Monday, July 13, 2009
Bali Update July 2009
Om Swastiastu ...
For only the second time in the Republic's history, Indonesians went to the polls last Wednesday to elect their President. By something of a landslide, President Yudhoyono was returned to office for a final 5 year term with a new Vice-President, the former head of Bank Indonesia, Boediono.
There are 4 separate article on the H1N1 virus in this edition, with suspected cases reported for the first time among the local population in Bali.
Be sure to read this week's installment of “Bali by the Numbers” recapping May arrivals. Bali arrival numbers remain in record territory and, if current trends continue, we’ll top 2 million foreign visitors for all of 2009.
Top news stories this week include the investigation of a massive corruption allegation against the Bali airport immigration office; a decision by AirAsia (Indonesia) to fly twice daily Bali-Perth; raids by police surrounding the Bali Bombing monument nets prostitutes, transvestites and beggars; Jimbaran authorities issue warnings to local hotels usurping the public right-of-way on local beaches; the CEO of PATA says other tourism destinations should study how Bali confronts a crisis; and imported food items are becoming hard to find following a government crackdown targeted at local supermarkets.
There's coverage of a lady who can't get off her high horse: the new boss at the Umalas Equestrian Stables. And an exciting new Eco Adventure trekking experience now open near Tampak Siring.
Arts shows and more – all in this week's Bali Update
Om Çanti Çanti Çanti Om ...
J.M. Daniels - Bali Update
Bali Discovery Tours
BALI UPDATE #670 - 13 July 2009
Bali's May 2009 Arrivals Headed for a Record Year
Bali by the Numbers: Bali On Track to Surpass 2 Million Visitors in 2009.
Total foreign tourist arrivals to Bali for May 2009 totalled 181,963 - an increase of 13.8% over May 2009, when 159,877 visitors came to the island.
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Click Images to Enlarge
Click Images to Enlarge
On a cumulative basis for January-May, total arrivals hit 827,044, up 9.35% from the same period in the previous year. If Bali can sustain the current 9.35% growth rate through the end of 2009, this will translate into 2.15 million visitors and the first time ever that Bali's arrivals penetrated the 2 million mark.
Japan and Austrlia continue to be the two main source markets for Bali tourism, representing on a combined basis a 32.54% market share of all arrivals. 2009 has seen the historical displacement of Japan from the number one ranking, a position now held by Australia.
In years past, Taiwan and South Korea rounded out the top-four source markets for Bali. However, changing financial fortunes and the advent of new low-cost air services have seen the number three and four positons taken over by the People's Republic of China and Malaysia, respectively.
Within the European market, the strongest performances are being turned in, in order of importance, by France, the United Kingdom, Russia and Germany.
Shown on balidiscovery.com are graphs tracking arrival patterns for 2008 and 2009 as well as the performace of Bali's major source markets.
In Command of All She Reins
Jutta Bohnenstengel Joins Umalas Equestrian Resort as Stable Manager & Riding Instructor.
Jutta Bohnenstengel began her life-long equestrian avocation in 1978, at the age of 10, when she first rode a horse. Before departing Germany for the United States at the age of 19, Jutta had already taken part in 150 dressage and show-jumping competitions, winning around 70 competitions.
Landed on American shores and during her first 3 years in Florida, Jutta furthered her studies under the professional German Olympic dressage champion, Eva-Maria Stoebe. Later, she traveled to Spain where she spent a year breaking in horses as well as working with special needs children and teenagers using horse riding as a course of therapy.
In 1992, she attained the professional accreditation of "Reitwart," graduating as a riding instructor from the distinguished Landes-Reit-und-Fahrschule Rheinland Wuelfrauth, a leading equestrian school in Germany. The following year, she received her silver "reitabzeichen," while working privately instructing a Spanish noblewoman. Jutta's duties in Spain included showing horses and parading them in various dressage competitions, as well as being the private riding instructor for a noble family.
