Thursday, September 29, 2016

State enterprises minister launches Hotel Indonesia Group

State Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno on Wednesday launched the Hotel Indonesia Group, formed after consolidating the existing state-owned hotels. 

The event followed the initiatives undertaken by PT Hotel Indonesia Natour, PT Patrajasa, a subsidiary of the state-owned oil company PT Pertamina, and PT Aerowisata, a subsidiary of the state-owned airline company PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk.

The president director of the Hotel Indonesia Group, Iswandi Said, said at the ceremony that the synergy among various stakeholders was made possible after a cooperation agreement was signed among the three hotel companies on February 12 this year.

"It is hoped that the HIG would become a leader in the countrys hotel business," he added.

On this occasion, a logo of the HIG and its portal were also launched. Besides, cooperation agreements were signed with 16 other state-owned companies to take care of the supply chain, human resources and hotel management. These will help speed up the operations of the biggest state-owned hotels network.

At present, the HIG has 36 hotels including seven hotels belonging to Aerowisata, 12 hotels under the brand name of Indonesia Natour, seven under Patrajasa, nine of PT Pegadaian (state-owned pawnshop company) and one belonging to PT Taman Wisata Candi at the Borobudur Temple site in Central Java.

Minister Rini said she was proud of the merger of the state-owned companies hotels in the form of a consolidated group.

"With this merger, we will be able to demonstrate the quality of our state-owned hotels that represent the countrys culture," she stated.

She admitted that the HIG merger does not include the issue of ownership though the operations will now be run jointly.

"In the future, they will become a holding company," she disclosed.

She observed that under the HIG pattern, the government was hopeful that customers would have access to a variety of hotels catering to various needs.(Antara)

The Best of Raja Ampat To Be Revealed

Raja Ampat is a crown jewel, thanks to its crystal clear turquoise sea waters and several isles covered by a thick green carpet of dense forests and mangrove swamps.

The stunning natural beauty of Raja Ampat isles, located on the northwestern tip of the Indonesian province of West Papua, is often seen as a heaven on earth, where dreams of divers come true and nature lovers find a perfect place. 

Raja Ampat, which literally means "Four Kings," is located in the Coral Triangle, the heart of the worlds coral reef biodiversity.

The seas around Raja Ampat Isles are home to the richest varieties of species in the world, including 75 percent of all known coral species.

The Raja Ampat archipelago encompasses 15 thousand square miles of land and sea. There are around 1.8 thousand isles in Raja Ampat District.

The name Raja Ampat, or "Four Kings," is derived from a local myth. It has four major islands: Waigeo, Salawati, Batanta and Misool, which are home to ancient rock paintings.

In total, the Raja Ampat district has around 1.7 thousand islands, including the unoccupied and most beautiful Isle of Wayag, which is made of karst or limestone from other isles.

Its four major islands --- Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool --- shelter a vast array of terrestrial species and valuable forests.

The region includes the Pacifics most important Leatherback Turtle nesting site, the Nature Conservancy writes on its website.

Offshore reefs protect some 1,427 species of fish and more than 550 species of coral. 

Some of these reefs have proven to be particularly resilient, and include coral-building resources that help sustain the entire Coral Triangle.

With one of the most beautiful marine panoramas in the world, Raja Ampat has the potential to draw many foreign tourists and, in particular, world-class divers.

The most-visited resorts in Raja Ampat are now found on the isles of Pianemo, Air Borek and Wayag, Raja Ampat District Head Abdul Faris Umlati said in Sorong, West Papua recently.

Umlati, however, said there is a remote and tropical but lesser known hideaway, an isle called Misol, the most visually breathtaking site among isles in Raja Ampat. 

Misol is considered more beautiful than Air Borek, Wayag and Painemo Isles, he added.

Several national and international tourism and conservation agencies have scored Pinanemo as 67, Wayag at 78, and Misol as 100, he revealed. 

The Raja Ampat District Administration plans to develop Misol as a tourist resort in West Papua.

"Misol Isle, however, has not been promoted because it lacks facilities and infrastructure for tourism," Umlati underlined.

The district will build facilities and infrastructure to support the Misol tourism industry, including by providing stairs to climb a rock cliff, to allow tourists to have an aerial view of the chain of isles. Several restaurants and hotels will also be built in the region.

"We will try to have regular transportation connecting Waisai to Misol to encourage tourists intending to visit the isle," he remarked.

Raja Ampat is not only famous for its beautiful marine views, but also for its forests where the birds of Paradise dance and sing every morning.

Raja Ampat isles are also home to over 300 bird species. Of the total, 94 were protected and 11 are endemic ones, such as birds of Paradise, locally called the birds of Cenderawasih. 

The birds of Paradise, however, face a threat from poachers. Visitors, too, often seek dead and preserved ones as souvenirs.

Therefore, Umlati has called for the protection and preservation of the birds of Paradise, found in large numbers throughout the forest in the district.

The Birds of Paradise, members of the family Paradisaeidae of the order Passeriformes (Perching Birds), need to be protected for both future generations and for the areas tourism, he noted.

In Sapokrem forest, visitors can view the beautiful birds and enjoy their calls, he pointed out.

In addition to the Birds of Paradise, the Papua Island, comprising West Papua and Papua Provinces, is also home to the Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Goura victoria) and Crested Cockatoo, locally called the Mambruk birds.

The West Papua provincial administration has issued a regulation banning the hunting of Birds of Paradise and other rare birds.

However, without the support of local inhabitants, particularly the traditional adat (customary) community, the ban on hunting will be useless, he noted.

