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NEWS

ISSUE 39

TOURISM ON THE MOVE IN LOMBOK!

WORLD CHAMPIONS DANCE IN LOMBOK!

WHAT'S HOT

LOMBOK COMMUNITY LIBRARY

LITTLE BALI SUPPORT FOR TALLER BUILDINGS

LOCAL HOTELS JOIN BALI TABLE TOP

INFLAMMATORY US SMOKE BAN

LOCAL SCENE

CORAL TRIANGLE HEADLINES WORLD OCEAN CONFERENCE

PULLING THE PLUG ON NEW INVESTMENT

GILIS SCENE

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TOURISM ON THE MOVE IN LOMBOK!

Welcome to The Lombok Guide – Lombok's complete tourism paper and your guide to the best that the island has to offer. The Lombok Guide is published on Lombok every two weeks and contains valuable information for all visitors to our magical island.

Although our July/August “high season” is still almost two months away, Lombok is enjoying increased occupancy rates in comparison to last year's figures. Senggigi's hotels report better than average figures and, judging from the number of travellers on the streets, people are coming to our island in greater numbers than before and not necessarily at traditional peak tourist times.

A visit to Gili Trawangan last week confirms this without a doubt! If the occupancy rates now are anything to go by, July is going to see that popular little island bursting at its seams. And investment on Gili T shows no signs of slowing down either, with a number of new places opening, and extensions or renovations of others nearing completion in time for July. Some of our top picks in the Sentral area include the new rooms (as well as the new Waroeng Bule and gorgeous new Spa) at Vila Ombak, the super-stylish ko-ko-mo Resort and Restaurant, the trendy Scallywags, and Gili T Resort at The Terminal. Gili T just keeps getting better and better!

So does The Lombok Guide… with a whopping 56 pages, we've grown again! And we've also increased our circulation from 1500 to 2000 copies every two weeks. Now The Lombok Guide is available at selected travel agencies in Bali and popular eateries such as Mades Warung in Kuta and Legian, Gloria Jeans Coffee in Kuta, the Canggu Club, Ultimo, Ku De Ta and more!

To find out more, pick up a copy of The Lombok Guide from the locations listed on page 32 or visit us at www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… like thousands of others, you'll be enchanted!

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WORLD CHAMPIONS DANCE IN LOMBOK!

What do international dancing championships and a tropical island have in common? Although they are not two things that would normally go hand-in-hand, over the past few years the island of Lombok has become an important destination in the world dancing arena.

Residents and visitors now have the chance to witness this spectacular world-class event taking place in Lombok on 20 and 21 June in the ballroom at Santosa Villas and Resort in Senggigi. Dance champions from around the world will compete in Lombok for a total prize pool of US $7,500.

The startling combination is the brain-child of Mr Marcel De Rijk, world-renowned ballroom dancer, Vice President of the World Dance Council and international adjudicator, who also owns the delightful Puri Mas Boutique Resorts in Lombok.

After years of teaching dance in Lombok and of bringing international dance stars to the island for special appearances, Marcel was responsible for organising the first Lombok International Dance Championships in June 2008. His popularity in dance circles was evident, with top international dance couples from more than 15 countries and an international panel of judges and adjudicators made up of 14 members from 11 different countries coming to Lombok for the event.

At the first-ever Lombok International Dance Championships, the audience was treated to a magnificent evening of world class ballroom and Latin American dance performances in June 2008.The spellbinding event was held at Santosa Villas and Resort, with hundreds of spectators attending the finals of the Championships, after two days of qualifying competitions.

Performances by Latin American dance masters, Evgeny Ryupin and Yana Pokrovskaya from Moscow, as well as 2008 World Championship Finalists, Roberto Villa and Morena Colagrego from Italy, were highlights of the event; although it was almost impossible to choose favourites from the many talented dancers present.

Evgeny Ryupin and Yana Pokrovskaya return to Lombok again this year to wow the crowds once more with their fabulous performances, together with several couples from Thailand and China, as well as ten dance (ballroom and Latin) champions from Kazakhstan. International Adjudicators include Espen Salberg, Ratna De Rijk and Walter Wat, together with Pak Soenarko from the Indonesian Ballroom Dance Council.

Qualifying and elimination competitions will take place at the ballroom on Saturday 20 June and the finals will be showcased on Sunday, 21 June. The final championships take place in a gala event on Sunday night, with a special buffet dinner for guests before the spell-binding evening of spectacular dance performances. Spectators are able to watch the finals during the day on Sunday and to join the glittering Championships in the evening, starting with the buffet dinner at 6pm.

