Deputy Tourism Minister Visits Bali To Check On G20 Preparations
Indonesia’s Deputy Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies, Angela Tanoesoedibjo, visited Bali this week for a press tour and to check in on preparations for the G20 Summit in November. The 2-day conference will see heads of state, industry leaders, and their delegations head to Bali to discuss how the trade block can ‘recover together, recover stronger’.
Priority areas for the 17th G20 Summit are global health architecture, digital transformation, and sustainable energy transition.
The conference is a chance for Bali to be showcased on the world stage, in light of the pandemic it is vital for Indonesia that the conference goes well and demonstrates how the country plays an essential role in the world’s economy. A successful G20 Summit will help increase both business investment in Bali and help increase the strength of the tourism, green energy, tech, and agriculture sectors.
The G20 Summit is one of the biggest events ever hosted in Bali and the Indonesian government is taking its presidency of the event seriously. They are invested huge amounts of money in improving infrastructure, including the creation of a VVIP terminal at Ngurah Rai Airport.
Minster Angela Tanoesoedibjo visited key venues and met with organizers to discuss the project’s progress to date. She and her team visited the Sofitel in Nusa Dua and the InterContinential Bali Resort which will both play host to heads of state for the duration of their stay in Bali.
The InterContinential Bali Resort will also host a special event for the spouses of heads of state. Although Minster Tanoesoedibjo was assessing overall preparations, she has been tasked with personally overseeing the G20 Summit Spousal Events Programme.
The G20 Summit Spousal Events Programme will be hosted by President Joko Widodo’s wife Ibu Iriana. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, the UK Prime Minster’s wife Carrie Johnson, and France’s Brigitte Macron amongst others will all attend special events and dinners over the conference week.
Minster Tanoesoedibjo also met with local chefs for a food tasting to sample the menus that will be served to world leaders and their delegations at the formal dinners of the conference. She said “We don’t only pay attention to food. We also ensure safety, comfort, and distance to the location for the wives of the heads of state’.
Typically the spouses of world leaders participate in events focusing on social issues and usually meet with local school children to learn about their experiences of the world. The full G20 Summit Spousal Events Programme has yet to be released, but it is known that the InterContinential Bali Resort will be a key venue for the spousal delegation.
The G20 Summit is just one of a series of international conferences Bali is playing host to in 2022. So far this year the island has hosted the UN’s 7th Global Platform For Disaster Risk Reduction which was a resounding success. The summit was attended by representatives from all 198 recognized countries amounting to over 4,000 delegates.
3,300 runners lacing up for Indonesia International Marathon 2022 in Bali this weekend
Indonesia International Marathon (IIM) 2022 is slated to hit the roads of Bali this Sunday with more than 3,000 runners from all over the world ready to compete.
In addition to showcasing the country’s ability to host a world class marathon, the event is expected to promote sports tourism on the Island of Gods.
“So far [we received] a positive response from elite national and international [athletes who] will participate in [the marathon]. There are [athletes from] eight countries including Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore,” said IIM race director Riena Tambunan.
The weekend road running race includes four events, namely the full marathon, half marathon, 10K run, and 5K run.
Grand Inna Bali Beach in Sanur will serve as the start and finish points for each category. Despite distance differences, all runners will pass through some of the island’s most popular landmarks and tourist spots.
All of the road race tracks have met standards set by World Athletics-AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Race). With the event taking place during one of the best months to visit Bali, friendly weather conditions forecast for this weekend is expected to spur athletes to hit their peak strides.
Indonesian Sports Council (KONI) secretary general Ade Lukman said separately that the event was forced into a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The event, he said, is hoped to serve as a stepping stone for Indonesia to be a roster in the World Marathon Majors in the future.
IIM will also pay tribute to Eduardo Nabunome, a legendary runner from Indonesia who passed away at the age of 52 in 2020 due to a heart attack.
Nabunome ran a marathon in 2 hours, 19 minutes, and 18 seconds at the 1993 National Games in Jakarta.
Indonesian runners who can break Nabunome’s record at IIM will be rewarded with an IDR1 billion (US$67,317) prize money, according to Riena.
“This is a tribute for [Eduardo]. [And also] a reward for local runners,” Riena added.
President Jokowi arrives in Germany
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo arrived at Munich International Airport, Germany, at 6:40 p.m. local time, on Sunday, after a 13-hour flight from Jakarta aboard a Garuda Indonesia GIA-1 flight.
Upon arrival at the airport, President Jokowi and First Lady Iriana were greeted by Minister for European and International Affairs of Bavaria State Melanie Huml, Indonesian Ambassador to Germany Arif Havas Oegroseno and his wife, and Defense Attache of the Indonesian Embassy in Germany Colonel Budi Wibowo and his wife, according to a press release received early on Monday.
Also greeting the President and First Lady were soldiers wearing Bavaria customary attire.
Shortly after arriving at the airport, the president and his entourage, including Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, headed straight to the hotel where they will stay while in Germany.
Upon arrival at the hotel, the head of state and his entourage were greeted by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, who had arrived earlier to prepare the agenda of the president’s visit in Germany.
Jokowi is scheduled to attend the G7 Summit for Partner Countries at the Elmau Palace, Germany, on Monday.
Indonesia is invited to the G7 Summit in the capacity of partner country and G20 chair.
During a virtual press conference held prior to his departure at Soekarno-Hatta Airport on Sunday, Jokowi stated at the G7 Summit that he will encourage member countries to work together to find a solution to the food and energy crises engulfing the world.