During the next 7 years Jutta returned to the USA, where she worked as a horse trainer, preparing young horses for competition while working as a riding instructor and assistant manager at Stoebe Dressage Stables in Florida. She followed this by managing Kestrel Farms in Harbor Springs, Michigan, as well as serving as Head Coach at Bay Harbour Equestrian Club, also in Michigan.
Jutta has also participated in a number of horse training seminars with experts such as Monty Roberts, John Lyons and Buck Brannaman, an experience that then enabled her to work with traumatized horses.
Before coming to Bali, Jutta was invited to Namibia in 2008 for s short assignment breaking wild horses.
Since April 2009, Jutta has been in Bali working at The Umalas Equestrian Resort as horse trainer, private horse trainer as well as managing the equestrian center. Her duties in Bali include training the Resorts' horses; training privately-stabled horses, teaching children and adults' dressage, providing show-jumping lessons, and organizing special events such as children's camps and vaulting classes.
Jutta looks forward to welcoming people to The Umalas Equestrian Resort where she will introduce visitors to her friends, both of the two and four-legged variety.
[Beginner Lunge Lesson]
[ Dressage & Show Jumping Lessons ]
Corruption Scandal at Bali's Airport
Police and Anti-Corruption Board Investigate Corruptions of Visa-on-Arrival Fees.
DenpPost reports that 44 immigration officials are now being examined by the Anti-Corruption Board (BPK) in connection with the suspected embezzlement of Rp. 3 billion (US$294,000) by immigration officials at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport. The alleged corruption reportedly occurred between the months of October 2008 and May 2009 in the under-reporting of funds received from visa on arrival sales.
Visitors from a number of countries are allowed upon arrival in Bali to purchase a non-extendable 7-day visa for US$10 or a 30-day visa for US$25.
The head of the Airport Immigration office, Budhi Harmanto, confirmed to the Bali Post that 44 members of his office have been undergoing interrogation by the BPK since June. Harmanto said the investigation commenced after inspectors from the central headquarters of Immigration found irregularities in visa-on-arrival accounts, thought yo have ocurred when immigration officials deposited the value of a 7-day visa when, in fact, the more expensive 30-day visa had been paid for and issued to an incoming tourist.
According to Beritabali.com, the corrupt practices investigative unit of the Bali police have also joined the case. Meanwhile, Bali's Governor, Made Mangku Pastika, has called for the urgent investigation and disposition of the cases. Speaking to the press on July 7, 2009, after a telephone conference with President Yudhoyono, Pastika said, "clearly, we hope theere will be definite legal action taken on this suspected case of corruption."
Tourism Sector Responds
Tourism leaders in Bali have called on the Bali airport's immigration office to undertake introspection not only concerning the most recent suspected case of corruption, but also on the general level of service they provide to Bali's foreign visitors, bearing in mind that immigration officials work on the front line in presenting a positive image of Bali.
Quoted in the Bali Post, the Vice-chairman of the Bali chapter of the Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA), Ketut Ardana, said that his membership had complained "tens of times" regarding the poor service of immigration officials; in each instance ASITA's complaints fell on deaf ears.
While emphasizing that he leaves the final disposition of the current case to the legal process, Ardana called for firm action to be taken against any officials eventually proven guilty.
Commenting separately, the Vice-Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), Nyoman Suwidjana, said he was not surprised with the case of suspected corruption involving Rp. 3 billion. The BTB official, who is also a leading university academic, said: "This is an old song. From the unprofessional way in which the officials work in addition to their poor mental attitude, sooner or later, malfeasance is certain to occur. Frankly, we are tired of trying to shine the spotlight on such (corrupt) practices."
Suwidjana told the press that if immigration is unable to do their job correctly, the government should seriously consider contracting the visa-on-arrivals services to the private sector. Suwidjana added: "The government would only play a supervisory role. Let the private sector, acting professionally, provide this service. This would be better than allowing the image of Bali to be sacrificed. This is nonsense to allow ourselves to be seen as corrupt."
