The most affordable times for domestic travel in #Indonesia

Idul Fitri is around the corner and people are getting ready to travel to their hometown to celebrate the auspicious occasion.

Those who are seeking to extend their vacation or plan to go on a trip across Indonesia this year, but still want to save some money, can consider following a new set of data from global travel search company Skyscanner about the most affordable times of year to travel within the archipelago.  

If you want to enjoy the sunset at Tanah Lot Temple in Tabanan or marvel at terraced paddy fields in Ubud, Bali, it is advised to fly to the island in January and September, with return tickets priced at around Rp 2.2 million (US$165).

As for those who are planning to visit Affandi Museum or simply walk down the street of Malioboro, Yogyakarta, it is best to come to the province in February and September, with return tickets costing around Rp 1.33 million.

Meanwhile, visitors traveling to Praya in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, are advised to fly in February, when the average ticket price is at Rp 1.4 million. Meanwhile, October is the best time to purchase a return ticket, when the price starts at Rp 2 million.

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Source – TheJakartaPost

#Indonesia may lose 50,000 tourists because of #Qatar crisis

The Indonesian government is predicting that the recent severing of ties between several Arab countries and Qatar would deal a blow to the archipelago’s tourism industry, with 50,000 expected tourists not showing up because of the crisis, a senior official said on Tuesday.

That is the number of visitors Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said Qatar Airways, for the most part, would have brought to Indonesia this year. 

“Given that seven months are left in the year 2017, we estimate we will lose about 50,000 foreign tourists as a result of the boycott of Qatar,” Arief told reporters at the State Palace on Tuesday. 

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In order to reduce the expected loss, Arief said his ministry would coordinate with the Transportation Ministry to transfer the license given to the Qatari airline to other airlines, such as Emirates and Etihad. 

“First of all, I will ask the Transportation Ministry to transfer the aircraft license given to Qatar [Airways] to other airlines. We have no option as they [Qatar Airways] could not fly their aircraft anyway,” Arief said. 

Qatar Airways said on its official website it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia and several of its allies on Monday cut relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism.

Source – TheJakartaPost

#Indonesia to promote golf tourism in South Korea.

A niche market that the Tourism Ministry is currently promoting is golf tourism.

After a successful promotional event showcasing Indonesian golf courses at the Jinghua Golf Club in Beijing on April 6, the ministry is going to hold the second stage of its Sales Mission Golf in East Asia on May 24 in Seoul, South Korea.

This mission will connect Indonesian operators in golf tourism with 50 to 80 buyers from South Korea.

According to I Gde Pitana, the ministry’s deputy for overseas promotion, the first event in Beijing featured three Indonesian tourist operators.

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“Golfers usually spend an average of $6,000 per visit, six times higher than the amount spent by regular foreign tourists,” explained Pitana.

“Golf is a popular sport among South Koreans, especially the elite. In South Korea, the sport isn’t dominated by men only. Women also love to golf,” added the ministry’s deputy assistant for Asia Pacific tourism promotion, Vinsensius Jemadu.

“Golf courses in Indonesia are unique. There are 114 international-standard golf courses located across Indonesia, each with its own unique challenges. They all offer stunning panoramic views,” Vinsensius said.

Source – TheJakartaPost

#Indonesia – East Jakarta fire burns house, leaves owner homeless.

Another fire broke out in the capital on Friday as a house in Cakung, East Jakarta, was gutted by flames. A preliminary investigation suggested that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit.

“There were no casualties, although the house owner lost all of his belongings,” said Gatot Sulaiman of the East Jakarta Fire Department on Friday, as quoted by beritajakarta.id.

He added that the fire started at about 2 p.m.

The fire department deployed two fire engines to extinguish the blaze. The fire was completely put out about 45 minutes later.

The incident was the second of the day as a fire had broken out in a four-story shop house in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, early Friday morning. The earlier fire was also allegedly caused by an electrical short circuit.

Sourse – TheJakartaPost

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#Indonesia – NGO urges Jokowi to issue moratorium on oil palm plantations.

Environmental group Sawit Watch is urging President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to fulfill his pledge to declare a moratorium on the issuance of new permits for oil palm plantations, arguing that a moratorium will provide the necessary momentum to reorganize Indonesia’s palm oil industry.

The group said no progress had been made to follow up on Jokowi’s moratorium pledged in April last year, when he also promised to halt the issuance of new permits for coal mining operations.

Sawit Watch deputy director Achmad Surambo said in a press briefing on Friday that an oil palm moratorium was badly needed to stop environmental destruction in the form of land clearing for plantations.

Moreover, there was no sign that the government would revise Presidential Instruction (Inpres) No. 8/2015 on a moratorium of new permits for primary forest and peatland areas, which was due to expire on Saturday, he added.

Achmad said Inpres No. 8 and the promised oil palm moratorium were both important to ensure there would be no more land clearing for oil palm plantations. Land clearing was the prime driver of the annual land and forest fires across Indonesia.

“It will be better if Indonesia has a moratorium, as stipulated in Inpres No. 8 and another moratorium for oil palm plantations. They will complement each other,” said Achmad.

“During the moratorium, the government could revisit and then reform the management of the forests and the palm oil industry,” he went on.

Source – The JakartaPost

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#INDONESIA – ASEAN lawmakers alarmed at conviction of Jakarta governor

Lawmakers across Southeast Asia have expressed concern over the sentencing of Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, to two years in prison for blasphemy on Tuesday.

