Developing Problems and Solutions
Pay at the Door
Keeping Current on Currency
Voting in The Zone
Half Way to 3 Million Visitors in 2013
Missing in Action
Are We Not Worthy?
Bumpy Road Ahead
Bali Tourism Promotion Board Established
NELBali Property News
Hotel Investors Gather in Bali to Explore the Future
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The 2nd Annual Indonesian Hotel Investment Conference (IHIC 2014) was held at The Grand Nikko Bali Resort on Friday, June 6, 2014.
Sponsored by the Bali Hotels Association (BHA) and Horwath HTL, more than 130 key players in the regional hotel and accommodation property sector attend the one-day program of keynote speeches, break out session and a networking “power lunch” and closing cocktail reception sponsored byBir Bintang and Artisan Estate Wines.
An opening address by the former Minister of Tourism and Culture, I Gede Ardika provided an opening counterpoint to an otherwise very pro-development agenda of speakers.
Ardika opened the conference with a call for developers and local leaders to carefully consider both the cultural and environmental carrying capacity of Bali. The well-respected former minister challenged his audience to avoid steps and decisions that marginalize the Balinese. Quoted in Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post), Ardika said: “This is our challenge. Tourism practitioners in Bali should rethink whether the current model of development will continue to be tolerated. And local people should be aware [of whether] they wish to let their island be ‘destroyed’ like this.”
Ardika, who was born in Bali, warned that overdevelopment of Bali is surpassing the island’s land, water, food and resource sustainability. Adding: “Investors have to be integrated with the community [members], partnering with them, respecting each other and strengthening local identity. You are the ones on the front line of preserving the attractiveness of Bali.”
As the island has seen an unprecedented growth in new rooms, Ardika described how this has brought room rates under pressure, bringing Indonesia to the unenviable place of being the Southeast Asian country with the lowest hotel rates.
Also opening the conference was Wiryanti Sukamdani, chairwoman of theIndonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) and the Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board, who presented an overview of 288 hotels expected to be opened in Indonesia by 2016. Sukamdani said: “Of the total number, 67 hotels will be built in Bali. I have no idea where these 67 hotels will be built. We don’t have rice fields anymore. We have to preserve the natural landscape and the environment. When we build hotels, we need water, electricity, and food. . . This is a challenge for the tourism industry.”
Sharing PHRI data with the conference delegates, Sukamdani calculated in 2011 that there were 22,000 rooms for sale in Bali. She said that total increased to 25,400 in 2012 and in 2013 stood at 50,100 rooms. The PHRI chairwoman predicted the total would increase to 55,200 before the end of 2014.
These totals do not include the phenomenal increase in commercial villas that pay an increasingly role in Bali’s accommodation sector.
A total of 36 speakers and panelists presented their insights and views on a the investment outlook for Bali; a statistical review of the Indonesian Hotel Industry; the suitability of current development models; how to grow tourism while preserving the indigenous culture and the natural environment; challenges to building a hotel brand in Indonesia; recent innovations in smart design for hotels; the financing of accommodation projects; the challenges presented by social media, OTAs and new travel distribution networks; and the ins and outs of branded residences in Bali.
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(3/29/2014)Total revenues collected from visa-on-arrival fees (VOA) in Bali in 2013 brought US$62.7 million to government coffers or an average of US$5.2 million each month.
VOA fees in 2012 averaged US$4.8 million a month.
As reported by the Bali Post, the deputy-director of Bank Indonesia in Bali, Suarpika Bumantoro, said the increase in VOA fees reflect the increase in visitor arrivals to Bali and the important contribution of foreign exchange made by foreign visitors to Bali’s economy.
(3/10/2014)Balidiscovery.com’s Katrin Widodo has been conducting independent research on how best to detect counterfeit Indonesian bank notes. Along the way, Katrin learned that in Java alone last year, Bank Indonesia authorities confiscated and destroyed 13,110 counterfeit banknote.
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Here are some handy tips from Katrin on how to spot bogus Indonesia bank notes:
- Look – Look closely to see that the notes are intact, bright-colored and the printing is not in any way blurred. The embedded security thread should be visible that will resemble metallic vertical lines or a woven pattern. On the front of each Indonesian bank note you will discover a rectangular Bank Indonesia logo printed in Optical Variable Ink (OVI) that does color shifts when viewed from different angles.
- Touch/Tactile Qualities – Genuine Indonesian banknotes have a very distinctive “feel.’ Run your fingers across the note to detect embossed print stating the nominal value of the bill. The Indonesian national emblem of the Garuda Bird and the main portrait on the bill have a raised and embossed quality, as well. Also, let your fingers try to read the Braille on each bill located on top the “Bank Indonesia” script.