Bank Indonesia calculates that US$8.5 million was collected in visa-on-arrivals fees for the four-month period January-April.
[Would Somebody Please Listen to Governor Pastika?]
An Exhibition of Paintings by Peter Dittmar at Gaya Art Space July 31 – August 30, 2009.
The great pioneers of abstraction of the early 20th century were enthralled by philosophical and mystical concerns. For them, abstraction was the visual formulation of a spiritual quest.
In this same vein, Peter Dittmar's month-long exhibition in August 2009 - "Colour Windows" represents a spiritual quest, evoking Hindu-Buddhist cosmological symbols. Dittmar's latest works reflects a different phase of that quest. The simplicity Peter Dittmar achieves is deceptive; the results are much more complex than it may initially appear. These paintings are, in the final analysis, an achieved form of learning and meditation.
Click Images to Enlarge
Click Images to Enlarge
His current abstract geometric paintings symbolize the encounter of the beholder with the absolute stillness of "The Void." Peter Dittmar says he is following the "Golden Section," also known as "Divine Proportions," combined with a sophisticated play of tonal coloration that takes us ever deeper into the ultimate Stillness or Void.
Peter Dittmar, is a respected artist in his native Germany, as well as Australia and Bali where he spends half his time.
His work demonstrates that abstraction is alive and well. Nourished by the sources of both Eastern philosophy and Western knowledge, Dittmar enables us to put aside both form and color, giving us, in the words of the Artist, "the chance to blend ourselves into the Void and Stillness of the cosmic"
Colour Window - An Exhibition of Painting by Peter Dittmar
Gaya Art Space – Jalan Raya Sayan, Ubud
July 31 – August 30, 2009
Open Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
For more information telephone ++62 – (0)361-979252
AirAsia to Fly Twice Daily Bali-Perth
AirAsia Flies to 4 International Destinations from its Bali Base.
AirAsia (Indonesia) is doubling its capacity between Bali and Perth, Western Australia, by adding a second daily frequency.
The new service is scheduled to commence on August 19, 2009, with an inaugural flight set for July 17th.
To draw attention to the new Australia service, AirAsia launched special fares available on line until July 12, 2009, for only Rp. 299,000 (AU$99) for Bali-Perth fares that were completely sold out shortly after their launch.
Perth is the first Australian destination to be served by AirAsia (Indonesia) and is the 4th international route operated from the airline's Bali hub after Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore.
Kathleen Tan, Regional Head of Commercial, AirAsia Group says: "Bali-Perth has always been on our network radar as we are confident this route will perform well. Bali is a highly popular and desired destination amongst Australians and Perth is underserved with steep airfares. The overwhelming response with seats snapped up in 3 hours on AirAsia.com when we opened for sale last May, took us by surprise. This huge response clearly demonstrates a latent demand for this connection. Likewise, there is a strong Indonesian community residing and pursuing studies in Western Australia. Our loads for forthcoming 3 months are running high past 90% and we feel it is timely to add a 2nd frequency. We stay true to our brand promise and are committed to offer the lowest fares and value to our guests."
The new route will be served by AirAsia’s brand new Airbus A320 aircraft.
Bali Hai Cruise Promotes Turtle Preservation
Adopt a Turtle on Your Next Bali Holiday.
Bali Hai Cruises, working with the villages of Kurma Asih, launched a turtle adoption and release program on July 7, 2009.
Click Images to Enlarge
Travel Agents, member of the press and turtle admirers who traveled on the Bali Hai II to Nusa Lembongan on that date heard a presentation by Ketut Sarjana Putra, the Marine Program Director for Conservation International Indonesia and a member of the Marine Turtle Specialist Group, who told the participants about "best practice" in preserving Indonesia's endangered turtle population. With past efforts to save more turtles always plagued by a lack of funds, Ketut is hopeful that the donations from Bali Hai Cruises and their future passengers will enable even more turtles to be saved and returned to the oceans.
