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NEWS

ISSUE 25

CHAMPIONS COMPETE IN LOMBOK!

TOP SPORTS WEEKEND FOR LOMBOK

CONDE NAST RANKS LOMBOK

ALCOHOL AND FOOD IMPORTS DRY UP

CONTROVERSY OVER ANTI-PORN BILL

NEW TSUNAMI SYSTEM IN INDONESIA

PREDICTED ECONOMIC DOWNTURN IN 2009

LOCAL SCENE

FUN AND SUN AT SENGGIGI RUN

WEIRD WORLD

EXECUTION DELAYS STRENGTHENED JIHADISTS

INDONESIA TO CUT FUEL PRICES

NEW SYSTEM NEEDED FOR SAIL INDONESIA

VILA OMBAK CELEBRATES WITH THE ENVIRONMENT

BEACH HOUSE PARTIES TOGETHER

GILIS SCENE

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CHAMPIONS COMPETE 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. Use the Guide to explore Lombok and check out the best hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing options, to make your Lombok holiday special.

Lombok has just hosted its second annual Emaar Lombok International Triathlon over the weekend of 8 and 9 November, with athletes from around the world visiting our idyllic island to compete in the toughest triathlon event in Asia.

Local athletes and expatriate residents showed they have the stamina to compete with the best, too, with many zooming over the finish line in the Senggigi Run and the main Triathlon. Read our special reports inside.

It's also been another two weeks of special parties and celebrations on the island, with the Cellar Party on again at Square Restaurant and parties out on Gili Trawangan. Hotel Vila Ombak joins the green team with a special tree planting programme to commemorate their 10th anniversary as one of that island's leading resorts.

Lombok has also just hosted the International Mathematics and Science Olympics, with hundreds of students from fifteen different countries competing in mathematics and biology competitions. The Santosa Villas and Resort, who hosted the event, the Sheraton Senggigi Resort and Senggigi Beach Hotels were filled with competitors for both the Olympics and the Triathlon. It looks like Lombok may be the right place for champions!

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

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TOP SPORTS WEEKEND FOR LOMBOK

The Emaar Lombok International Triathlon over the weekend of 8 and 9 November 2008 was a great success, with participants from twelve different countries, together with athletes from throughout Indonesia and locally, competing in the Triathlon.

Billed as the “toughest course in Asia”, the Emaar Lombok Triathlon consists of a 1.8 km swim, a 55 km bike ride and a 1.8 km run course. Centred around the Sheraton Senggigi Resort, major sponsors of the event, the triathlon showcases the beautiful scenery of Lombok with the swim being held on Senggigi Beach, the bike course covering the scenic Pusuk Pass and northwest beaches, and the run through the coconut grove along the beach at Kerandangan, just north of Senggigi.

Around 100 competitors assembled on the beach at 7am on Sunday morning to commence the first leg of the triathlon with the 1.8 km swim out into Senggigi Bay. Watched by a crowd of enthusiastic spectators, the swimmers completed two laps of the 900m swim before sprinting up the beach to the Sheraton, frantically shedding swimsuits before jumping on their racing bikes to get a head start on the gruelling 55 km bike course.

This year the biking event took the opposite route from last year, heading south from Senggigi to Meninting, then to Gunung Sari where the road winds north through the scenic forests of the Pusuk Pass and the monkey forest, before joining the coastal road at Pemenang. From there, the cyclists still had to conquer the many hills and bends that follow the stunning northwest coast back to Senggigi. For many this was the most challenging part of the triathlon – 55 kms of steep hills, with an ascent of 6 kms through the Pusuk Pass, counter-pointed with steep downhill runs and twisting hairpin bends. The heat and humidity also took their toll on cyclists who didn't adequately plan drink breaks and refill bottles at the many drink stations posted along the route.

