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Environment concerns will revamp tourism
September 27th, 2007

By Luc Citrinot

BALI – Pata Travel Mart 2007 will not avoid the issues of global warming and climate change.

Tourism in the Asia-Pacific region will not be able to resist the call to protect the environment and limit the damage done to the earth. One of the first countries to put nature at the centre of its marketing campaign was Brunei tagged as “the Green Heart of Borneo”. Other Asia-Pacific destinations such as Laos or New Zealand emphasise primarily their natural resources.

“Nature-related activities as well as scenery discovery are very much the core of our tourism product in New Zealand. This is definitely our main asset and I just expect to see more visitors to come to our country to experience our well preserved environment,” explained explains Barbara Doyle, project manager of Colonial Kiwi Comfort Accommodation.

For Tungku Iskandar, Chairman of the Intra-Asean Travel Committee, Asian travellers are still far behind Western tourists in terms of responsible tourism. “Maybe NTOs must first take the lead by setting strict environment criteria in tourist-related activities. Travel agencies could then advise tourists about activities or places where they can contribute to save the environment,” he said.

“We already have UK tour operators asking about good environment practice. We already emphasise programmes where travellers can help in building playgrounds with local material for aborigine people,” said Cherry Lee, executive director of World Express in Kuala Lumpur.

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PATA expected to jump-start Indonesia’s tourism industry
September 26th, 2007

by Bernama, the 2007 Pacific Asian Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart is expected to deliver great benefits to Indonesias domestic tourism industry.

Pacific Asian Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart
Jero Wacik, Culture and Tourism Minister (front row with blue hat)

“The decline of Indonesian tourism in the last two years due to natural disasters, security problems and the avian flu attack are expected to be gradually halted,” Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik was quoted as saying in the article.

As a result, the government and those involved in tourism are committed to normalising the nations tourism industry. The government is targeting 7 million foreign tourists to Indonesia in 2008. Recently, Bali has alone witnessed an average of 5,200 foreign tourists a day, well above the normal level of 4,500.

According to the report, Minister Jero Wacik believes that the improvement in Indonesias tourism climate is the result of frequent Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) being held in the country. The Minister hopes that PATA will also help boost foreign tourists to Indonesia through increased trade and media coverage.

PATA will take place in Nusa Dua, Bali this week and is expected to draw in more than 1,500 people from 50 member countries.

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Aussie tourists streaming back to Bali sunshine
September 21st, 2007

By Steve Creedy

TWO bombings, drug arrests and debate about air safety in Indonesia have failed to deter Australian tourists.

It seems Bali is back.

According to Garuda Indonesia, flight schedules between Sydney and Bali that added 3000 seats to the route have been a resounding success and its new Sydney flight is recording average loading of 90 per cent.

The airline’s high load factors reflect a rise of more than 50 per cent to 85,860 in the number of Australians visiting Bali in the first half of the year. The record, 267,500, was set in 2004.

Bali is Australia’s fourth most popular holiday destination behind New Zealand, Thailand and the US.

Western Australia and Victoria are performing well for Garuda, which flies from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Darwin, but Western Australia remains Bali’s biggest holiday market.

“Our Perth services, expanded this year to include direct Jakarta flights, are encountering extremely high demand, and agents and consumers alike have learned that early booking is essential,” Garuda Southwest Pacific general manager Suranto Yitnopawiro said. “This is quite different to the past trend towards last-minute booking.”

Bali is proving to be Jetstar’s second strongest international service, after New Zealand, and the long-haul low-cost carrier will add two more Sydney-Denpasar flights next month.

“Bali is performing extremely well and we’re ahead of expectations,” Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway said. “We’re pleased with the existing and overall forward outlook.

“That’s why we’ve put on an additional two weekly return services out of Sydney.

“From the end of October we’ll be operating four times weekly services out of Sydney while maintaining twice-weekly Melbourne services.”

Mr Westaway said the airline wanted to fly daily services to Bali but it was limited in what it could do until its Boeing 787s arrived next year.

This year’s optimistic outlook contrasts sharply with the outlook this time last year.

Last October, Bali’s tourism officials were accusing Australian authorities of discriminating against the island by an “ongoing frenzy” of travel warnings and Garuda was considering halting direct flights to Bali from Australia’s east coast.

The growth in Bali’s popularity is helping to improve Garuda’s bottom line.

Last month, the Indonesian airline lifted its profit expectations after a 141 per cent growth in first-half earnings.

Garuda reported a 148 billion rupiah ($18.7 billion) profit in the half-year to June.
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Revamped festival for Bali Peninsula
September 20th, 2007

THE BALI Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) has revamped the annual festival held 18-21 October at Peninsula Island — Nusa Dua, otherwise known as The Garden of Hope.The four-day event this year will have the theme ‘Nusa Dua Festival 2007’. Activities include culture, fashion, food, arts, sports, music and exhibitions. Designed to appeal to an audience of all ages, the festival will present traditional performances from Bali as well as other provinces across the Indonesian archipelago.