Ketut Sarjana Putra calls the adoption of turtle nests by Bali Hai Cruises from the Kurma Asih a unique "Public-Private partnership for resilience of the community and nature."
After the presentation at Bali Hai's Beach Club, the adopters and their charges headed to Sunset Beach where the guests had the chance to participate in giving the "Gift of Life" by releasing their baby turtles back into the sea.
The participants eagerly watched the baby turtles instinctively head for the waves. Some turtle were momentarily tossed back by the waves, only to resolutely re-launch their march to the sea before eventually disappearing into the surf. Some of the guests memorialized their attachment with the turtles and nature by writing the name of their sponsored turtle on the wristband distributed to every adoptive parent.
Turtles have been living on earth for 150 million years, dating from the time of the dinosaurs. However, fishing nets, pollution, global warming and coastal development now threaten these magnificent animals, making it necessary to take urgent steps to protect and conserve the turtles for future generations.
Mature sea turtles are large, air breathing reptiles that return to land to lay their eggs. Sexual maturity may not be reached until the age of 20 years. Research shows that turtles migrate thousands of miles in the course of a year and have been observed at water depths of up to 200 meters.
The unique conservation programs underway in Bali with Bali Hai Cruises does more than merely help save the turtles. Villagers are also rewarded for the turtle eggs they bring into the safety of the hatchery, preserving them from dogs and other predators. The money paid to the villagers provides additional income. Later in the process, local people are also employed to take care of the hatchlings until they are eventually released back into the sea. The project is run under the supervision of Conservation International who assure proper catre while keeping detailed records for research.
Bali Hai Cruise is a local company committed to environmental sustainability. Over the past 18 years they have established the successful Lembongan Bay Marine Park, conducted detailed reef surveys, and installed mooring buoys to reduce destruction to the reefs.
Participants on Bali Hai Cruises program of popular daily cruises will be allowed to volunterrly participate in becoming adoptive parents of a living environmental link with the past and the future – a baby turtle.
[Lembongan Island Beach Club Cruise]
[Lembongan Island Reef Cruise]
Thing You Should Know About Swine Flu
BIMC Hospital Provides Information and Helpful Tips on How to Live in a World Affected by the H1N1 Virus.
The following information is provided by the BIMC Hospital in Bali.
What is swine flu?
Swine flu is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease in pigs caused by the influenza A virus. It causes high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs. Swine influenza viruses may circulate amongst pigs throughout the year. Studies show 30-50% of commercial US swine have been infected with swine flu. The mortality rate is 1-4%.
Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, they do sometimes cross the species barrier to cause disease in humans. The current human swine flu outbreak is caused by the H1N1 subtype.
What are the symptoms in humans?
The symptoms are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, coughs sore throats, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have also reported diarrhea and vomiting. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infections in people.
How do people get infected?
Humans can get infected from direct contact or close proximity to infected pigs, so people working in the pig industry are most susceptible, Human-to-human transmissions can also occur. It spreads mainly through coughing or sneezing. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with the swine flu virus on it. (e.g. surfaces contaminated by droplets from a cough or sneeze and then touching their mouth or nose before washing their hands.) The virus is thought to able to live approximately 2 hours on surfaces.
Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. You can not get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products are safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 70 degrees Centigrade kills the swine flu virus.
What are the major concerns?
Although the current swine flu does not have a high mortality rate, it is known to be highly contagious. Like all influenza viruses, swine flu viruses change constantly. When influenza viruses from different species infect a single subject, the viruses can reassort (i.e. swap genes) and new viruses that are a mix of swine, human and/or avian influenza viruses can emerge.
