Could Bali Open To Foreign Tourists In October

There is increasing confidence that the Indonesian island of Bali will be able to reopen to foreign visitors soon, possibly as early as next month.

Main picture Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia credit Herry Sutanto on Unsplash

The plans may follow a phased approach where initially only certain areas of the island reopen and to select foreign markets.

Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy and Head of Tourism and Creative Economy Agency has recently held meetings with stakeholders in the Bali tourism industry to discuss the reopening plans with a view to agree a final plan in the coming weeks.

Although the ideal scenario would be to reopen the whole of Bali at the same time however there is the recognition that three pilot areas, Nusa Dua, Sanur and Ubud, will reopen first.

“From the inputs submitted by the deputy governor and tourism stakeholders, the conditions for reopening and the preparation steps have entered the final stage.

We will prepare everything during October 2021.”

Luhut Binsar, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment

Plans will now be made to create tour packages and suitable hotels in the pilot areas.

When Thailand started its reopening earlier in the year they were keen to attract higher value tourists who contributed more income to the economy either through longer stays, higher value stays or, ideally, a combination of the two.

Indonesia are keen to follow a similar path by attracting a more sustainable tourism model that will provide greater benefit to the local and national economies.

Reports that backpackers will be banned from Bali are wide of the mark but there will be much less focus, if any, on budget travellers and those looking to purely sample the famed party atmosphere previously seen in a number of resorts on the island.

Part of the ongoing discussions will also focus on the countries who will be allowed to visit the island on reopening.

“We continue to monitor, and there are several countries that are potential targets, and this will also be discussed on 30 September 2021.

We want nature and culture-based tourism, sustainable tourism will become the latest trend of post-pandemic Indonesian tourism, the industry must prepare special interest tourism packages, cultural tourism, tourist villages, and this is what we are aiming for in the future to achieve sustainable tourism.”

Luhut Binsar, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment

Thailand had announced prior to the launch of the Phuket Sandbox that they would only allow countries with low numbers of Covid cases and high vaccination rates. When the initial list was announced it did appear that some countries were included where there were still high cases but were economically important, the UK was a case in point.

The initial indications are that Bali will be focussing on countries and territories that have successfully managed the spread of the pandemic, particularly the Delta variant.

Source: TTR Weekly

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