Monday, May 30, 2016

Indonesian weekend event in London successfully promotes tourism

A two-day tourism event called "Indonesian Weekend" held in Potters Fields Park, London, Great Britain, on May 28 to 29 was considered successful in promoting the Wonderful Indonesia brand, an official stated.

The Indonesian Weekend was part of the Wonderful Indonesia brand awareness campaign, Nia Niscaya, assistant to a deputy in the tourism ministry, noted here, Monday.

Garuda Indonesia Airways also supported the event and offered special fares on certain routes, such as London-Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Lombok.

The ministry has always participated in the World Travel Mart, which is routinely held in London in November, according to Niscaya.

The number of British tourists to Indonesia reached 230,315 in 2014 and increased to some 270 thousand in 2015.

This year, Indonesia hopes to attract 300 thousand British visitors.

During the January-March 2016 period, the country received a total of 67,750 British tourists, or an increase of 28.54 percent from 52,708 tourists during the same period last year.

Niscaya was optimistic that this years target would be achieved through the promotion of the Bali and Beyond tourism program.

Ambassador of Indonesia to the United Kingdom Rizal Sukma officially kicked off the Indonesian Weekend showcasing the countrys arts and culture, here, Saturday.

Highlights of the event included performances of Javanese dances by famous artist Ninik Thowok, Silat traditional martial art by Cecep Arif Rahman, traditional bamboo musical instrument by Arumba Saung Udjo, East Nusa Tenggara traditional music instrument Sasando by Ivan Nestorman, Javanese gong ensemble gamelan by Lila Bhawa, and an Islamic fashion show.

The festival also offered Indonesian culinary delicacies as well as handicraft and fashion products.

Initiated by Bangga Indonesia Ltd and Ditali Cipta Kreatif, the event is supported by Elzatta Hijab, the tourism ministry, and the Indonesian embassy in London.

Other sponsors were the industry ministry, cooperatives and SMEs ministry, and the education and culture ministry in cooperation with the regional administrations of Central Java, Central Kalimantan, Bandung, and Malang.

Some of the Indonesian culinary dishes offered during the event were Soto Ayam (chicken soup), chicken and lamb satay, Padang satay, Bakso (meat ball soup), Somai, Rendang, and Yogya Gudeng.

A cooking demonstration featuring Master-Chef Indonesias jury, Degan Septoadji, and Chef Gede Susila Yadnya of Balis Potato Head Club Bali was also the highlight of the tourism promotion event. (Antara)

Atambua cross-border festival from May to December

The Indonesian Tourism Ministry is organizing Atambua Cross-Border Festival from May to December 2016 to attract tourists from Timor Leste.

Coordinating meetings about the festival were held respectively in Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara, on May 24, and in Dili, Timor Leste, on May 26, Vinsensius Jemadu, an official of the tourism ministry, disclosed here on Saturday.

Timor Leste is a potential market, thanks to its geographic closeness and cultural similarity, he added.

The official hoped that more Timor Leste tourists will cross the border into Atambua, Indonesia.

"Border tourism makes a significant contribution to any countrys tourism. In several European countries, such as the Netherlands, Germany and France, the number of tourists coming from countries that share border with them, has been increasing. Same is the case with Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand," he explained.

Indonesia is focusing on cross-border tourism this year to attract tourists from neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Timor Leste, the official noted.

The Indonesian government hopes to generate foreign exchange amounting to Rp172 trillion from 12 million foreign tourist arrivals and Rp223.6 trillion from 260 million domestic tourists this year. (Antara)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Jakarta New Airport Terminal to open mid June

Jakarta's busy Soekarno-Hatta airport will open a new terminal from the middle of next month, initially serving passengers on domestic and international flights by flag carrier Garuda Indonesia.

The modern Terminal 3 Ultimate, part of the capital's main Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang city, goes fully operational from next March, serving international flights from other carriers including Air France, China Airlines and Dutch carrier KLM. It is expected to become the only arrival and departure point for international passengers in future.

The 4.7 trillion rupiah (S$477 million) terminal will be able to handle 25 million passengers a year, adding to the airport's current capacity of 52 million.

"The terminal is our answer to passengers' dreams for an airport that has a large capacity, which is more comfortable and has better facilities and services," Mr Haerul Anwar, a spokesman for state airport operator Angkasa Pura II, told The Straits Times.

Spanning 422,804 sq m, the new terminal is slightly larger than Changi Airport's Terminal 3. It boasts 10 gates for international flights and 18 for domestic ones, two four-star hotels, meeting rooms, duty-free shops, retail outlets, restaurants and multi-storey carparks.

There will be skytrains to shuttle passengers between all three terminals, and commuter trains to take them to the city in less than an hour.

An automated baggage handling system featuring at least 13 conveyor belts, 206 check-in counters, and 38 self check-in and 12 bag drop counters, are expected to lead to swift clearance and shorter queues.

Officials hope that with the opening of the new terminal, Soekarno-Hatta would be able to rival Changi as well as Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), and lure international passengers to choose Jakarta as a transit point.

Mr Haerul disclosed that airlines would be given discounts on landing fees to offset the "refuelling costs which are 20 to 24 per cent higher than our neighbours' ".

