Bali Plans to Reopen to Tourists in June-July 2021

When Bali reopens to tourist? With new information appearing every day, it is very easy for us to lose focus on important information. Especially those regarding our livelihoods in the world of hospitality and tourism.

To help all hotel and tourism workers as well as potential tourists in Bali, Kompas.com has provided a summary of what Bali and its government plans to reopen to tourists in June to July 2021:

The news about the plans of Bali reopens to tourists blew again after President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) hinted at this while reviewing the vaccination activities in Gianyar, Bali on Tuesday (16/3/2021). In a video release that Kompas.com received on Tuesday, Jokowi said that Bali plans to reopen to tourist around June-July 2021. If the conditions and handling of the Covid-19 pandemic improved. “So that all support. In order to be careful. July will be (opened), ”he said in the news on Kompas.com, Tuesday (16/3/2021). In line with Jokowi, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan also said the same thing in his written statement.

In this statement, he claimed the number of Covid-19 cases in Bali had decreased. He also opened the possibility that the Island of the Gods tourism sector would reopen. “The number of cases (Covid-19) in Bali in the last few weeks has shown a decline. The decline occurred due to the enactment of a measured approach policy taking into account two crucial factors, “said Luhut. This factor is to allow economic activity to continue and to enforce the implementation of health protocols. Luhut added before foreign tourists are allowed to have a vacation in Bali, socialization regarding the regulations on tourism procedures needs to be done. It is called the Penalty for Health Protocol.

“These regulations include the initial stages of socialization and publication, monitoring of health protocol practices, violations of health protocols, the first warning by imposing administrative penalties, and finally deportation,” he said.

Responses From Tourism Actors

Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants (PHRI) Gianyar Regency, Pande Mahayana Adityawarman, said that he was shocked when he heard the news about Jokowi’s statement. “If it was previously scheduled for September first, we hope it can be opened at the beginning of the year. But now in the next year, it will be quite tough for us,” he told Kompas.com, Tuesday (16/3/2021). According to him, the Covid-19 pandemic which lasted for one year was burdensome for Bali tourism due to a lack of income. Moreover, industry players still have to pay for site maintenance and worker wages.

 This is because the tourism sector is a source of income for the Balinese. However there are still some who do gardening and farming. They will also sell their crops to hotels and restaurants. “If 90% of Balinese people have been vaccinated, you can try to trial the opening of airports for international tourists while still enforcing the rules for handling Covid-19,” said Adit. For example, from visas and foreign tourists did quarantine first. This at least opens the faucet of the entrance to Bali tourism. Indonesia can also follow the example of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has welcomed foreign tourists since July 7, 2020. In opening international tourism, they have implemented quite strict policies. For instance the requirements for the PCR test before departure and also the PCR test on arrival.

Responses from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy and the Bali Tourism Office

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno gave his response to the opening of international flights at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport. Quoting Kompas.com, Tuesday (23/3/2021), he said that before foreign tourists were allowed to come here, the airport would go through several simulation stages first. “In essence, we will continue to practice because we cannot immediately open it in June-July. We must have simulations continuously and airport readiness must be continuously improved. There must be a trial, there must be a pilot project and there must be several stages, “he said. In the simulation, his party will prepare several program plans so that all related parties are more ready to welcome foreign tourists.

Then on Sunday (28/3/2021), the Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office, Putu Astawa, responded to the Bali’s plan to reopen to tourists. “I haven’t heard from the governor, but the president has indeed indicated that it will be opened in June-July 2021 when Covid-19 has sloped down,” he said. Currently, Putu is making various efforts so that Bali is very ready to reopen to tourists at the appointed time if this happens.

One that is being carried out is the provision of CHSE certification to 975 tourism actors ranging from hotels, restaurants, transportation to tourism objects by the Provincial Government and District Governments. “From the central government, there are 800. But among the 800s, some intersect with what has been given. More than a thousand given the CHSE certification is ready (health protocol), “said Putu. There is also a vaccination program for tourism actors in Bali which already has around 100,000 registrants, although only around 10,000 have been vaccinated. “Vaccines are hampered because the central government has not delivered smoothly to us, it is still a little bit. But for those in the Green Zone, it has been done, ”he said.