The Raja Ampat District administration has carried out public campaigns to improve the publics awareness about preserving rare birds.

"We continue to implement programs to change the way of thinking of those still hunting these Birds of Paradise so that the tourists are able to enjoy their beauty eternally," he added.(Antara)




Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Indonesia to take part in Russia international tourism forum

The Tourism Ministry, in cooperation with the Indonesian embassy in Moscow, is taking part in 22nd "Otdykh" Russian International Tourism Forum in the Expo Center, Moscow, to welcome the winter holiday.

The Tourism Ministry has invited seven Indonesian tourism companies to take part in the international forum, the Indonesian embassy said in a statement received here on Tuesday. 

Indonesian Ambassador to Russia Wahid Supriyadi when visiting the stand of "Wonderful Indonesia" welcomed the Indonesian participation in the international tourism forum. 

The ambassador said he was optimistic that more Russians would visit Indonesia in the winter this year.

"In the first half of 2016 , the number of Russian visitors to Indonesia rose 14 percent. Hopefully by the end of the year the number would shoot up," he said. 

In order to support promotion of the Indonesian tourism objects, the embassy held a meeting at the Indonesian stand with three Russian leaders of tourism industry -- Yury Barzykin, Vice President of the Russian Association of Tourism Industry; Andrey Gavrilov, President of the Russian Alliance of Travel Agencies and Vladimir Sharov, President of the Russian Domestic Tourism . 

The ambassador said the meeting was to discuss strategies to increase the number of Russian tourists to Indonesia and vice versa. 

The Indonesian government has granted visa free travel for 169 countries including Russia in a bid to increase the number of foreign visitors to the country. 

"Indonesia has granted visa free visits for Russians . This would make it easier for Russians to visit Indonesia especially in winter," Executive Director of the Russia-Indonesia Business Council Mikhail Kuritsyn said .

"We also support negotiations between the Indonesian embassy and Russian authorities on visa free travel for at least 14 days for Indonesians in Russia," Kuritsyn said.

At the meeting Indonesia and Russia agreed to open direct flights between the two countries .

In addition, Russian businessmen hoped that the Indonesian government could intensify tourism promotions including promotion of cultural wealth of regions other than Bali to Russian visitors. 

The tourism Expo "Otdykh" is held every year since 1995. Around 700 tourism companies form 70 countries took part in the 22nd "Otdykh". 

The participation of Indonesia in the expo is expected to draw more Russian tourists to Indonesia. In 2015 , more than 66,000 Russians visited Indonesia, and in 29016, the number is expected to rise to at least 75,000 . 

Indonesia has been more aggressive in promoting its tourism wealth hoping to draw at least 20 million foreign tourists to the country in 2019. 

This year the government sets target for the number of foreign visitors to the country at 12 million up from around 10 million in 2015 (Antara)

Tourists evacuated as Mount Barujari erupts

Rescuers in Indonesia were dispatched Wednesday to evacuate nearly 400 tourists, most of them foreigners, after a volcano erupted at one of the country's most popular hiking destinations, an official said.
Mount Barujari began erupting late Tuesday afternoon, sending columns of ash and smoke shooting 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) into the sky over Lombok island, a tourist hotspot to the immediate east of Bali.
Nearly 400 people were recorded as hiking near Barujari -- a smaller cone within the crater of Mount Rinjani -- when it began erupting, prompting plans for their immediate evacuation, said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.
"A rescue team has been sent to Mount Rinjani to evacuate the tourists. They set off on Wednesday morning," he said.
Hikers have been told to keep at least 3 kilometres from the smouldering volcano, a key attraction on the multi-day trek to the summit of Mount Rinjani made by thousands of tourists every year.
Nugroho said 389 hikers were recorded as having entered the national park since Sunday, the overwhelming majority of them foreigners.
While most would have taken the official route to the summit, rescue teams suspected some hikers may have gone off-piste, Nugroho added.
The threat level of the volcano was upgraded Tuesday as Barujari sent plumes of smoke and hot ash into the atmosphere, but remains two steps from the highest-risk category.
There were no flight disturbances recorded on Wednesday due to the ash clouds, transport ministry spokesman Hemi Pramuraharjo told AFP.
Some flights to and from the nearby resort island of Bali were cancelled overnight, but Lombok's international airport remains unaffected.
Flight disruptions due to drifting ash clouds are not uncommon in Indonesia, which sits on a belt of seismic activity known as the Pacific Ring of Fire and is home to 130 active volcanoes.
An eruption at Mount Rinjani last month forced the closure of Lombok airport and disrupted some flights to neighbouring Bali. (AFP)





Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Arrivals of European tourists in Bali up 59.4%

The number of European tourists arriving in Bali in this summer season increased 59.4 percent from 76,822 in June to 122,455 in July 2016.

"The increase of European tourist arrivals is the fruit of the efforts made by the government and tourism industries in promoting Indonesia, especially Bali, in Europe and Asia," tourism observer Dewa Nyoman Putra said here on Tuesday.

Besides the impact of the intensive promotions and expanded security, the increase in European tourist arrivals is also triggered by the visa-free facility the Indonesian government provides for a number of countries.

The tourism service of Bali recorded the average European tourist arrivals in Bali at some 76,000 per month.

However, it rose to 122,455 in July, so that in the January-July 2016 period, the number of foreign tourist arrivals from Europe reached 583,463.

Thus, European tourist arrivals in Bali account for 21.17 percent of the total foreign tourists arriving in Bali in the same period, in which 2.7 million foreign tourists visited Bali. (Antara)




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