Local News

Mandalika MotoGP Grand Prix: Bali may have to accommodate tourists due to hotel rooms shortage in Lombok

It’s likely that many MotoGP fans would have to make the small hop over from Bali to Lombok for the highly-anticipated Mandalika Grand Prix on March 18-20, tourism officials say, as the West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) island is lacking in terms of hotel rooms.
The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry recently projected that the race will attract some 100,000 people — filling the new circuit to at least near-full capacity — comprising MotoGP fans from Indonesia and abroad. However, the island of Lombok has only 18,000 hotel rooms and around 5,000 rooms at homestays and tourist villages.
The NTB chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) today said it’s almost inevitable that the majority of spectators would have to find hotel rooms in Bali during the race weekend.

“We think that is acceptable, as long as here [in NTB] hotel rooms are filled up first. We hope that MotoGP will revive NTB’s economy,” PHRI NTB Chapter Chairwoman Ni Ketut Wolini said, noting that the island’s economy has been battered since the 2018 earthquake, which killed 563, and the pandemic.
Staying in Bali and going to the race in Lombok shouldn’t be too impractical for those who can afford to travel for the grand prix. After all, the two islands are merely a brief 40-minute flight away from each other.
Race organizers recently released the price list for tickets, which are going for IDR115K (US$8) for general admission and up to IDR15 million (US$1,047) for a three-day premier class hospitality suites package.
The Mandalika International Street Circuit opened in November 2021, and held its inaugural race that same month, hosting the World Superbike Championship. (coconuts.co 11/01/2022)


Chinese Company To Finance Development Of North Bali Airport

A Chinese State-Owned Enterprise is expected to finance the development of the North Bali Airport.

The North Bali Airport is slated to be an alternative solution for the expected influx of tourists once the pandemic ends. It will be developed by two different corporations: PT Panji Sakti (PT BIBU) and China Construction First Group Corp.Ltd (CCFG), a Chinese state-owned enterprise.
The President of PT BIBU, Erwanto Sad Adiatmoko Hariwibowo, confirmed that both corporations signed an MoU regarding the construction of North Bali Airport in Kubutambahan, Buleleng.
“We signed an agreement that CCFG will be the main contractor of this project. It is expected to finish by 2024,” Hariwibowo said on Thursday (6/1).
He also explained that this project was initiated in anticipation of the surge of international flights post-pandemic, as the existing airport located in southern Bali only has one available runway.

Meanwhile, the Chief Representative of CCFG for Indonesia, Sun Kelin, stated that the project would be financed with a turn-key scheme. “We’re ready to realize the airport people in northern Bali have been dreaming of,” Kelin said.
Following Presidential Decree Number 109/2020, North Bali International Airport is appointed as one of the National Strategic Projects to revive Bali tourism. (thebalisun.com 11/01/2022)


Bali To Start Vaccine Booster Distribution On January 12

Bali officials have announced that the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine booster will start on January 12th 2022.

The Head of the Bali Health Agency, Dr, I Ketut Suarjaya, confirmed that the Covid-19 vaccine booster program would be rolled out in all provinces, including Bali, once the central government issues the instructions on January 12th 2022.
“This vaccination booster program will start as soon as we receive the technical and implementation instructions from central government,” Dr. Suarjaya said on Tuesday (4/1). However, he explained that the booster is not mandated, and people can receive it at their own expense.
“This program is not mandated, so people can decide whether they want to receive the booster shot or not. Because it isn’t funded by the government, people have to pay for their own booster shot,” Suarjaya added.
The vaccine booster will be available at all public medical facilities across the island. Suarjaya hopes that the price of the booster shot will be affordable as the government hasn’t published the official price range.

Meanwhile, the Senator from Commission IV of Bali House of Representatives, I Gusti Putu Budiarta, proposed that the central government make the vaccine booster free of charge considering the current economic situation in Bali.
“I hope the government can subsidize the program so that everyone will have access to the booster shot. Most people are still struggling financially due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I don’t think many would participate even if they wanted to,” Budiarta concluded. (thebalisun.com 11/01/2022)


Gilimanuk-Ketapang ferries suspended due to bad weather

Ferries crossing between the Gilimanuk Port in Bali and the Ketapang Port in Banyuwangi have been suspended due to heavy rainfall and strong winds over the Bali Strait.
The suspension has been in effect since 1:30pm Bali time, and normal service may resume upon clearance from authorities.
“All of the ships have docked until the weather clears up,” Gilimanuk official I Nyoman Sastrawan told reporters today.

There have been reports of waterspouts being spotted over the Bali Strait today, making the trip all the more risky for ferries.
There is no word yet on whether or not passengers would be entitled for compensation for their disrupted trips.