Exhausted and red-faced cyclists arrived at spaced intervals back at the Sheraton, leaping from bikes and grabbing a quick drink as they raced back to the road to start the last leg of the triathlon. The 6 km run was too much for some, with a short slope at the start before tackling the steep hill overlooking Senggigi Bay, then the swift descent into Kerandangan. The shade of the coconut grove and the breeze from the beach helped cool things down a little, but most runners were exhausted by the time they had completed the second 3 km lap back to the Sheraton, where they tried to put on a burst of speed to cross the finish line at last.

This year's Triathlon Champion was James Easson from the United Kingdom, with a total race time of 3 hours and 24 minutes. Finishing 3 minutes behind James, in second place, was Michael Outhred from Australia and another 3 minutes later, local triathlete, Kadri, finished in third place.

The Triathlon was opened by newly-elected NTB Governor, Muhammad Zainul Madjdi, who said, “This Triathlon is not just an important international sporting event, but is also important for the promotion of Lombok as a tourism destination and for the local economy. Therefore we need support from all sectors to make the Lombok Triathlon successful.”

This year's event was sponsored by Emaar Properties, the Dubai-based investment company currently developing 1200 hectares of land near Kuta in South Lombok. Emaar representative, Maureen Cuellar, said that Emaar was happy to sponsor the Lombok Triathlon and would be involved in next year's triathlon, as well as supporting future events in Lombok.

The triathlon also featured the “Island Team Cup” which allowed teams of three competitors to complete each section of the triathlon, relay-style. Winner of the 2008 Team Cup was the MACA team.

Tribob, the triathlon organisers, said in a statement that 82 percent of the Lombok triathletes were professionals, managers, executives and entrepreneurs. At present, around 40% of the competitors are Indonesian nationals, but Tribob would like to see more local people getting involved, either individually or in teams for the Team Cup. “Like what happened last year, there are some companies who field their teams to join the triathlon as a team event – similar to a relay event,” Tribob Director, Nathalie Marquet said. “Perhaps they found that this event is beneficial to help build solid teams to achieve higher goals in their companies,” she added.

For many of those competing, the incentive wasn't about winning trophies or prize money, but the challenge and personal satisfaction of completing such a tough course. The oldest participant in the race was Patsy Yan, a 64 year old regular triathlon competitor from Malaysia who finished the race in 5:17, while the youngest was 22 year old Juie Shetye, of Mumbai, India, with a race time of 5:51.

57 year old American, Agnes Safford, who lives and works in Jakarta, said that she had only been doing triathlons for the past 6 years and only learnt to swim six years ago, in order to compete in triathlons. “For me the hardest part of the triathlon was probably the swim leg, while for many others it was the bike course. I am strong in cycling, so I didn't have too much problem, but for each of the competitors there will be a different part of the triathlon which is particularly challenging,” she said. “This is a great course – Lombok is very special and beautiful. I competed here last year and intend to be here next year too.”

“This triathlon is the smallest, but I think this is also the toughest, especially the running track, which is quite steep,” said Mark Clay, an expatriate, who works for a foreign company in Jakarta.

The enthusiasm of all competitors was probably summed up best by one of the male finalists who said, “I wanted a tough, challenging triathlon in a great location, so that I could torture myself and then relax afterwards in a beautiful peaceful place!”

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CONDE NAST RANKS LOMBOK

Condé Nast Traveler magazine has recently released in New York the results of the 21st annual Readers' Choice Awards 2008, a listing of the best cities, islands, hotels, transportation and resorts worldwide.

“These awards celebrate the destinations, lodgings, and modes of transportation that manage to exceed our expectations,” said Condé Nast Traveler Editor in Chief, Klara Glowczewska. “The Readers' Choice Awards, are a credit to the worldly expertise of our readers – passionate travelers for whom no island is too remote, no city too challenging, and no hotel too untested,” she said.

