsa, the head of the Bali Statistics Bureau (BPS), said: “The October figures for length of stay increased 0.02 points compared to the previous month when the average length of stay was 3.20 days.”
When isolated for only foreign visitors to Bal, October 2013 arrivals saw the length of stay total 3.18 days while domestic visitors stayed longer on the island at 3.23 days.
Foreign tourists using one-star hotels in October stayed 2.28 days compared to domestic visitors using the same level of accommodation who stayed 2.3 days. Meanwhile, two-starred hotels saw foreign visitors linger for 2.75 days while Indonesians stayed for 3.7 days.
Three-starred hotels saw foreign visitors stay 3.89 days with local tourists staying 3.25 days. Four starred hotels hosted foreign tourists for 3.65 days and domestic visitors for 2.65 days.
Bali’s most luxurious five-star hotels record stays by foreigners of 2.95 days, but with domestic length of longer stays at 3.99 days.
Bali recorded 266,562 foreign tourist arrivals in October 2013, increasing 4.53% from the same month in 2012.
A Gaming Chance
Bali Loses 11th Hour Bid to Host 2016 National Sports Week. Island Now Bidding for 2020 Games
(12/15/2013) Bali has apparently lost its last-minute bid to host the 2016 National Sports Week (PON 2016), the final decision on the host city for the 19th PON going to Bandung, West Java.
Meanwhile, the National Sports Committee (KONI) have told the provincial government of Bali that it must prepare the necessary infrastructure in order to realize its wishes to host the 20th National Sports Week of 2020 (PON-2020).
Beritabali.com quotes Suwarno, the vice-chairman of KONI, who said that in addition to creating a sporting infrastructure, that includes a main stadium, Bali must be prepared to facilitate 28 different branches of sporting activities.
Suwarno said: “We will see what the abilities of the province actually are (to host the games), its infrastructure and then we’ll look at other factors such as support from the province.”
There are six provinces seeking to host the prestigious 21st PON 2020 including: Bali, North Sumatra, Aceh, Central Java, South Sulawesi and Papua.
Terror Alert for Christmas and New Year
President and Chief of Police Urge Calm and Alertness Over Holidays Due to Continuing Threat Posed by Indonesian Terrorists Networks
(12/16/2013) Suara Pembaruan reports that the Indonesian police are warning of the possibility of terrorist attacks by militant groups in Indonesia in the period leading up to the Christmas and New Years.
Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has responded to the potential threat by ordering the police to increase security at churches during the Christmas worship period. The President has received reports of a possible attack on places of worship by unnamed extremist elements.
Despite major victories by the government's anti-terrorist units, a small network of terrorists are still believed to be in operation.
A presidential spokesman said: “I have received reports from the head of the police regarding the continuing existence of elements planning to disturb the peace and public order in a few specific places.”
As a result, the police have issued cautionary warning to members of the Christian community in Indonesia regarding the possibility of attacks by extremist Islamic elements during the Christmas and New Year period.
The Chief of the National Police General Sutarman has issued a statement confirming indications that militants are targeting "certain places" and may be developing explosive devices. Sutarman said: “The terrorists have networks everywhere that are active. We continue to hunt them down.”
The Chief of Police’s warning is being taken seriously due to its specific nature of the threats and their timing amidst a growing wave of religious intolerance in Indonesia. The government has suffered criticism from a number of quarters for failing to ensure the safety of minority religious groups.
Sutarman said that in addition to specific targets in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, Sulawesi is also seen as a specific target for terrorist acts. While admitting there were other areas in terrorists' sites, Sutarman would not elaborate and name those areas.
“I ask that everyone remain calm because the police are safeguarding security for those who celebrate Christmas and New Year,” said Sutarman.
He added that the police continue to monitor suspected members of terrorist networks, but will only take definitive action if plans for attack develop further.
The Police Chief reminded that the government has crushed a number of terrorist cells over the past decades, brining to justice those who bombed Bali in 2002 in an attack that killed 202 people.
The Right to Peacefully Choose
Bali Police to Go ‘All Out” to Ensure Peaceful Legislative Elections in April 2014
(12/14/2013) The Bali police have preparations well in hand to ensure a safe and secure execution of the legislative elections set to take place in Bali in April 2013.