“Besides demonstrating what Nusa Dua has to offer, we also would like to promote Bali to the world,” said Ir. I Made Mandra, president director BTDC. “The inaugural Nusa Dua Festival was first held in 1996 and over the ensuing years we have aspired to create different themes so that tourists can experience something unique at every event.”
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Qatar Airways upgrades KL, Bali routes
September 19th, 2007

by Joe Mortimer

Qatar Airways hopes to attract more passengers to its Doha/Kuala Lumpur/Bali service following the appointment of new aircraft on the route.

The carrier is now using two new aircraft – an A330-200 and an A330-300 – on the route, both of which feature a fully interactive audio and video entertainment system in every seat.

“The change of aircraft from the A300 to the A330-200 and A330-300 will enable us to further increase passenger traffic on the Kuala Lumpur and Bali routes ensuring more convenience and comfort for all our passengers,” said Marwan Koleilat, senior manager commercial operations, Far East and Australasia, Qatar Airways.

“Our Bali flights have performed exceptionally well since we launched the route in March and I am delighted to say that passengers from Europe, Africa, the US and the Middle East travelling on this route will be able to enjoy greater convenience and more seating capacity in this state-of-the-art aircraft.”

The A330-200 features 22 business class seats and 259 in economy, and the A330-300 has 30 business class seats and 275 in economy.

The route was previously operated by an Airbus A300, which is now being phased out of the airline’s young fleet.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the airline operated 28 A330s, forming the majority of its 58-strong fleet of aircraft.

“The A330 has done us proud as a great flying machine offering all passengers the greatest levels of comfort,” he said.

“I am sure our passengers flying to Kuala Lumpur and beyond to Bali will have a whole new in flight experience with a fully interactive entertainment system offering plenty of audio and video options.”

All passengers on the route will now have their own seatback TV screens with a choice of more than 80 movies, 70 TV shows and 16 music channels, as well as more than 300 music CDs.

Qatar Airways operates 10 weekly flights from Doha to the Malaysian capital, four of which continue on from Kuala Lumpur to Bali.

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Davenport captures Bali crown
September 17th, 2007

Bali, Indonesia (Sports Network) – Lindsay Davenport completed a successful return to singles tennis with a three-set victory over Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova to capture the Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic title.

Davenport earned a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 triumph to claim the Bali title for the second time. She also won this tournament in 2005, but this victory came in her first singles action since last September.

The former world No. 1 became a new mother just three months ago, giving birth to son Jagger in June.

“It’s crazy. Maybe the pregnancy gave me some magical powers, I don’t know,” said Davenport.

Davenport earned a first prize of $32,340 for her 52nd career singles title and first since the 2005 season. She didn’t have much trouble the entire week, dropping a set just once on her way to the final. That set loss came in an upset of top-seeded Jelena Jankovic in the quarterfinals.

Hantuchova, seeded second this week, had not lost a set entering the final, but Davenport took the first thanks to a late break of serve. Hantuchova had the lone break of serve in the second set to send it to a decisive stanza.

“I was definitely getting tired there in the second set, but was able to re- group and get a second or third wind for the third set,” Davenport remarked.

Davenport raced out to a 4-1 lead in the third set and Hantuchova needed treatment for a blister on her right heel. She was unable to recover.

“There’s no excuse,” said Hantuchova, who won at Indian Wells earlier this year. “I think I had the right tactic, which was to move Lindsay around to make her play that extra shot, but all credit to the way she was playing. She was serving great.”

Davenport, who joined Austria’s Sybille Bammer as the second mother to win a WTA singles title this season, improved to 7-0 lifetime against Hantuchova.

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Davenport stuns Jankovic in Bali
September 15th, 2007

Top-seeded Serbian Jelena Jankovic was upset by new mom and former world No. 1 American Lindsay Davenport in Friday’s quarterfinal action at the $225,000 Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic.

Playing her first singles tennis since last September, the unseeded 31-year- old Davenport is now 3-0 this week after stunning the world No. 3 Jankovic 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. The 22-year-old Jankovic was fresh off her quarterfinal appearance at the U.S. Open last week.

The three-time major titlist Davenport is now a perfect 4-0 lifetime against Jankovic, who has been one of the top players on the WTA Tour this season, with four of her five career titles coming in 2007.

The 2005 Bali titlist Davenport, who gave birth to her first child, a son named Jagger, in June of this year, will meet little-known Italian Sara Errani in Saturday’s semifinals.

Second-seeded Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova avoided an upset on Day 5, as she whipped Japanese qualifier Ayumi Morita 6-2, 6-1 on the hardcourt at the beautiful Grand Hyatt Bali.

A mild upset occurred when Errani erased seventh-seeded Japanese Aiko Nakamura 6-1, 6-2, while one other quarterfinal saw Sorana Cirstea overcome her fellow Romanian Edina Gallovits 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3). The qualifier Cirstea will meet Hantuchova in Saturday’s other semi.

This week’s winner will collect $32,340.

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