The Lombok International Championships is a spectacular event, unlike anything usually seen in Indonesia, and a wonderful opportunity for visitors and those living in Lombok to witness international dance at its best.

Special “Tropical Holiday and Dance Event” accommodation packages are available from Puri Mas Boutique Resorts and Spa, event hosts, and from major sponsor, Santosa Villas and Resort.

Tickets are available from the locations listed below or, for accommodation bookings and information, contact Puri Mas Boutique Resorts & Spa Mangsit Beach by phoning 0370 693 831.

Tickets Available From: Puri Mas Boutique Resorts & Spa Mangsit Beach | Mirasa Cake Shop Cakra
International Laundry Cakra | Era Baru Soft Furnishings Cakra

MORE INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT PURI MAS BOUTIQUE RESORTS & SPA
+62 370 693 831

CHAMPIONSHIPS (INCLUDES BUFFET DINNER) SUNDAY 21 JUNE, STARTS 6 PM SHARP

Main Sponsors: Puri Mas Boutique Resorts & Spa | Dinas Budaya dan Pariwisata, Lombok
Santosa Villas and Resort (sponsorship of Ballroom facility)

International Coordinator: Mr Marcel De Rijk, Vice President of the World Dance Council
Organisers: IDI – International Dansa Indonesia and Department of Tourism (Dinas Budaya dan Pariwisata Provinsi)
Endorsed by: Indonesia Ballroom Dance Council and World Dance Council
Adjudicators: International panel of adjudicators licensed by the World Dance Council

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Lombok Fishing Tours is now offering special fishing trips to the amazing islands off Lombok's southwest coast, called “Secret Island Safari”. One of the trips starts in the morning from Senggigi on board Shwari, a safe and comfortable speed boat, reaching Gili Sudat (one of Lombok's best kept secrets) after only 45 minutes. Spend the day snorkelling, sunbathing and fishing and have lunch at a beautiful local restaurant – the seafood is superb! If you are lucky you can even spot the very rare sea cow (dugongs) which visit the waters close to Gili Sudat regularly, thanks to the tasty seaweed there.

“Shwari” is a 25 foot long, 7 foot wide custom-built sport fishing boat with 2 x 60 hp motors, onboard GPS and Fish finder. Professional fishing equipment includes Shimano reels and rods for trolling, jigging and popper casting. Trips for sightseeing, snorkelling and fishing around the Gili islands in the north and southwest Lombok are available through Lombok Fishing Tours and include professional guide with local experience, equipment and comfortable speedboat. www.lombokfishing.com

Three course lunch for just Rp 45 000 at one of Lombok's best restaurants? That's the deal on offer at Asmara Restaurant on the main street in Senggigi! The delicious lunch menu includes choices of entrees, Indonesian and western main courses and fresh fruits for dessert… unbeatable value for quality meals! Bring along your laptop and take advantage of the fast WiFi connection – available free to all Asmara customers. What a nice way to spend an afternoon and combine business with pleasure! www.asmara-group.com

It's good to see so many Senggigi restaurants now offering free WiFi connections for their customers. Square Restaurant in Senggigi has just upgraded their internet server and is now offering reliable “Speedy” connection for guests. Now even more reason to enjoy Senggigi's fine dining restaurant!

Also, don't forget Square's famous Cellar Party this month on Friday, 5 June. Enjoy unlimited glasses of free-flow international wines and delicious Tapas selections between 7 and 10 pm for just Rp 300 000 per person. www.squarelombok.com

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LOMBOK COMMUNITY LIBRARY

Bookworms in Lombok know how hard it is to find a decent supply of books in different languages on the island. Well, now we have our own Lombok Community Library… thanks to the efforts of Asmara Restaurant in Senggigi!
The Lombok Community Library has a selection of English and German language books for loan on display in the billiard room at the restaurant. The library is open to all – Lombok residents and visitors, subject to a few simple conditions:

1. The loan of books is available to both residents of Lombok and visitors for a small fee of Rp 5 000 per loan, to help cover administration costs and upkeep of the library

2. Visitors/non residents are required to pay a deposit of Rp 50 000 per book, which will be fully refunded upon the return of the books to the library.

3. The restaurant cashier holds the record book. Please take your selection of books to the cashier for recording and payment of deposit and admin fee.

4. Books may be borrowed for a maximum of one month.

5. Please return all books to the cashier for recording and replacement on the shelves. Please do not return your books directly to the shelves yourself. This is to maintain our records properly.