- Transparency – When held against a light source, a watermarked portrait of an Indonesian hero is depicted; look also for the recto-verso printing of the “B” and “I” of Bank Indonesia to be symmetrically printed on both sides of the bill.
Bali Divided into Four Separate Campaign Zones for Legislative Elections
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The province of Bali will be divided into four separate zones for the coming legislative campaign and elections to be held from March 16, 2014 until April 5, 2014.
The division up of the island into separate zones was agreed recently at a meeting between the Provincial Election Board (KPU-Bali) and the political parties.
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Kadek Wirati said in Denpasar on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, “We have given equal schedules and equivalent time allocations for campaigning so the campaign will be seen as fair and just by all participating parties.”
Wirati explained that the nine regencies and metropolitan areas of Bali have been divided into four campaign zones, with every zone encompassing between two to three regencies.
- Zone I includes the city of Denpasar and the regency of Gianyar.
- Zone II includes the regencies of Badung and Tabanan.
- Zone III includes the regencies of Jembrana and Buleleng.
- Zone IV includes the regencies of Bangli, Klungkung and Karangasem.
KU-Bali hopes that an open and free campaign will run peacefully and its integrity guarded by all concerned. Properly undertaken, KPU-Bali is confident that the democratic process will also prove interesting to visiting tourists coming to the island.
During the period March 28 – April 1, 2014 over the Hindu New Year celebrations Bali will be free of campaign activities as mutually agred by of all the competing political parties.
Bali By the Numbers: Bali Ends the First Half of 2013 with 9% More Foreign Visitors than 2012
June 2013 saw 275,617 foreign tourists visit Bali, an increase month-on-month of 15.7% over the 238,296 foreign visitors that came to Bali in June 2012.
On a cumulative basis for the first half of the year, arrivals have reached 1,492,971 – an improvement of 9% over the total foreign visitors who came to Bali in the first half of 2012.
With a full six months of visitors under our belt, it is now possible to more boldly extrapolate that by the end of 2013 a record 3.15 million foreign tourists will have come to Bali, providing the current overall growth rate of 9% is sustained untill the end of the year.
Foreign Arrivals by Major Markets
- AUSTRALIA – continues to be the leader for tourist visitors. The strong growth experienced in Australian arrivals over the past half-decade, however, now appears to be cooling with arrivals up only 1.37% for January-June 2013.
- PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA – PRC arrivals have increased 15.09% in the first half of 2013, firmly cementing the Mainland Chinese market’s role as the second largest producer of foreign visitors to Bali – a ranking held by the Chinese for the past three years.
- JAPAN – After falling into the doldrums, Japanese arrivals are on a rebound, responding to added flight capacities and more focused promotion. Japanese arrivals increased 17.87% during the first six months of 2013 totaling 96,013.
- MALAYSIA – Cheap flights, and lots of them, continue to boost Malaysian visitors to Bali. With 93,200 visitors from Malaysia during the first six months of 2013, Malaysian arrivals are up12.29% and stand poised to potentially push Japan out of third place in the race for foreign source markets to Bali.
- SINGAPORE – Singapore arrivals are up 15.28% for the first half of 2013 at 63,510. Will an additional flight bySingapore Airlines help to boost Singapore arrival numbers even higher?
- SOUTH KOREAN – South Korean visitors – on a cumulative basis – declined 1.86% during the first six months of the year.
- TAIWAN – Taiwanese visitors are on the mend, improving January – June 2013 by 8.99%.
- UNITED KINGDOM – The news is not good from the U.K. with visitors down 7.41% from the U.K. during the six months of 2013. Will these declining numbers in U.K. visitors divert Garuda Indonesia from its plans to recommence flights to the U.K?
- UNITED STATES – In 9th place among all source markets for Bali visitors, American tourists are up 7.77% for the first half of 2013.
- FRANCE – The French are operating on something of a plateau with an increase of only 1.34% for visitors January-June 2013.
- RUSSIA – Russian visitors have increased a respectable 7.57% during the first half of 2013.
- GERMANY- Despite any economic woes in Germany, German tourists continue to visit Bali, improving 9.94% January-June 2013.
- INDIA– India is increasingly a player in Bali tourism with arrivals January to June up 23.56% totaling 31,529.
- THE NETHERLANDS – Dutch visitors declined 1.47% during the first six months of 2013 and have been supplanted in the rankings by India.