Various events keep tourist number high

Various events keep tourist number high

The peak season may be over, but the number of foreign tourists visiting Bali is projected to remain high this month due to several international events being held on the popular island.

In October, Bali will host the Nusa Dua Fiesta, Asian Beach Games 2008 and Kuta Karnival.

Head of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Perry Markus, said Monday that in October alone at least 6,500 foreign tourists were expected to come to Bali per day, a similar to the figure experienced during the July-September high season earlier this year.

While average tourism levels for October in Bali sit around the 4,500 per day mark, Perry, also a hotel owner in the famous Kuta beach area, says this year’s levels could be the highest in Bali’s history.

“October usually constitutes the low season for tourism in Bali, but this October Balinese tourism will get a kind of reward,” he said.

“These (events) will automatically increase the hotel occupancy rate in Bali as well.”

Yus Suhartana, a transportation business owner in Bali, has noticed an increased demand for vehicles in preparation for the high numbers of visitors.

“This month there have been many orders for tourism vehicles,” he said.

“There are a wide variety of vehicles for hire including minibuses, with a capacity of eight seats. Each of them has been ordered for hire.” Data from the Bali Tourism Office show the number of foreign tourist arrivals in Bali reached 1.29 million in the period between January and August this year, with visits registered in July and August both peaking at more than 200,000 per month.

RI does not want to be trapped

RI does not want to be trapped

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said Indonesia did not want to be trapped in the dichotomy of climate change discussions between two interests in the world.

President Yudhoyono made the statement after listening to a report from Indonesian representatives about the preparation of the country`s participation in the 62nd UN General Assembly at UN Plaza`s Millennium Hotel in New York Sunday night.

The Indonesian head of state admitted that there were two opinions about the meaning of climate change. He said that the first opinion was that the climate change did not pose a threat, and the second one was that it was a real threat to the world.

Therefore, Yudhoyono added that Indonesia did not want to be trapped in the dichotomy.

“In fact we have been suffering from the result of climate changes,” Yudhoyono said, referring to droughts, floods, landslides, and tidal waves (tsunami) which had hit several parts of the country.

Consequently, the president said the Indonesian government has opted to something in its effort to save the earth from further destruction.

“Therefore, the issue of climate change is real,” Yudhoyono said, adding that the objective of his participation in the UN forum on climate change was to strengthen Indonesia`s position in gaining concrete benefit from global cooperation.

According to the president, Indonesia has the world`s second largest tropical rain forests after Brazil.

“In addition, we have a large amazon of the seas. On the other hand, Indonesia is considered a contributor of carbon dioxide because of the frequent forest fires in the country,” Yudhoyono said.

Riot-prone because of hunger

Riot-prone because of hunger

Democratization in the Security Council also means distributing membership evenly namely not to geographical representation only, he said. “In view of that the majority of world civilization also has to be represented. The number of Moslems in the world reaching 1.1 billion needs to be represented in the Security Council if the Council really wants to be democratic,” he said.

He said Indonesia also felt the importance of democratization at regional levels. “In the Association of Southeast Asian Naions (Asean) we have paid attention to it. We have changed Asean into a community committed to advancing democracy and human rights,” he said.

In this context, the minister said Indonesia in December 2008 would launch a Bali Democracy Forum which is open to countries in Asia and the Pacific for an exchange of experience in developing democracy.

On the food crisis the minister reminded that the problem was really serious. “I did not exaggerate it. According to the FAO the price of foods will continue to be high in the next three or five years,” he said.

He also said that rice supplies had fallen to the lowest level since mid-1970s, adding supply of flour had also dropped to its lowest point since 1948.

He said a dire need of food was seen in various parts of the world, as shown by several food-related riots in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Carribean.

Thirty-three countries with different socio-political backgrounds are riot-prone because of hunger and starvation in certain countries.

“We must in full spirit overcome global food supply vulnerability, otherwise there will be a food crisis that may threaten peace in the developing countries and pockets of poverty in the developed countries,” he said.

President Receives South Thailand delegation

President Receives South Thailand delegation

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono received a South Thailand delegation that had held peace talks with Thai government representatives at the State Palace here on Monday.

Minister/State Secretary Hatta Radjasa said the delegation was led by the chairman of the Consultative Council of the Patani Malay People, Wahyuddin Mohammad.

Earlier, last Saturday, President Yudhoyono received the Thai government delegation to the peace talks led by General Khwanchart Klahan.

“The President received the two rival parties in connection with our effort in mediating a peace process in South Thailand,” Radjasa said.

The two rival parties held their talks at the presidential palace in Bogor last Saturday and Sunday, moderated by Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

They produced several points as reference for making a framework for their next meeting. They had also signed notes on the meeting`s results.

According to plan, they would meet again on November 1-2, 2008 and November 14, 2008 also at the Bogor presidential palace.

The minister said the Indonesian government was only mediating between the two parties who wished to seek peace in South Thailand.

“Do not say it was our initiative to play a role. This is the wish of the two parties as part of their efforts to end their conflict. Indonesia was considered an experienced mediator and the largest country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean),” he said.

Indonesia, he said, would certainly not have assumed the mediating role if the two parties had not wanted it.

Apart from being one of Thailand`s close neighbours with experience in resolving armed conflicts, Indonesia also wished for peace to prevail in Thailand, Radjasa said.