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Monte Monfore Conquered Bali Strait
August 18th, 2007

Monte Monfore, first class swimmer form United States managed to cross the strait of Bali despite the high and turbulent waves of this strait. This daring feat started early in the morning around 4 A.M, Friday, 8/17/07 to avoid the deadly current and high waves of Bali strait. Monte started his feat from Watudodol Beach Banyuwangi, East Java, swam across the strait to Tanjung Pasir Beach Buleleng, Bali, and then swam back to Watudodol Beach Banyuwangi, East Java.

He finished this daring feat after swimming for more than 2 hours. His arrival in Watudodol Beach was welcomed with a show traditional Banyuwangi dance. This spectacular feat was part to support a social program to raise fund for children education and celebrate Indonesian Independence day as well




More Malaysians Visit Bali
August 14th, 2007

More Malaysians are holidaying in the resort island of Bali in Indonesia with 43,678 arrivals recorded between January and June this year.

Bali Governor Dewa Beratha said 32,674 Malaysians visited the island during the same period last year.

Malaysians formed the fifth largest number of foreign tourists in Bali after Japan, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea, he said here after receiving a courtesy call from a group of journalists from Malaysia, Palau and Kiribati.

The journalists are here on a nine-day visit since Aug 12 organised by the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.

Dewa said Bali received about 1.2 million tourists each year including from China, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States and France.

He expected an increase in tourist arrivals this year with Bali hosting the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Conference from Sept 25 to 28 and also the International Conference on Climatic Change from Dec 3 to 14.




Bali restored in world renown tourist destination map
August 12th, 2007

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Foreign tourists have restored Bali, Indonesia`s most popular tourist destination, on their world renown tourist destination map, after canceling trips to the island paradise for some time following the terrorist bombings which not only claimed the lives of hundreds of people but also devastated the local tourism sector, an official has said.

“Foreign tourist arrivals in Denpasar dropped by 47 percent following the 2002 bombings and the decline continued following the bomb attacks in 2005,” Visa Indonesia country manager Ellyana C. Fuad said in a press statement made available to ANTARA News here Friday.

The increasing flow of foreign travelers to Bali was marked by a rise in the use of credit cards by foreign tourists in Bali, she said.

“A year after the 2005 bombings, the number of foreign tourists using Visa cards grew again year-on-year and remained stable until June this year,” she said.

In the first six months of this year, Ellyana said, the use of International Visa cards grew by 39 percent compared to those in the same period last year.

Tourism industry is the source of income for Bali that the first bombing in 2002 which killed about 200 people mostly Australian holidaymakers and the second one in 2005 which murdered 26 people had affected tourism sector in the country.

The rise in the use of the credit card has not only occurred in Bali but also in Thai popular tourist destination of Phuket after it was hit by devastated tsunami in December 2004.

She said, however, the use of International Visa cards dropped in southern part of Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Sectarian conflicts in the southern parts of Thailand as well as political and social upheavals in Sri Lanka have discouraged foreign tourists to visit the two regions




Indonesia to set up microfinance firms in villages
August 11th, 2007

JAKARTA, Aug 10 (Reuters) – Indonesia plans to spend 1 trillion rupiah ($107.1 million) in 2008 to set up financial institutions in villages across the country to reduce poverty and unemployment, the agriculture minister said on Friday.

The administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who took office in 2004, has pledged to cut chronic poverty in the world’s fourth most populous country.

“We plan to set up financial institutions in poor villages with good prospects in agriculture in 2008,” Agriculture Mininster Anton Apriyantono told reporters after a speech by Nobel prize winner Muhammad Yunus.

The Bangladeshi banker and economist and his Grameen Bank won recognition from the Swedish Nobel Foundation in 2006 for lending small sums of cash to poor traders and entrepreneurs who would otherwise not have access to traditional banking or credit facilities.

Indonesia’s fourth-largest lender, PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia, is currently the market leader in the domestic loan market for small firms and in microfinancing.

($1=9340 Rupiah)




Bali`s forex from handicraft exports reaches US$118.4 mln
August 10th, 2007

Bali`s foreign exchange from exports of various handicraft products in the first semester of 2007 reached US$118.4 million or increased by 14.3 percent compared to US$103.5 million in the same period of 2006, a local official has said.

Wooden art products and furniture still dominated Bali`s export commodities, head of the foreign trade section of the provincial industry and trade office, Ni Wayan Kusumawathi, said here Thursday.

In the first semester of 2007, the province`s wooden household utensils and furniture obtained US$68.6 million, a drastic increase compared to the value in the same period in 2006 when it was recorded at US$56 million, she said.

She further said Bali`s art products were in great demand on foreign markets especially the European Union, the United States, Japan and other Asian countries.

Kusumawathi pointed out that the big amount of foreign exchange was obtained from the exports of 17 product categories including silver works, wooden statues, ceramics, bamboo handrcraft and paintings which were sent to 79 countries.

She said wooden toys and wooden handicraft products alone grabbed US$48.1 million in the January-June 2007 period, an increase of 30 percent compared to US$36.9 million in the same period in 2006.

The furniture products like antique tables, chairs and cupboards in the first six months of 2007 contributed US$20.5 million or increased by 5.7 percent compared to US$19.4 million in the same period of the previous year.

The silver jewelries like rings, bracelets, necklaces and earings gained US$12.8 million in the first semester of this year or rose by two percent compared to US$12.5 million in the same period of the previous year, she said.
source antara/




Anantara Resort Seminyak to open December 15, 2007
August 7th, 2007

Anantara Resorts is set to open a luxurious boutique property on a prime beachfront location in the chic resort area of Seminyak, Bali. The Anantara Resort Seminyak, with a total of 59 luxurious suites, and just a 30 minute drive from the international airport, is scheduled to open December 15 this year.

Designed to complement the panorama of the Indian Ocean, the Anantara Resort Seminyak will reflect the lifestyle and culture of the stylish surrounds of Seminyak. The design of the 59 all-suite resort is contemporary, using extensive glass panelling to bring the vast waterscape of Seminyak Beach into the interiors and emphasize a natural ambience and fluidity with nature.




Plan for New Golf Course in Karangasem is Rejected
August 5th, 2007

The House of Representative of Karangasem Regency and the members of traditional farmer association (subak) reject a plan to establish 100-Hectare golf course in the sacred area of Besakih temple. Based on the rejected plan, this 100-hectaregolf course was planed to be built in three villages Besakih, Tegenan and Menanga Rendang.

House of Representative and farmers from these three villages oppose the plan based on the government regulation on sacred place and conservation of the forest. This plan is feared to bring many negative effects such as threat to holiness of Besakih temple and lost of rice fields and the forest. The members of the House of Representative give a suggestion on relocating the plan to scarcely populated area of Kubu in the northeastern side of Mount Agung.      




 

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