Cebu, in the Phillipines, has retained its seventh ranking in this year's list of best island destinations in the world, while a Cebu resort, the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, has also made the grade. Cebu has occupied the seventh spot three times: this year at 70.9, two points short of last year's 72.3 points and 2004's 72.8 points. Twice, it has been ranked 8th best island destination.

Rounding up this year's top ten island destinations in the Asia/Indian Ocean group are: Maldives (86.1), Bali (84.2), Phuket (80.6), Mauritius (76.3), Seychelles (75.8), Koh Samui (74.5), Langkawi (70.0), Borneo (64.0) and Lombok (61.6).

Maldives edged out Bali, which was on the top spot last year. Zanzibar, tenth place in 2007, was dropped from this year's list. Borneo gained a foot in the door at 9th place and Lombok was ranked 10th.

The annual Readers' Choice Awards is derived from the Readers' Choice Survey, the largest independent poll of consumers' preferences in the US. This year, 32 633 readers participated in the survey. The full list appears on the magazine's November 2008 issue.

Each candidate was rated, criterion by criterion, on a five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair and poor. Criterion scores, which represent the percentage of respondents rating a candidate excellent or very good, were averaged to determine the final scores.

In the islands category, candidates were rated in the following: activities, atmosphere/ambiance, beaches, friendliness, lodging, restaurants and scenery. Resorts were rated on activities/facilities, food/dining, location, overall design, rooms and service.

Condé Nast Traveler is an American magazine published by Condé Nast Publications which specializes in luxury travel and reviews of high-priced hotels, products, and services. In 2008, it was named one of the top 10 magazines in the US by both Adweek and Advertising Age.

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ALCOHOL AND FOOD IMPORTS DRY UP

Recent changes in custom duties charged on imported food and beverage, together with burdensome certification requirements for foreign food stuffs, threaten to soon find the shelves of many specialty food stores in Bali and elsewhere in Indonesia largely bare.

Increases of as much as 300% in the import duties charged for wine and liquor, plus a firm crackdown on importation procedures, have left wine and bottle shops with greatly diminished inventories and substantially higher prices for those alcoholic beverages still on offer.

While virtually impossible to get local wine and spirit suppliers to speak “on the record” regarding the current shortage, the problem is being blamed on the sudden closure of murky “back doors” that are traditionally used to supply local demand for alcoholic beverages, while managing to somehow side-step duty charges.

With that informal route now firmly closed, many postulate that no one is prepared to commit to the expense of a large order of wine and liquor at the official high custom rates for fear that the “back doors” might suddenly open again, leaving the “legal” importer with a stock of alcoholic beverages that have cost more than three times the commercial rates.

When this impasse will end is anybody's guess, with the current stand-off with custom officials making it increasingly difficult to secure supplies of wine and liquor for local hotels and restaurants.

In a similar move – motivated by a desire to protect local manufacturers, increase tax revenues, and protect the health and welfare of Indonesian consumers – the National Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) introduced complicated, and some claim draconian, requirements for the certification and registration of imported products.
According to the Jakarta Post, recent raids on imported food stores in Jakarta saw “more than half” of existing inventories seized and destroyed for failing to be certified as safe by the BPOM.

Refusing to accept testing and certification certificates from the original country of origin, the BPOM are requiring that all imported products undergo a detailed Indonesian-based evaluation. That evaluation requires details of the manufacturing process and all ingredients used in their manufacture; information many foreign food producers are reluctant to share with Indonesian food importers who must initiate the certification process. The BPOM rules also stipulate that food labels and ingredients be printed in the Indonesian language.

While Indonesian authorities are still trying to determine which local testing agencies will be acceptable, the final testing requirements may prove too burdensome and expensive for all but imported products distributed on a large scale in Indonesia, effectively closing Indonesia's doors for the importation of specialty items consumed on a limited scale.

While discussions are underway with the relevant Indonesian government agencies to resolve the problem, food importers in Bali and Jakarta are reporting that their warehouses are becoming increasingly bare.