6. Late return of books will be subject to a small fine of Rp 10 000 per book per week.

7. Books not returned within two (2) months are considered lost and will be charged a fine of Rp 50 000 per book.
Old stock is replaced with fresh stock as books become available, and old books are offered for sale at Rp 5 000 per book.

As there is no official librarian, restaurant staff help look after the library and keep records of loans. The purpose of the fines and any other charges is to encourage the good upkeep of our community library.

The library was originally founded a long time ago by expats living on Lombok, and then was moved from house to house as it kept expanding; always in need of larger space. Sakinah, proprietor of Asmara Restaurant, took over responsibility for the library from Sekolah Nusa Alam a few years ago.

If you would like to borrow some books, pop into Asmara and browse the shelves while having a snack or a coffee. If you can help with donations of money or books, please contact Sakinah at the restaurant.

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LITTLE BALI SUPPORT FOR TALLER BUILDINGS

Efforts in some circles to change Bali's zoning and building regulations (RTRWP) to permit the building of 33 m high structures, more than twice the current limit of 15 meters, is gaining virtually no support from Bali religious leaders, academicians, social commentators and tourism figures – all united in opposition to the proposed building code change.

I Gusti Bagus Yudhara, past Chairman of the Bali branch of the Indonesian Association of Travel Agents (ASITA), told the Bali Post that any agreement to change the current height limitation would only serve to open the door for changes in other areas. Yudhara said special exclusions for hospitals, schools, universities and public markets to allow structures standing 33 metres would be used as the basis for seeking wider exemptions for other classes of buildings in the future.

Elaborating on his reasons for opposing the change in maximum height rules, Yudhara said taller buildings would add to the general disorder in Bali and put added strain on an already over-burdened infrastructure. Finally, he sees permission for taller buildings as threatening the special character of the island and its long-term sustainability as a tourism destination.

Arguing for retaining the 15 meter maximum height rule (the height of a coconut palm), Yudhara said that limited land area problems could be better addressed by allowing new buildings in Bali's north and east in accordance with approved zoning laws and supported by good access roads.

Separately, another tourism activist, Putu Juliadi, condemned plans to change the height restriction as not reflecting the Balinese people's love of culture, art and religion. Changes in the current rules of limiting building to 15m, he insisted, would only serve special segments of society, at the cost of Bali's future.

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LOCAL HOTELS JOIN BALI TABLE TOP

Lombok's hotels are keeping busy promoting Lombok to the rest of the world. Sales representatives from the Holiday Resort Lombok, Puri Mas Boutique Resorts and Spa, Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort, Hotel Vila Ombak, and Novotel Lombok all attended a special Millennium Global Table Top in Bali to showcase the fabulous accommodation Lombok has to offer holidaymakers.

The Millennium Global Table Top was held at the Sanur Paradise Hotel in Bali between 14 and 16 May, 2009. Over one hundred travel agents attended the event, together with another 45 from the hotel industry. Participants were mostly from Bali, Lombok and Java.

Table Tops are important sales tools in marketing destinations, where representatives have a chance to sit with wholesalers and travel agents and present information about destinations and accommodation. Agents have the opportunity to meet hotel reps, ask questions and foster better relationships, as well as improving their knowledge about the destinations they sell to travellers.

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INFLAMMATORY US SMOKE BAN

The U.S. government is moving to ban the use of cigarette flavourings as a step to discourage teenagers from taking up smoking. Cherry, chocolate and clove additives will be banned if legislation being considered by the US Senate is passed. Specifically exempted from the proposed ban, after intense lobbying by the US tobacco industry, is the use of mint-flavoured menthol cigarettes such as Marlboro Smooth.

As anyone who has ever visited Indonesia can confirm, the distinctive pervasive smell of burning cloves mixed with Indonesian tobacco greets the nose wherever Indonesian's gather to “light up” their overwhelmingly preferred tobacco product. So large, in fact, is the Indonesian clove cigarette industry that Indonesia holds the distinction of being both the largest producer as well as the largest importer of cloves in the world; all needed to feed the almost insatiable demand for clove-laced smokes.

The Indonesian Ambassador to the USA, Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat, has gone on record condemning the proposed legislation as “blatantly favouring a domestically produced product over an imported one” if the legislation allows menthol flavouring to the exclusion of other flavourings, such as cloves.

The potential for the matter to become increasingly inflammatory in the months ahead is the threat from the Indonesian government to bring the matter to the World Trade Organisation, which could jeopardize the $22 billion-a-year trade relationship with Indonesia.

Indonesia exports an estimated US $500 million in clove or Kretek cigarettes every year, with approximately 20% of that total destined for US markets.