G20 Summit and hope of expedited recovery in Bali
Indonesia will host the G20 Summit on November 15 and 16, 2022, in Bali province, which has fanned hopes of an accelerated economic recovery in the province.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to Bali’s tourism-reliant economy, with the province suffering the deepest contraction compared to 33 other provinces in the country.
Overall in 2020, Bali’s economy contracted by 9.31 percent year on year. The contraction narrowed to 2.47 percent year on year in 2021.
The improvement in Bali’s economy continued in 2022. Based on the records of Statistics Indonesia (BPS)-Bali, the province’s economy managed to grow 1.46 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2022.
“We are optimistic that Bali will revive again and the economy will continue to grow,” according to head of the Bank Indonesia (BI) Representative Office in Bali, Trisno Nugroho.
He even projected that Bali’s economy will grow by around 5.4 percent to 6.2 percent in 2022.
According to Nugroho, one of the factors supporting economic growth in Bali is the recovery of public activities, which is in line with the increasing COVID-19 vaccination coverage. Bali’s booster dose coverage has even crossed 64 percent—the highest level among Indonesian provinces.
The province’s recovery is also being supported by the recovery of domestic tourism and the continuation of investment and infrastructure projects, such as the construction of the Mengwitani-Singaraja shortcut, the construction of the Bali Cultural Center, and the revitalization of the Besakih Temple area, among others.
Several international-scale events, such as the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) and a series of activities of Indonesia’s G20 Presidency, have also had a positive impact on the province’s economy.
Hotels in the Nusa Dua area, Badung district, Bali, will benefit the most from the G20 Summit in November since the area will serve as the venue for the event, and the delegates will also be accommodated there.
Further, G20 Summit delegates are also expected to visit a number of tourist attractions in the districts and cities of Bali.
Chairperson of the Indonesian Hotel General Manager Association (IHGMA)-Bali Chapter, Yoga Iswara, affirmed that G20 events would help accelerate the economic recovery in Bali.
“The reopening of Bali to foreign tourists since February 2022 has provided an impetus for Bali’s recovery. Meanwhile, the series of G20 events will provide better recovery for Bali,” he noted.
Minister’s 2022 target of Bali receiving 1.5 million foreign tourists
Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno has targeted as many as 1.5 million quality foreign tourists to visit Bali throughout 2022.
According to Uno, quality tourists are those with high spending levels and a lengthy visit period to travel in Bali in a bid to support the economy to revive and create jobs in the province.
“Hence, our steps are to align in the midst of a declining promotion budget. We must use the entrepreneurial spirit more,” he said here on Monday.
Uno noted that his ministry had applied several approaches to achieve the target, including by holding several international-scale events.
“We will reach this with approaches that become our programs, such as sports tourism, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions), international events, and tourist villages,” he affirmed.
Apart from the target of 1.5 million foreign tourists, Uno noted that the ministry was targeting seven million quality domestic tourists to visit Bali in 2022.
He affirmed that the G20 Summit in Bali, scheduled in November 2022, is expected to make the delegates stay longer in Bali and positively impact MSME players in the province. The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy will coordinate around 400 MSMEs in 40 hotels during the G20 Summit.
The minister affirmed that currently, Bali’s tourism and creative economy sectors had begun to revive again, although not yet optimal.
“South Bali has begun to show a revival. For West and North Bali, we will initiate several events. Later, there will be a cruise at the end of the year and will dock in North Bali. In addition, we will hold an International Conference on Ecotourism next month at the West Bali National Park,” he added.
Bali Police Arrest Man After Stealing Tourist’s iPhone
A 26-year-old man from Bali has been arrested by local police after snatching a tourist’s mobile phone from her hand in a drive-by robbery. The incident occurred around 5.30 pm on Friday 24th June. The perpetrator was caught by police on Sunday evening.
Lalith Kumar Daga Chhagan Lal, 35, from India was on holiday in Bali when her phone was snatched from her hand as she was searching GoogleMaps. Lal was holding her iPhone 11 outside the Bali Galeria Mall as she and her husband were looking for directions. The next thing they are aware of was a motorcycle carrying two people driving past them in a flash and the motorcycle passenger swiping the phone from her grip.
According to the police report the moped then drove away and turned down a narrow alleyway and out of sight. Lal and her husband immediately alerted the police and they launched an investigation to track down the motorcycle and the driver.
After gathering statements from Lal and her husband, as well as eye witnesses, police were able to create a description of the bike, the driver, and the suspect. Police were alerted to a sighting of the suspect on the Ngurah Rai Bypass in Kuta on Sunday afternoon and the police ‘gave chase’.
Police were able to catch and arrest I Wayan G close to the BIMC Hospital in Kuta. He was driving a black and brown Honda Vario moped and was found in possession of Lal’s iPhone 11. Police arrested him at the scene and were bought in for questioning.
During the interrogation, I Wayan G admitted to stealing the iPhone and was found to be a serial offender known to Bali Police. He is thought to still be in police custody awaiting charge and trial. The phone has been returned to Lal and she is believed to be OK despite the stressful ordeal. I Wayan G now faces up to 9 years in prison for his actions with consideration of his past offenses.
As Bali becomes increasingly busy heading into peak season, travelers and tourists are reminded to play an active role in crime prevention. While victims can never be blamed for crimes that happen against them, there are precautions travelers can take to help safeguard themselves from opportunistic thieves.
Travelers are also reminded to keep an eye on their bags at all times and to carry rucksacks on the front rather than their backs where possible when walking in busy areas or driving scooters. While Bali Police work around the clock to ensure that everyone in Bali is safe from thieves, unfortunately, criminals do operate on the holiday island.
Travelers are reminded to take out fully comprehensive travel insurance before they visit Bali and to double-check that the policy provides compensation for stolen belongings.