The Bali Chief of Police General Albertus Julius Benny Mokalu told Republika.co.id on Tuesday, December 10, 2013, “We will go ‘all out’ to safeguard the elections; there are 12,000 officers that we can deploy on a moment’s notice.”
In safeguarding the elections, the Chief of Police said the police would also be helped by the Armed Forces, regional administrations and neighborhood groupings.
General Mokalu said it is his desire that the police spearhead a safe and peaceful electoral process. To achieve this, he said the police must behave professionally and according to procedure in undertaking their responsibilities.
As the "spearhead" of a peaceful election, the Chief of Police said his office would maximize the use of 686 personnel from the Agency for Creating Security and Public Order (Babinkamtibmas). “We have invited them to share a common vision, mission and perception with our officers in the field.,” said General Mokalu.
As part of creating a conducive situation for the coming elections, Motalu’s office will share its understanding with the public on the laws surrounding the election, the role of the police must play in the electoral process and the neutrality of the police in ensuring the outcome of voting.
The legislative election will take place on April 8, 2014, while the Presidential election will take place on July 9, 2014.
An Appetite for Kung Foo
Lawyer Tells Denpasar Judges that Attack on Bali Travel Agent by Feyloon Restaurant Owner and Manager Should be Viewed with Leniency
(12/14/2013) Two foreign businessmen are facing criminal charges in Bali for assaulting a travel agent who brought customers to the Feyloon Restaurant in Kuta.
Facing justice are Malaysia Frederick Wog Wei and Hong Kong citizen Wat Yiu Fai who have been charged with assault under Section 170 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
Wong Wei who works as the manager of the Feyloon Chinese Restaurant and the Restaurant's owner Yiu Fai beat Bali travel agent Hendra Haryanto in a parking lot opposite their restaurant on August 4, 2013.
As quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Public Prosecutors Peggy Ellen Bawengan told the court that “both the accused joined in committing an assault that resulted in wounds on their victim.”
The court was told on Tuesday, December 10, 2013, how the travel agent did not realize he was being followed by the men when he returned to his car in the parking area and was set upon by Wong Wei and Wat Yiu.
The men knock aggressively on the car window of Haryanto and repeatedly struck the guide causing lacerations and bruises to the man’s face.
Haryanto tried to run away from the men but was cornered again at the adjacent gas station where the beating continued.
The owner and manager of the restaurant were reportedly upset by Haryanto’s refusal to pay an additional Rp. 10,000 (US$0.90) per customer when they wished to increase a group meal check from Rp. 150,000 (US$12.50) to Rp. 160,000 (US$13.30).
Nyoman Sudiantara, the lawyer representing the two men, has called on the court to see the case in a proportional way, concerned that a harsh punishment would deter foreign investment in Bali. Sudiantara argued before the panel of judges: “If my clients are ruled legally at fault in the disciplining of their subordinates, this case will have an affect on foreign investment in Bali.”
Trial continues in the Denpasar District Court with a verdict expected before Christmas.
In Plain Sight
Australians Give Building and Medical Aid to Bali Eye Center
(12/15/2013) The Australian Government has given the Province of Bali a building, equipment and other assets of the Indera Hospital via the “Australia Bali Memorial Eye Centre (ABMEC).”
The head of the Australian Air Program (AUSAID), James Gilling, quoted by the State News Agency Antara, said: “I am sure the Government of Indonesia will continue the number of important programs undertaken by this facility (ABMEC) via expanded programs in the future.”
The transfer of assets took place on Saturday, December 14, 2013 in Denpasar.
Gilling praised ABMEC’s programs of mobile clinics that has provided free eye operations and treatment to the poor living in remote regions of Bali.
ABMEC was established and equipped by the government of Australia in the months following the October 2002 bombing in Bali that killed 202 people.
Over the course of the project the Australian government donated AU$10 million to create an eye center, provide equipment, train medical staff, operate a mobile eye clinic and provide scholarships to Indonesian medical workers.
The second phase of ABMEC assistance to Bali was formalized in 2007 in an agreement between the Australian and Indonesian government that provided for an eye center at the government-owned Indera Hospital.
Since 2011 ABMEC has become an independent Eye Hospital serving Bali and Eastern Indonesia.
The transfer of assets from Australian to Indonesia marked the end of the second phase of support for ABMEC commenced in 2011.
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