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LOCAL SCENE

CHIC ET CHOC @ VILLA QUSIA

Fifty lucky guests were treated to a delightful “French Night”
featuring delicious French cuisine, wines, Can-Can dancing and
entertainment at Qunci Villa’s stunning Villa Qusia last week.

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CORAL TRIANGLE HEADLINES WORLD OCEAN CONFERENCE

Thousands of delegates from 72 countries gathered in Manado North Sulawesi for the World Ocean Conference on coastal and marine resources that concluded on Friday, 15 May with a plan of action to safeguard the largest marine reserve in history: the Coral Triangle Initiative.

Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister, Freddy Numberi officially opened the World Ocean Conference on Monday, 11 May, saying there are two things that both developed and developing countries can do to arrest climate change -- reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and conserve bio-diverse areas.

“The Coral Triangle Initiative is one of the most important marine conservation measures ever undertaken anywhere in the world and the first to span several countries,” said Professor Terry Hughes, director of Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. “It is as much about nation building and food security as it is about reef conservation,” he said.

The Coral Triangle is a geographical term that refers to the waters of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste that encompass 75 percent of all species known in the world. From the Philippines in the north to Indonesia in the south, the Coral Triangle supports the world's greatest density of marine life, with more than 600 species of reef-building corals and the world's largest population of commercially important tuna species, supplying 50 percent of global tuna production.

This ocean expanse covers an area of 2.3 million square miles (5.7 million km2) and is inhabited by more than 3 000 species of reef fish. Over 150 million people live within the Coral Triangle, of which an estimated 2.25 million fishers are dependant on marine resources for their livelihoods.

To protect this vulnerable area from the impacts of global warming, foreign affairs ministers from the six countries bordering the Coral Triangle – Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste – were in Manado for the first summit, with sessions all week.

“Both the World Ocean Conference and the Coral Triangle Initiative are helping the region to collectively address critical threats to marine and coastal resources posed by climate change, unsustainable fishing methods and land-based pollution,” said Asian Development Bank Vice-President, Lawrence Greenwood.

Greenwood, together with Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Freddy Numberi, co-chaired a CTI Partnership Dialogue on Friday, with ministers and senior officials from the six countries and other organisations supporting the Coral Triangle Initiative.

Mobilisation of financial resources to support the Coral Triangle Initiative has so far generated commitments or pledges of around US $350 million. The GEF has committed up to $63 million in grants coordinated through the Asian Development Bank, and the US government a further $40 million. ADB and other development partners are expected to contribute new funding close to $300 million.

The Coral Triangle Initiative was first proposed at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Australia in 2007 before being endorsed at the United Nations climate change conference in Bali in 2007. Experts have warned that the world's coral reefs may be depleted by 2050 if no immediate action is taken to protect them.

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PULLING THE PLUG ON NEW INVESTMENT

The Jakarta Post reports that limited power supplies are causing headaches for domestic and foreign investors in Bali.

Quoting the vice-chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN) in Bali, Tedja Nandi Yasa, the lack of power on Bali has become severe: “We have been working hard to promote Bali, but the anxiety over the minimum electricity supply has eliminated almost 50 percent of the chance to invest here.”

According to Yasa, efforts to lobby both the central and provincial government to take steps to increase electrical supplies have had minimum effect.

It's unclear how much the lack of electrical power is to blame for the steep downturn in new investment in Bali. The Bali Invesment Coordinating Board (BKPM) reported only US $5.12 million in new investments during the first quarter of 2009, against a targeted US $572 million.

In a step to supplement reserves, a controversial coal-powered plant is being built at Celukan Bawang in North Bali. Although designed to add 390 megawatts of additional power, that project is encountering numerous delays and is unlikely to come on line as scheduled by the end of 2010.

Alternative plans to install an extra-high-voltage aerial transmission line (SUTET) to bring 1 000 megawatts of power to Bali from East Java have been vetoed by Bali's Governor. The Governor's objections were reportedly based on his concern that the proposed high power transmission lines would transect the West Bali National Park, home of the last population of endangered Bali Starlings and sacred temple areas on Bali.

Economist Wayan Ramantha from Bali's Udayana University has pointed to Bali's poor infrastructure and public facilities as also contributing to the island's lack of attractiveness to potential investors. He also cited the lack of clear regulations and taxation systems.

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GILIS SCENE

SUNDAY LUNCH @ KO - KO - MO

Take some superb cuisine, a mix of beautiful people from Bali and Lombok, add lots of champers and a perfect beach...

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