The strict application of food certification rules, in combination with sharp increases in customs duties, are combining to what is tantamount to an almost impenetrable trade barrier that may soon see local tables bare of imported food and beverages.

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CONTROVERSY OVER ANTI-PORN BILL

The adoption of the unpopular anti-pornography law by the national House of Representatives in Jakarta on Thursday, 31 October 2008, prompted a walk-out by the representatives of two political parties and the threat of civil disobedience from the people of Bali.

Bali's governor, Made Mangku Pastika, quoted in Radar Bali, responded to the passing of the bill by saying: “We in Bali continue to refuse (the new law). Until the end of time we will resist the ratification of the anti-pornography law.” Pastika told the press that the new law cannot be equally applied in all parts of Indonesia and that any effort to do so will end in failure.

Similar reactions were heard elsewhere in Indonesia, including a statement from the popular Governor of Yogyakarta, Sri Sultan Hamangku Buwono, who said he joined Governor Pastika in refusing the new law, promising to coordinate with other national leaders on how best to proceed with a program of civil resistance. North Sulawesi also joined the early ranks of Indonesian provinces saying “no” to the divisive new rules.

The new law contains a number of highly controversial clauses, inexpertly drafted by religious leaders with little or no legislative experience. Many modes of traditional dress and cultural expression have been left in limbo by the new law, which leaves the definition of pornography to every individual who is also empowered under the new law to mount vigilante acts to capture and punish those he or she deems “obscene”.

Tempo Interactive reports that various groups in Bali are preparing a legal challenge to the new law on the grounds that it is in conflict with the National Constitution.

According to one local community leader, I Gusti Neural Hart, “We think the law is in opposition with the 1945 Law (Constitution), as it discriminates against some citizens.”

Harta also takes specific issue with special clauses in the revised law that exempts traditional art, customs, and culture. Adding, “(It is) as if we have (a) porn culture, but we are getting special treatment.”

Opposition in Bali takes issue with the new law's vagueness, allowing multiple interpretations of what constitutes pornography, depending on local cultures to differentiate what is and is not obscene. “This law could legitimise anarchy in the name of eradicating porn.”

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NEW TSUNAMI SYSTEM IN INDONESIA

Indonesia has launched a new tsunami early warning system, designed to give people in coastal areas enough time to escape tsunamis before they reach land. But experts involved in setting up the system admit that some areas of the country, including the province of Aceh, are not fully protected by it.

The project is a direct result of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami which hit the country in 2004. A quarter of a million people died, more than half of them in Aceh.

The new early warning system was launched in Jakarta by Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. But Dr Lauterjung, a spokesman for the German government which is assisting in the programme, said that deep sea buoys responsible for detecting changes in sea levels had not yet been installed around the islands of Bali, Flores and the northern part of Sumatra, which includes Aceh, meaning there would be a "time delay" in predicting a tsunami.

Around a third of the seismographs stipulated in the government's plan are also not yet in place, and Dr Sri Woro, the head of Indonesia's meteorological agency, said there were still what she called “infrastructure problems” in making the network of sensors and stations work smoothly together.

An official ceremony on Tuesday, 11 November marked the formal launch of the system, which is expected to be fully completed by 2010, though much of it is already operational.

Since the Indian Ocean tsunami four years ago, Indonesia has experienced two other waves along its Java and Sumatra coastlines. The last of these, in September last year, was successfully predicted by the new system.

The new system relies on three main parts: first, seismographs warn of any earthquakes that are likely to trigger a tsunami, then satellites monitor changes in the earth's crust, while tide gauges and deep-sea buoys measure whether sea levels are actually changing as a result.

Indonesia sits at the meeting point of three of the earth's tectonic plates and almost 60% of its vast coastline is at risk of tsunamis. The new network has been built with the help of several foreign donors, including Germany, Japan and China.

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PREDICTED ECONOMIC DOWNTURN IN 2009

The Chairman of the East Java Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Jatim), Yulianto Soechebu, has predicted that sometime in the coming three months Indonesia will begin to feel the negative effects of the US financial crisis.