Omicron won’t bring out the red flag for MotoGP in Mandalika: minister

“The show must go on,” Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said about the scheduled MotoGP grand prix in Lombok’s Mandalika Circuit in March, noting that the looming threat of Omicron likely won’t put the brakes on the major event.
Sandiaga spoke about the fate of the race during a press briefing yesterday, saying that it will go on if — you guessed it — health precautions are followed.
“We will be strict with health protocol adherence. We understand the needs of the people and we will adopt policies that will enable us to say that the show will go on while being careful at the same time,” Sandiaga said.

Indonesia is currently banning the arrival of travelers from 14 countries categorized as high Omicron risk, including the UK, South Africa, and France. The ban may be subject to constant review and updated before MotoGP rolls around on March 18-20.
Organizers expect the 110,000 capacity Mandalika Circuit to be filled during the race weekend, and Sandiaga said that as of Jan. 3, 90 percent of hotel rooms in Lombok’s Mataram City have been booked for the period. There are also plans to set up glamping grounds near the circuit to help with the accommodation shortage on the island.
Race organizers recently released the price list for tickets, which are going for IDR115K (US$8) for general admission and up to IDR15 million (US$1,047) for a three-day premier class hospitality suites package.
The Mandalika International Street Circuit opened in November 2021, and held its inaugural race that same month, hosting the World Superbike Championship. (thejakartapost.com 11/01/2022)


Indonesia Loses $6.8b as People Go Overseas for Medical Treatment: President

Indonesia loses Rp 97 trillion or about $6.8 billion with millions of people favoring to receive their medical treatment overseas, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Monday. The shocking statistics have prompted Indonesia to construct a world-class hospital in tourist paradise Bali.
“At least 2 million Indonesians go overseas for medical treatment every year, whether it is to Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, or the US and we lose Rp 97 trillion because of this,” Jokowi said at the groundbreaking ceremony of Bali International Hospital in Denpasar.
The hospital’s presence will make Bali a destination for medical tourism, according to Jokowi.

“This will increase [the number of] tourists coming to Bali. I hope that this [hospital] will bring in people [seeking medical treatment] from overseas as well,” Jokowi said.
Bali International Hospital will begin operating in 2023. This hospital runs in partnership with US medical center Mayo Clinic.
A video shown during the groundbreaking ceremony revealed that Bali International Hospital would have 300 wards and 30 intensive care beds. The hospital’s patient care standards, clinic protocols, management techniques will be similar to those of Mayo Clinic.
It will also include a nursing school and academic research center, among others.
According to State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir, Bali International Hospital is part of Indonesia’s first health-dedicated special economic zone. This economic zone in Bali sits on SOE-owned land which spans about 41 hectares. (jakartaglobe.id 03/01/2022)

Clown desperate for a way home commits crime in Bali

A street busker who dresses up as a clown, and is, by all accounts, a clown, is facing up to 9 years in prison for assaulting and stealing from a woman because he wanted to leave Bali and go home.
The suspect, a 25-year-old male and Banyuwangi, East Java native who goes by the initials FS, was arrested in Jembrana Regency last Tuesday. According to the police, the previous evening, the clown hit a 57-year-old fruit seller in the head with a rock, knocking her unconscious, before taking IDR15,000 (US$1.05) from her and her Nokia phone.
“He felt that his income from clowning in Jembrana was not enough, so FS stole from the fruit seller. He wanted to go home to Java,” Jembrana Police Chief I Dewa Gde Juliana said.

Police recovered the fruit seller’s stolen money and phone. The victim reportedly suffered a gash on her head from the impact of the rock, but police did not say whether or not the injury would be permanent.
The clown has been charged with violent robbery under the Criminal Code (KUHP), which carries a maximum sentence of 9 years in prison. (coconuts.co 11/01/2022)


Villa Of An Expat Caught Fire In Sanur Bali

A villa that belongs to a Dutch national named Frans Josef Hubertus Johanna Becks caught fire on Monday morning (10/1).

The Head of the Denpasar Public Relations Police Office, Iptu Ketut Sukadi, confirmed that the villa known as D’Gladak Villa in Jalan Tanjung Number 8A, Sanur caught fire, destroying most of the structure.
The incident was first spotted by a witness named Mintan. She woke up that morning and noticed a big fire from the villa.

“The witness named Minta spotted the fire from the villa at 4:00 am, so she immediately informed her husband and the villa owner,” Iptu Sukadi said on Monday.
Once he realized what was going on, the owner called the Fire Department. The fire brigade extinguished the fire at 5:45 am, using four fire trucks from the Denpasar Regional Disaster Management (BPBD).

However, Sukadi admitted that the incident destroyed many valuable things in the villa. “The owner lost around USD $56,000 (IDR 800 million), including electronic devices and furniture,” Sukadi concluded. (thebalisun.com 10/01/2022)