The concern is if the new virus has a high morbidity and mortality rate (i.e. spread easily person-to-person and have a high death rate) then a pandemic can occur. The disease can cause a global outbreak and can sweep across the country and around the world in very short time.
How does it affect Bali?
Currently, there have been several confirmed cases of H1N1 flu in Bali among tourist visitors. There have been no deaths linked to the disease in Bali with all victims treated in isolation wards of local hospitals. (Information updated.)
Trips to Prevent Flu Transmission
Influenza can spread mainly from person-to-person through coughing and sneezing. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu virus on it (e.g. surfaces contaminated by droplets from a cough or sneeze) and then touching their mouths or nose before washing their hands.
What can I do to protect myself from getting flu?
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue ion the trash after use.
• Wash your hands with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based cleansers are also effective.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
What is the best way to keep from spreading the virus through coughing and sneezing?
If you are sick, limit your contact with other people as much as possible. Do not go to work or school if ill. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Put your used tissue in the waste basket. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands and do so every time you cough or sneeze.
What is the best technique for washing my hands or avoid getting the flu?
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soaps and water and clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner. We recommend that when you wash you hands – with soap and warm water – that you wash for 15-20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drug stores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol kills the germs on your hands.
www.balidiscovery.com thanks BIMC Hospital for this valuable information.
Keeping Bali's Bombing Memorial Neat & Tidy
Prostitutes, Transvestites and Beggars Caught in Public Order Sweep of Kuta.
In partial response to reports that beggars and prostitutes were disturbing visitors and passerby's in the vicinity of Ground Zero and the Bali Bombing Memorial , members of Kuta's neighborhood watch (Linmas) and community empowerment agency (LPM) conducted sweeping raids that rounded up tens of transvestites, commercial sex workers and beggars on July 1, 2009.
The nighttime round-up netted a total 37 beggars, 11 commercial sex workers, 19 transvestites, 3 people with no identity cards and 2 improperly parked taxis. Most of the arrests were made in the vicinity of the Bali Bombing Monument, but some of those captured were caught on Jalan Popies and Jalan Raya Pantai Kuta, after a brief chase by community enforcement officers.
Most of these arrested had their personal details taken for processing on public nuisance complaints. However, the beggars, many of whom were children, were rounded up for eventual return to their home villages.
The Chairman of the Kuta LPM , Komang Graha Wicaksana, told NusaBali that the raids were made after receiving numerous complaints on the nuisance caused by the transient street workers from local residents.
NusaBali also told of a small incident that occurred following the Kuly 1st raids when a young Spanish man came to the LPM office and began screaming, demanding the release of his beloved "Carmen." According to the paper, the young man who was intoxicated, finally moved on when asked by do so by a persuasive and well-built member of the community enforcement team.
Reclaiming Bali's Beaches
Puri Bali and Keraton Hotel on Jimbaran Beach Cited by Local Community for Misuse of Beachfront.
The Sub-district head of Jimbaran, I Made Tarip Widartha, has issued firm warnings to Jimbaran Beach hotels constructing too close to the high-water mark.
According to DenPost, Widartha issued pointed warnings to two properties: the Hotel Puri Bali and the Keraton Bali.
Quoted in DenPost, Tarip reminded hotels along Jimbaran Beach that the right-of-way along the ocean side is absolutely reserved for the public and cannot be appropriated by anyone. After inspecting the shoreline with the Camat of South Kuta, I Wayan Wijana, Tarip said, "we will gather together all the hotels to make this clear to them."
Tarip said that local residents and hotels not located directly on the beachfront have been complaining that they are being barred access to the beach by the Hotel Puri Bali. This is also apparently the case on the beach in front of the Hotel Keraton where structures constructed by the Hotel have precipitated objections from the surrounding community.
As the result of those complaints, Tarip has warned hotels to honor the setback rules from the high-water mark or face the possibility of strong enforcement measures in the future.