Speaking to bisnis.com, Yulianto said that Indonesia's main tourism destinations have yet to experience any significant fallout from the financial crisis, due to the growing dependence on business from the Asia-Pacific region, with particular emphasis on business from Australia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korean, ASEAN and the Middle East.

”If the financial crisis continues,” warned Yulianto, “even the domination of the Asia-Pacific tourists (in Indonesia) will be difficult to sustain.”

While the role played by Asia-Pacific markets is delaying the onset of any negative effects of the US financial crisis, Yulianto said that the eventual impact is unavoidable. Because of this, the Hotel and Restaurant Association Chairman said the economic growth in the hotel sector will remain stagnant in 2009.

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LOCAL SCENE

CELLAR PARTY @ SQUARE RESTAURANT

The monthly Cellar Party at Square Restaurant on Friday, 7 November was
a huge success, with lots of good food and wines and a great crowd
enjoying the night at one of Senggigi’s best restaurants

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FUN AND SUN AT SENGGIGI RUN

The Triathlon weekend in Lombok started off on Saturday, 8 November with the “6km Senggigi Run”. Around 300 contestants competed in the fun run which started at the Sheraton Senggigi Resort at 4.30 pm.

The Senggigi Run basically comprises one lap of the 12 km run course of the Lombok Triathlon. Competitors run up the hill near the Sheraton, then down into Kerandangan, through the coconut grove alongside the beach, before puffing up the hill again and down into Senggigi to the finish line at the Sheraton.

Tribob Race Director, Matthe Vijverberg, said, “The Senggigi Run is a way of involving local people in the Triathlon and encouraging sports locally. Perhaps those who take part in the Senggigi Run this year will be competing in the Triathlon next year.”

Race winner, with a time of 17 min 36 seconds, was local athlete Yan Bahtiar, who also came second in the local division of the Lombok Triathlon held the next day. In second place was Zulkfil and Hardani finished third. Female winner was Sumayani, while Surgianto came second and Sherlyn Ong won third place. The youngest runner this year was 9 year old Adi Krisdianto who, while not in the top ten, successfully made it to the finish line.

Senggigi expat resident, Sid Blade, was the first western man over the finish line and there were also many competitors from the local division of the Lombok Hash House Harriers, together with local hotels and businesses.

Trophies were awarded to the first 3 men and 3 women to complete the Run. In addition, the first 10 Indonesian runners to finish received prize money and the first four women runners received a special bonus.

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Max stops traffic at the Senggigi Run

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EXECUTION DELAYS STRENGTHENED JIHADISTS

Delays in executing three Indonesian Islamist militants behind the deadly 2002 Bali bombings helped build their image as “holy warriors” and strengthened the position of radicals, analysts say.

Bombers Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra were executed on Sunday, 9 November 2008 for the attack that killed 202 people, after a long string of legal challenges and bombastic media appearances from prison.

By appearing to drag out the timing to avoid a violent retribution by supporters, cautious authorities unwittingly handed a gift to extremists keen to turn the bombers into heroes, analysts have said.

“I think we've been held hostage by the decision of the government not to execute the bombers immediately,” said Bantarto Bandoro, a political scientist from the University of Indonesia. The bombers used media frenzy at home and abroad to taunt the government and victims and portray themselves as willing “martyrs” for Islam, Bandoro said.

White-clad extremists have protested at the home village of brothers Amrozi and Mukhlas in East Java and elsewhere, including Jakarta, shouting calls for jihad and threats against the Indonesian government.

The circus over the bombers' final days is emblematic of the government's fear of a backlash by Indonesia's small Islamist fringe. It also highlights weak and corrupt prison authorities who have allowed the bombers to gain celebrity status from behind bars, Bandoro said.