The Green Zone in question is Ubud, Nusa Dua, and Sanur. The three of them have received 170,487 doses of vaccine with 47,045 doses given to Ubud, 87,715 to Nusa Dua, and 35,727 to Sanur since Monday (22/3/2021). Regarding the concept of receiving foreign tourists, Putu revealed that this was a policy of the central government. However, he said that the requirements for foreign tourists to have a vacation to Bali would likely be the same as the conditions in the Bali-China travel bubble. “This is the central domain, Pak Sandiaga. (Adjustment depends on) the country being targeted, then how will it be treated after arriving at the airport, how to apply for a visa. More or less the same, but there will be adjustments, “he said.

According to Kompas.com news, Monday (1/3/2021), it was stated that the requirements for foreign tourists arriving through the Bali-China travel corridor must meet the requirements for vaccines, bring a negative Covid-19 certificate, and take the Covid-19 test again at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport. If the result is negative, foreign tourists can stay at hotels that are in the travel bubble program. If they want to take a walk, they are only allowed in the Bali Green Zone.

Finalize the Safe Travel Corridor Arrangement

When conducting a Weekly Press Briefing at the Sapta Pesona Building, Jakarta, on Monday (29/3/2021), Sandiaga revealed the latest news that his party continues to enter the finalization stage in terms of the preparation for the Safe Travel Corridor Arrangement. “We continue to enter the finalization stage in terms of preparation for the Safe Travel Corridor Arrangement in Bali, Batam, and Bintan. In Bali, there are three regions, namely Nusa Dua, Sanur, and Ubud, ”he said regarding the Bali’s plan to reopen to tourists. Meanwhile, areas that are included in the Safe Travel Corridor Arrangement are areas classified as Green Zones. In Kompas.com news on Thursday (18/3/2021), it was stated that Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy was working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in finalizing the travel corridor concept policy.

In addition, Sandiaga’s party has also held a virtual coordination meeting in early March 2021 with the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yohanes Kristiarto Soeryo Legowo. The meeting was also attended by several ambassadors from countries that are big markets for Indonesia, such as countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.

The Entry Route for Foreign Tourists to Indonesia

Travel corridor Sandiaga said, later foreign tourists could only enter Bali through the Safe Travel Corridor Arrangement, which is still being negotiated and entered the finalization stage. Even so, until now there has been no further information on which countries whose residents are allowed to vacation in Bali. However, in Kompas.com news on February 2021, to be precise on Thursday (25/2/2021), Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana revealed plans for the Bali-China travel corridor program.

Long Term Visa and Travel Corridor

In addition to initiating a travel corridor, Sandiaga said that currently, his party is also working on a long-term visa program or long-term visa. Launching Kompas.com, Tuesday (30/3/2021), the program was carried out by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy and several related parties including the Directorate General of Immigration. “Long term visas are expected not only to break the quality of tourists, during the visit but from the level of spending,” he said in a Weekly Press Briefing at Sapta Pesona Building, Jakarta, Monday (29/3/2021). The program is hoped to be able to encourage foreign tourists to invest in Indonesia because they have vacationed in the archipelago for a long time.

According to Sandiaga, the investment can be made to drive businesses or also create jobs for the Indonesian people. “Just a few days ago, there was a report on the results of the coordination meeting with Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Pak Luhut. The government supports the totality of the steps to provide long-term visas,” he explained. Through a long-term visa, foreign tourists are only allowed to enter through the existing travel corridors. The only tourist destinations that are allowed to be visited are in the Safe Travel Corridor Arrangement.

Meanwhile, the formulation of a long-term visa program was submitted by Sandiaga in February according to Kompas.com, Monday (8/2/2021). This program will target tourist business people who will enter Indonesia for 3-4 months per year. Precisely when it was winter in their country. “The concept is a long-term stay second home visa for a five-year visa. They deposit their money of Rp. 2 billion. If the family is Rp 2.5 billion, “said Sandiaga. Later, long-term visa holders can invest in Indonesia. The visa will be renewed every five years.

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Author: Sasja

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