The Camat of South Kuta, I Wayan Wijana, underlined that no one is allowed to place structures within the setback zone along the beachfront. DenPost says that current law prevents the construction of structures within 50 meters of the high-water mark. "No one can build in the setback zone or claim ownership of the beachfront," said Wijana.
According to the officials, a meeting will soon be convened of all stakeholders in the Jimbaran beach area to explain the current rules. That meeting will also involve a number of relevant government agencies, such as the provincial planning agency (Bapeda), the zoning commission (Cipta Karya), the Bali Tourism Authority (Diparda) and Regional Environmental Impact Control Agency (Bapedalda).
The Human Resources Department of the Puri Bali denied that they have barred access to or ejected local people trying to use the beach in front of their hotel. Insisting that they would never bar the public from their right to use the beach, the hotel claims they have tried to hold a dialogue with village officials but that meeting has been delayed until August due to ceremonial commitments. The hotel also said it would welcome any initiative involving all parties in the care and management of the beachfront.
According to DenPost, their visit to the beach did reveal a bamboo barrier on the beach near the Puri Bali Hotel. In front of the Keraton Hotel the newspaper found several small building constructed of bamboo.
Indonesia Keeps is Currency Current
Bank Indonesia Introduces a New Rp. 2,000 banknote.
Bank Indonesia placed into use on Friday, July 10, 2009, a new Rp. 2,000 note (US$0.20), destined to eventually supersede the Rp. 1,000 note and become the smallest denomination of paper currency.
The new bank notes carry a portrait of a South Kalimantan hero, Pangeran Antasari, on the face of the bills with traditionally dressed Dayak dancers displayed on the back of the bill.
Bank authorities point to the rising cost of living and cost of producing banknotes as prompting the decision to opt for a higher-valued bank note.
Printing presses are running at the national treasury with 500,000 new Rp. 2,000 notes scheduled to be in circulation by the end of August. By the end of the year 1.2 million of the notes will be on the streets with a value of Rp. 2.4 billion (US$2 million).
With the introduction of the new banknotes the government plans to reduce production of the Rp. 1,000 notes now in circulation, replacing them over time with Rp. 1,000 coins.
Indonesia currently has six different denominations of banknotes: Rp.1,000; Rp. 2,000; Rp.5,000; Rp.10,000; Rp.20,000; Rp.50,000; and Rp.100,000.
Bali to Disguise its Famous Smile?
Bali Health Officials Recommend that Hotel and Villa Employees Wear Surgical Masks.
Kompas.com reports that employees of Bali hotels and villas are being urged to wear surgical masks when serving guests.
The Head of the Bali Health Service, Nyoman Sutedja, made the suggestion for surgical masks at a coordination meeting on the H1N1 virus at Bali governor's office on July 10, 2009. According to Sutedja, the use of the masks will not frighten Bali visitors, but, instead, serve as symbol of the island's preparedness.
Sutedja told the press that his suggestion has been delivered to all hotels and villas in Bali, both directly and via tourism and hotel organizations – such as the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) and the Indonesian Travel Agent Association (ASITA). Sutedja defends the need for surgical masks usage among tourism service staff as necessary to halt the spread of the H1N1 Virus which, to date, has been confined to foreign visitors to Bali with no cases reported among the local population.
Meanwhile, Kompas.com reports that hotels in Bali have reached an informal agreement not to use ambulances to transport guests suspected of suffering from H1N1 to local hospitals. The Bali Health Service has noted and accepted this decision in order to prevent any panic among Bali's tourist visitors.
A New Zealand Man Suspected of Carrying the H1N1 Virus Tries Unsuccessfully to Make a Run for It.
Richard Lochner, a 40 year-old New Zealand man, came to the emergency room of the Sanglah General Hospital on Wednesday, July 8, 2009, after spending four days at his tourist accommodation in Kuta complaining of flu like symptoms.
The triage team at the hospital checked Lochner and determined that his condition warranted his admission to the special isolation ward prepared for suspected HIN1 patients.