The delays had also given extremists time to plan retribution attacks and to build new networks in place of those shattered by a police crackdown on the militant Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) network blamed for the Bali attack, JI analyst Noor Huda Ismail said. “(The bombers) will be martyrs; it will give jihadists a day to remember,” he said.

But John Harrison, an analyst from the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies in Singapore, said the drawn-out execution process was merely a sign Indonesia was upholding the rule of law after decades of dictatorship.

The presence of police has been stepped up across Indonesia amid threats of attacks in Bali and Jakarta. Most terrorism analysts believe it's unlikely there will be a major attack but agree there is a risk of mob violence and clashes involving hard-line supporters of the trio.

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INDONESIA TO CUT FUEL PRICES

Indonesia will cut retail prices of premium gasoline by more than six percent from 1 December to ease inflation and spur economic growth, the finance minister said on Thursday, 6 November 2008.

The price cut only applies to premium fuel, not to the “standard” petrol widely used throughout Indonesia. The price will be cut by 500 rupiah (five US cents) a litre. Local petrol stations currently sell fuel for around 7,000 to 8,000 rupiah a litre.

“The government will evaluate premium prices monthly in relation to movements in world oil prices so that fuel prices are at a level to suit our budget.” Diesel and kerosene prices will not be altered, Mulyani said.

Indonesia raised fuel prices in March by an average of around 30 percent to contain the spiralling cost of its multibillion-dollar subsidy scheme in the face of high global oil prices. The decision prompted protests on the streets of Indonesia's cities and dented the popularity of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Oil prices have more than halved since reaching record highs above 147 dollars a barrel in July. As of Thursday, the price of light sweet crude for December delivery dropped to 63.98 dollars a barrel in New York.

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NEW SYSTEM NEEDED FOR SAIL INDONESIA

Balidiscovery.com recently published an editorial emphasising the need for the government of Indonesia to adopt a more serious-minded approach to developing cruise tourism by appointing a national cruise ombudsman to oversee much needed coordination to overcome the many bureaucratic barriers to inter-island cruising.

Echoing that report, bisnis.com carried comments from the Chairman of the Indonesian Sea Lovers Foundation (YCBI) calling for the establishment of a national committee to coordinate “Sail Indonesia 2009.”

”Sail Indonesia” is an international sailing regatta that travels through the archipelago on a route from Darwin, Australia to Belitung, Indonesia. The most recent “Sail Indonesia 2008” saw 105 of the 121 participating private yachts encounter much-publicised threats of temporary seizure by customs officials, who demanded duty bonds of between 5-10% of the ships' value be paid. Race participants questioned this new regulation from the Indonesian Department of Customs and Excise, citing that all the yachts would spend only three months in Indonesia.

Only the intervention of a senior government official, who provided a personal guarantee to customs officials, finally permitted the seized vessels to be released and continue their passage through Indonesia.

Organisers of Sail Indonesia point to the substantial foreign exchange spent by visiting yachtsmen in remote areas of Indonesia as warranting government support for the event. The 2008 regatta held from July to October 2008 saw 121 boats visit 17 provinces, 25 regions and 4 municipalities.

The organisers of Sail Indonesia offer two route alternatives to visiting yachts. One route travels from Darwin-Kupang-Alor-Lembata-Maumere-Ende-Riung, Labuan Bajo-Mataram. Makasar-Lovina Bali-Karimun Jawa-Kumai and ends in Belitung. Another route sails from Darwin-Saumlaki-Tual-Banda-Ambon-Ternate-Manado-Donggala-Mamuju-Pare Pare-Makassar-Kumai before ending in Belitung.

The YCBI Chairman, Raymond T. Lesmana, told Bisnis.com that the creation of a national committee is important to the smooth operation of the international sailing event. Lesmana explained, “the relevant Indonesian government agencies and the YCBI can create a solid team to ensure that this event (Sail Indonesia 2009) can be carried out in a coordinated manner.”

