Chairman of the Sanur Development Foundation, Ida Bagus Gede Sidartha Putra, was officially appointed as the Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic for the regions of Java, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and West Nusa Tenggara (NTB). This tourism practitioner, familiarly addressed as Gusde, replaced Hermawan Kertajaya who took office for the past year. “I have been active for more than a year since the Czech Consul resigned. Mr. Hermawan Kertajaya replaced for a few months and was then handed it over to me,” said Gusde after receiving the credential to become an honorary consul at Griya Santrian Beach Resort on Wednesday (Nov. 25).
Gusde who is also the Chairman of the Denpasar City Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD) admitted that in fact he had been in the process for more than a year. Moreover, he already passed an interview in Jakarta. The credential should have been issued in March, but because of Covid-19 pandemic, it was just submitted that day. As the new Czech honorary consul, he will carry out four important tasks, such as (1) maintaining relations between the two countries namely Czech and Indonesia; (2) providing assistance and helping Czech citizens who are experiencing problems. “Besides, we also take care of Indonesian citizens in Czech,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the third is to improve cultural relations between Indonesia, especially Bali and the Czech Republic. This is very appropriate because Balinese people who are based on Balinese Hinduism have the same thing to protect their culture. Czech also maintains its culture as well as architecture. On that account, there is similarity between Bali and the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, the fourth is to maintain economic relations, including tourism. “If the situation is normal, around 2,000 Czech people will go to Bali, not to mention the expatriates who live in Bali. So, the work of the honorary consul of the Czech Republic in Bali is quite a lot,” he said.
In the meantime, Hermawan Kertajaya stated that Gusde really understands Bali and its surroundings, so he has confidence that Gusde is able to carry out the tasks of protecting Czech citizens during their activities and holidays in three provinces, namely Bali, NTT and NTB if there is a problem to Czech citizens. Of the 10 million inhabitants, around 23,000 to 25,000 Czech tourists visit Bali and Indonesia in 2019. “Bali-Czech relations can be started by exchanging experiences in managing tourism. Even today, Indonesians like to visit Prague because of its exoticism. Population of the country has a sizable per capita income of more than USD 30,000. Prague is more famous than the Czechs like Bali is more famous than Indonesia,” he added.
Deputy Governor of Bali, Prof. Dr. Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, said that speaking about Czech and Indonesian, long before Indonesia’s independence there had been good relations between both countries. Aside from the field of trade, there had been relations in the field of energy and tourism.
“This is the potential for the market of Bali in the future. So, it is very appropriate to choose Gusde as the Czech honorary consul because he is not only a tourism figure, but also a community leader having good relations with the government. Hopefully, Gusde’s capabilities are able to attract more Czech tourists to Bali. Congratulations and hopefully he is given the strength and health as we both serve in the tourism sector,” he concluded. (BTN/015)