Suspected H1N1 patients are treated without charge at Bali's hospital.
A few hours after being admitted to the isolation ward, Lochner decided he had better ways to spend his Bali holiday and escaped the isolation ward by jumping over a two-meter wall. When hospital officials became aware of his escape at 7:00 p.m., the hospital's security team was alerted to recapture the man who posed a potential threat to the community's health.
Discovered on a nearby street carrying a motorcycle helmet, Lochner reportedly challenged the security officers to a fight by screaming "fight me, fight me!"
According to Jawa Post, security guards pursued Lochner for several blocks before subduing the man at a gas station on the corners of Jalan Palau Buton and Jalan Raya Sesetan where he surrendered and accompanied the guards back to the isolation ward.
The five guards who played roles in capturing the New Zealander underwent a decontamination procedure at the hospital and the administration of Tamiflu in an effort to prevent any possible infection with the H1N1 virus. The health of the five security guards will be closely monitored over the coming week to ensure they have not contracted influenza.
Bali Eco Adventure: Sustainable Tourism in Bali's Highlands
Sustaiable Tourism at its Best at Bayad Village, Near the Tampak Siring Presidential Palace.
In what will hopefully become a model for future tourism development across the island of Bali, Bali Eco Adventure Center has opened a unique nature experience in the Tegalalang Valley, north of Ubud and only a short distance from the Tampak Siring presidential palace.
Established in close cooperation and with the active involvement of the surrounding community, Bali Eco Adventure offers:
Click Images to Enlarge
• Nearly 6 km of nature paths along the banks of Bali's sacred Petanu river.
• Well-trained docents from the local community able to help visitors identify the more than 300 tropical fruits trees, spices and medicinal herbs growing along hiking paths.
• A 1.5 km underground labyrinth of recently unearthed caves, believed to be more than 750 years old.
• A spice store selling locally harvested organic herbs and spices.
• A restaurant serving healthful lunches, including oyster-mushroom soup from mushrooms grown on the premises.
• A limited number of eco-friendly villas and a small conference center for individuals or small groups wishing to spend an overnight or longer amidst the jungle canopy.
• A spa with well-trained therapists providing the perfect encore after a jungle hike.
The reserve covers an area of approximately 25 square kilometers, encompassing traditional farm lands still in the possession and cultivation of 34 Balinese families. Return on equity from the project is dedicated to improving health care, housing, educational opportunities and social empowerment.
The average 4-hour visit to Bali Eco Adventure is sufficient to cover a guided nature walk, a visit to the Goa Maya labyrinth cave complex and enjoy a relaxing post-trek meal. Longer stays, incorporating a spa treatment or an overnight stay, are available on a space-available basis.
Travel time from South Bali to Bayad is approximately one hour with round trip transfers included in the pakage price.
An Emphasis on Doing Things Right
The sustainable tourism model in place at Bali Eco Adventure seeks to minimize any negative impacts on the environment and local community, rewarding the endemic population for their careful stewardship of nature and cultural traditions. No effort is spared in preserving biological and cultural diversity for the enjoyment of visitors and as a source of sustainable employment for people of Bayad.
While visitors are encouraged to take only photographs and bring home only memories during their visit to Bali Eco Adventure, those wishing to have a lasting impact on the area are encouraged to purchase a local fruit tree (e.g. Rambutan, Manggis or Durian) and plant it during their visit. Attractive name plates identifying the plan and its donor or the memory of a friend or family members create a lasting tribute, helping also to contribute to a carbon-negative visit.
[Book a Bali Eco Adventure Tour]
H1N1 Cases Grow in Indonesia
Admission of 4 Balinese to Hospital with 'Flu Like' Symptoms May Mean that Swine Flu Now Infecting Both Local Residents and Foreign Visitors.