Lesmana warned: "”f the government fails to create a national committee (for Sail Indonesia) next year's regatta will be threatened by the arrogance of certain parties working to destroy this event. This is happening at the same time when Malaysia, inspired by the example of the Indonesia event, has created its own 'Sail Malaysia'.”

With 230 yachts registered to join “Sail Indonesia 2009” Lesmana posed that if all the interested parties placed national interests before all else, the yearly regatta presents almost limitless potential as a contributor to Indonesian tourism.

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VILA OMBAK CELEBRATES WITH THE ENVIRONMENT

Hotel Vila Ombak celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a party and a special environmental programme on Friday, 31 November 2008. The popular Gili Trawangan resort decided to combine its birthday celebrations with a campaign to support World Tourism Day 2008, celebrated on 27 September 2008.

World Tourism Day, headed by the UNWTO, aims to combine tourism with environmentally aware practices and recently launched a campaign called “Tourism Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change”, with a call from the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism on 23 September to support the campaign amongst tourism industry here.

Hotel Vila Ombak initially planned to have staff donate and plant two plants each on the island, to commemorate their anniversary and to show their commitment to making Gili Trawangan greener. However, after hearing about the programme, the Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism decided to support the Hotel's initiative with donations of suitable trees by the local Forestry Department.

The tree planting ceremony took place on Friday, 31 November 2008 at 10.00 am with Mr. Lalu Gita Aryadi Msi, Head Of Culture & Tourism Department Province office; Mrs. Ir. Hartinah MM, Head of the Forestry Department; Imam Wahyudi SE, Hotel Vila Ombak General Manager; Mr. M. Taufik, Gili Indah Village Chief Mr. IPTU Komang Heri Agus Mardika, Tanjung Chief of Police; together with radio, newspaper and TV journalists, Vila Ombak guests, expatriates, hotel staff and members of the Trawangan community.

An initial 100 trees were planted at the ceremony, from the 1000 plants donated by the Forestry Department; the remainder will be planted when the rains start on the island. All trees will be taken care of by hotel staff, with each staff member responsible for the care and watering of at least 2 plants each. The hotel will also create a special dripping system to water some plants. The hotel has also initiated a “Jumpa Berlian – Jumat Pagi Bersih Lingkungan” every Friday morning, when hotel staff will clean up the hillside and check on the trees' maintenance.

Later in the evening, the hotel celebrated the HVO 10th Anniversary with a party and many prizes for the 156 employees, donated by sponsors (hotel, agent and suppliers) and dedication gifts from the hotel. Staff members who had worked at the hotel for 10 years were presented dedication awards by Pak Imam, HVO General Manager.
Congratulations for 10 successful years as a leading Gili Trawangan resort, Hotel Vila Ombak, and our best wishes for the future!

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BEACH HOUSE PARTIES TOGETHER

On Sunday 2 November The Beach House Resort took to the high seas to celebrate a day of fun and thanks with their staff members.

Over 150 Beach House staff and their children boarded the majestic Bulan Purnama for a day of fun and competitions in the beautiful waters off Gili Meno. Children and adults alike enjoyed snorkelling lessons, donut and speedboat rides, and games where everyone was a winner. There were even gifts for those that couldn't be there on the day.

Prizes were awarded to staff from all departments for their contributions, both professional and peculiar, by Beach House Resort Management, who were on board all day.

“It was truly a memorable day, and quite emotional,” said Mama Norma, acknowledging that some of the staff have been with The Beach House Resort since the beginning and have grown up as family together.

Around 6.30 pm, under the glow of a magnificent sunset, Bulan Purnama brought her colourful charge back to Gili Trawangan to the Karaoke sounds of a very happy Beach House Resort.
See fabulous photos of the big day out in our Gilis Scene pictorial.

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GILIS SCENE

STAFF PARTY @ THE BEACH HOUSE

Around 150 staff and family were treated to a day of fun and games, prizes and celebrations,
on board Bulan Purnama

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