“The verdict is deeply disconcerting not only for Indonesia but for the entire ASEAN region. Indonesia was thought to be a regional leader in terms of democracy and openness. This decision places that position in jeopardy and raises concerns about Indonesia’s future as an open, tolerant, diverse society,” said Charles Santiago, a member of the Malaysian Parliament and chair of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR).

“Ahok has become a victim of rising extremism and religious identity politics. But this decision has impacts beyond justice for one individual. It is a triumph for intolerance and an ominous sign for minority rights. At a time when fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and freedom of religion, are under increasing threat region-wide, this verdict sends the wrong signal to Indonesia’s neighbors in the ASEAN community,” he said in a written statement.

Ahok, Jakarta’s second Christian governor after Henk Ngantung (1964-1965), was convicted of blasphemy by the North Jakarta District Court and sentenced to two years in prison.

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The charges stemmed from a September speech, in which he invoked a verse from the Quran in criticizing the arguments of those who suggested that Muslims could not vote for a Christian leader.

APHR said the ruling could embolden religious hard-liners in the country and called into further question Indonesia’s harsh Blasphemy Law, which permits prison sentences of up to five years for those found guilty.

Source – TheNation

#AirAsia opens new routes from Indonesia to Mumbai, Macau

AirAsia has opened new international routes to Mumbai, India, and Macau, China, to tap into high demand among tourists from the two countries.

“The growing number of Chinese and Indian tourists coming to Indonesia boosts our spirit to launch the new routes,” said AirAsia Group CEO for Indonesia Dendy Kurniawan on Wednesday, as quoted by tempo.co.

Dendy added that the company was committed to supporting the government’s efforts to develop Indonesian tourism by extending its route network and offering services at affordable prices.

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AirAsia Indonesia is set to operate the direct flight from Jakarta to Macau three times per week in a first phase starting on Aug. 7 and four times per week starting on Sept. 1 for the second phase. With promo fares starting from Rp 888,000 for the period of Aug. 7 to June 5, the new service will use an Airbus A320-200 that can accommodate 180 passengers.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai route will start on May 19 and connect to Bali – with a transit of 65 minutes in Kuala Lumpur. AirAsia X Indonesia plans to serve the flight seven times per week using aircraft that can accommodate 377 passengers.

Source – TheJakartaPost

Read also: AirAsia to launch Denpasar-Tokyo route

Australian pedophile denied entry into #Bali

An Australian man was denied entry into Bali on Tuesday for his alleged involvement in a pedophile case. The Australian, identified only by the initials BGC, was rejected upon his arrival at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport at 1:30 p.m. on Jetstar Airlines JQ43 from Melbourne, Australia.

Immigration chief Ari Budijanto told The Jakarta Post that BGC was rejected because his name was included on the banned entry list.

“He is on the banned entry list as was involved in a pedophile case in his country,” Ari said in Denpasar.

(Read also: Australian pedophile gets 15 years’ imprisonment in Bali)

The banned entry list is based on cooperation between interpol and neighboring countries, including Australia.  

Ari said BGC accepted the denial. “He could not fight against us,” he said. 

BGC was flown back to Melbourne at 11:15 p.m. on Jetstar Airlines flight number JQ58. 

Previously, other Australians have also been rejected from entering Bali.

On Jan. 6 this year, James William Pender was stopped upon his arrival at the airport. He was traveling from Malaysia at the time.

On Jan. 27, Daniel Bryan Wilson was refused entry when he arrived from Perth on Air Asia flight QZ537. 

On March 21, Roderick John Pypers was deported back to Australia soon after he arrived in Bali from Sydney on Jetstar Airlines JQ 37.

Source – TheJakartaPost

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Palangkaraya hopes to be chosen as Indonesia’s new capital

The Central Kalimantan administration said it was hopeful that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo would move the nation’s capital to Palangkaraya, saying such a move would fulfill the “dream of Indonesia’s founding fathers.”

The province’s capital was reportedly among cities being studied in regard to their readiness to become Indonesia’s new capital.

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Central Kalimantan Governor Sugianto Sabran, an Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician, said he hoped Palangkaraya was named the country’s new capital during Jokowi’s presidency, claiming the province had the “potential to be on par with other more developed provinces” in Indonesia.

“We just pray the plan materializes […] Central Kalimantan is in the center of Indonesia and less prone to earthquakes,” Sugianto said at his official residence in Palangkaraya.

The government included Palangkaraya on the list because Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno, had planned to move the capital city there.

National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro told Antara earlier that the government had expected a final decision on an alternative capital city “within this year.”

(Read also: Indonesia studies new sites for capital city)

Source – TheJakartaPost

 

#Indonesian Student Association holds cultural festival in #Manchester

The Indonesian Student Association (PPI) in Greater Manchester held an annual art and culture festival called the Indonesian Cultural Festival (ICF) on Friday at Manchester University, England.

The festival featured a food bazaar, an exhibition of Indonesian tourist destinations and traditional Indonesian games. Some 250 visitors from England, Italy, China, Korea and Indonesia enjoyed the festivities.

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“There were eight food stalls selling over 50 Indonesian dishes such as nasi rendang, sate padang, martabak and even es cendol,” said Alif Kurnia Rahman, the event’s coordinator.

The main events of the 2017 ICF consisted of a traditional fashion show, a choir performance, an angklung recital and the performance of traditional dances, namely the Saman, Rentak Bulian and Piring dances from Sumatra, the Empat Etnis dance from Sulawesi, the Bambu Gila dance from Maluku, the Kecak dance from Bali and the Sajojo dance from Papua.

Source – TheJakartaPost