Bisnis.com says that 12 new cases of H1N1 were reported in the second week of July 2009, bringing to 64 the number nationally who have been hospitalized in Jakarta, Bandung (West Java) and Bali.
Overseas, the government counts 42 Indonesian citizens affected with the virus, including 14 members of an Indonesian youth choirs participating in an international competition in South Korea.
Among those infected with H1N1 in Indonesia, there have been 15 cases involving foreigners, all treated at the government's expense.
In Bali, those initially infected by the H1N1 virus were limited to foreign visitors. This, however, has changed with the recent admission of five Balinese at Bali's General Hospital, suspected of being infected with the H1N1 virus.
PATA CEO: Learn from Bali
Gregory Duffel Says Bali Shows the World How to Deal with a Global Financial Crisis.
The President and CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel association (PATA), Gregory A. Duffell, said that all the member countries of his association could learn from Bali where tourism numbers continue to grow.
PATA is a non-profit travel trade association serving government tourist offices, airlines, hotels and other travel-related companies throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Quoted by the Indonesian national news agency Antara, Duffell said: "Bali had revised it techniques and packages in developing its tourism. Other countries should see what has been done by Bali."
The PATA CEO's comments were made while attending a meeting of PATA Malaysia held in Kuta, Bali on Sunday, July 12.
Accompanied by the Chairman of the PATA Malaysia Chapter, Dato Amirrudin Abu, and the Secretary General of the PATA Bali and Nusa Tenggara Chapter, Ratna N. Soebrata, Duffel told of how while the tourism sector reeled with the advent of the world financial crisis, Bali was able to increase its tourism numbers. This ability to make advances in difficult times was credited to the hard work and creativity of Bali's tourism industry.
Duffel said that every crisis always presents new challenges and opportunities; what can be done with those possibilities depends on the aptitude and vision of the tourism practitioners in every country.
When asked what PATA can do to help its members deal with the current economic crisis, Duffel said his organization cannot solve the current financial crisis. PATA, he explained, can only support and provide information on business opportunities to its members.
Duffel explained: "We always provide accurate information on the opportunities available to our members. This information is communicated via websites, blogs, seminars, training and the mass media."
Duffel was attending a PATA Malaysia Conference held at the Wina Holiday Hotel July 10-13, 2009.
Keeping Recipes Simple
Government Enforces Strict Rules on Food Imports by Destroying Imported Food Stocks at Local Supermarkets.
The Bali branch of the Agency for the Supervision of Food and Drugs (BPOM) has conducted on-site destruction of imported food items at several locations around Bali.
On Friday, July 10, 2009, a total of 277 different products were crushed and burned in the parking lot of the Bali Deli. The items, not included on the BPOM's list of approved imports included products from Portugal, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, South Korea, U.S.A. and China. These products covered a wide range of food products such as sardines, chocolate, syrups, biscuits and canned tuna fish. According to Bali Post, merchandise destroyed at Bali Deli totaled 277 items representing 53 different products.
BPOM conducted a similar operation at the nearby Carrefour Supermarket on Jalan Sunset, following an earlier raid at the Carrefour branch on Jalan Iman Bonjol.
The parking lot destruction of illegal food products at Carrefour included 70 kilograms of candies and marshmallows.
A spokesman for the Bali BPOM told the press that if local retail operations continue to sell food items that have not passed the rigorous and detailed inspection and registration process required under Indonesian law they could face criminal prosecution with fines as high as Rp. 600 million (US$58.800).
Recent changes in the law now require that all imported food items sold in Indonesia must undergo a protracted testing and registration process. Because of the costs involved and the problems local distributors face in providing information on production processes, imported items are becoming harder to find on the shelves of local supermarkets. Meanwhile, hoteliers and restaurants fear the new rules will make it nearly impossible to secure small quantities of special ingredients needed in the preparations of some cuisines. The cost and complexity of new registration and testing rules make the importation of such small quantities of specialty food items economically non-viable.