He said the airport authority also intended to "showcase our deep culture and heritage and local talents to attract travellers", adding that art exhibitions, cultural shows and local dances will be held regularly.

Analysts, however, remained sceptical about the ambitious plans to take on Changi and KLIA.
"It will take our airport 20 years to reach Changi Airport's standard. These improvements are just the first step towards a long journey," said former lawmaker and aviation analyst Alvin Lie.

Indonesia's aviation industry sorely lags behind other countries', with a dismal air safety record, flight delays, poorly skilled workers and sloppy maintenance, said Mr Dudi Sudibyo, a senior editor of aviation magazine Angkasa.

Transport Ministry spokesman Hemi Pramuharjo said the new terminal was part of efforts to spruce up 29 international and 236 domestic airports across the country.

He told The Straits Times: "The demand for air transport is growing. The airport needs a makeover. We want to upgrade the facilities and optimise the integration of the aviation system." (Straits Times)

Around 100 Sumatran tigers live in Mount Leuser National Park

A recent study has shown that there are only around 100 Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris Sumatrae) currently inhabiting Mount Leuser National Park which straddles the border of Aceh and North Sumatra Province.

"That was the current number based on the data collection done by our field officers," Head of Area III of Mount Leuser National Park Sapto Aji Prabowo said here Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in overall Sumatran regions, the population of the endangered endemic wild cat is about 400 to 500.

Illegal poaching has become a threat to the existence of the Sumatran tigers, Prabowo said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Police of Langkat District, North Sumatra arrested three residents suspected of hunting the tigers in Kutagajah Village of Kutambaru subdistrict.

The Langkat Police and personnel of Mount Leuser National Park Authority arrested them Tuesday evening along with some evidence such as a dried tiger skin, a plastic bag containing tiger bones, and two motorcycles.

The tiger skin and bones were valued at Rp42 million (roughly US$3,000) by the suspects.

The poached tiger was only five years old as per the observation of its teeth and bone size, Prabowo said.

The Mount Leuser Authority has urged the peoples participation to provide any information concerning the hunt on not only Sumatran tigers but also other protected animals in the national park.

Mount Leuser National Park covers around 7,927 square kilometer in northern Sumatra.

The park, located in the Barisan Mountain Range, is named after Mount Leuser (3,199m) and protects a wide range of ecosystems such as the Sumatran tigers and orangutans.(Antara)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hilton Worldwide Signs Agreement with P.T. Caterison Sukses to Manage and Re-brand Grand Nikko Bali

Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) today announced the signing of a management agreement with P.T. Caterison Sukses to manage and re-brand the Grand Nikko Bali as Hilton Bali. The 408-room resort, located on Jalan Raya Nusa Dua Selatan, is planned to open on December 1, 2016.

"We are deeply committed to expanding our presence in Indonesia, both by introducing more brands from our portfolio of 13 brands as well as entering into new locations where we may not currently be operating. Today's announcement underscores both the Hilton brand's strength in this market as well as our management capability to drive exceptional experiences for both guests and owners," said Guy Phillips, senior vice president, Development, Asia and Australasia, Hilton Worldwide. "In partnership with P.T. Caterison Sukses, the Hilton Bali will be a strong addition to our portfolio."

Hilton Bali is ideally located on Bali's picturesque southern coast of Nusa Dua, which is famed for its beaches. The resort is approximately 16 kilometers from Ngurah Rai International Airport and the district of Kuta. Hilton Bali is also close to many watersports facilities and adventure sports service providers that offer various fun-filled options including jet packs, jet skis, para-gliding and dive trips.

"As our flagship brand, Hilton Hotels & Resorts resonates strongly with both leisure and business travelers alike. Hilton Bali will open as a stylish resort offering world-class hospitality synonymous with the Hilton brand and we are delighted to see this beautiful resort join our outstanding global portfolio of more than 570 hotels and resorts," said Sean Wooden, vice president, Brand Management, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.

Situated on the waterfront with its own stretch of secluded beach and offering stunning views of the Indian Ocean from its clifftop location, Hilton Bali will offer 389 rooms and 19 one-, two- and three-bedroom villas with beachfront, ocean or garden views.

The hotel will have five food and beverage outlets including an all-day dining restaurant, specialty restaurants and a bar. Extensive meetings and banqueting facilities spanning 3,737 square meters will include several meeting rooms, two conference centers with two ballrooms that can accommodate 1,500 people, as well as beachfront, cliff-top and poolside venues that are perfect for outdoor weddings. The hotel features four inter-connected swimming pools, a children's lagoon, three tennis courts, and a fitness center. Guests will also have access to a kids' club and an observation tower that offers panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.

"We are pleased to partner with a global hospitality leader that has a legacy of success and a strong luxury brand that is recognized across the globe. We are confident that Hilton Bali will be a magnet for business and leisure and international and domestic travelers, as well as corporate meetings and wedding planners," said Charles Djunaidi, Director, P.T. Caterison Sukses.

When Hilton Bali opens, it will be the third Hilton Worldwide hotel in Bali, Indonesia, joining Conrad Bali and Hilton Garden Inn Bali - Ngurah Rai Airport.

For more information on Hilton Bali or Hilton Hotels & Resorts, visit hilton.com. Media may access images and more news at news.hilton.com.
(Hotel online)

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