Author: Anne Barker, Indonesia correspondent
Bali has recorded more than 34,000 COVID-19 infections. The island’s economy, which depends on tourism, has suffered due to the pandemic. In that case, local authorities want Bali to be prioritized in Indonesia’s vaccine rollout.
Indonesia is drawing up a plan that could allow foreign tourists to return to Bali within months if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and return a negative test on arrival.
The central government in Jakarta is debating how to establish a “COVID-free corridor” for tourists from key countries to visit select areas of Bali, including Nusa Dua on the southern tip of the island.
Here’s the plan to welcome vaccinated foreign visitors to Bali that inspires us at Bukit Vista:
Bali wants to invite several countries to open up tourism corridors for those who have received their COVID-19 vaccine.(Reuters: Johannes P. Christo)
The minister said he hoped to see foreign tourists returning to Bali within a couple of months. “I’ve had requests for opening up these corridors by the end of March, early April. Let’s see. I don’t want to give any false hope,” he said.
“I think with vaccinations, with more rigorous testing and tracing, and improved health protocols in every destination, I’m very hopeful that we’re seeing a much better second half of this year.”
Bali is dependent on tourism for its survival
The plan for a COVID-free corridor would see up to five areas of Bali developed as pilot programs for foreign tourism, beginning with Nusa Dua, but possibly including Kuta, Sanur, Ubud, and Nusa Penida.
Nusa Dua is the first area to be considered as a “green zone” because it can be gated off from the rest of the island, making it the perfect oasis for the vaccinated.
Bali could open up several locations to tourists including Nusa Dua, followed by Kuta, Sanur, Ubud and Nusa Penida.(Reuters: Nyimas Laula)
The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in many countries, including Indonesia, appears to have inspired Balinese authorities to give tourism another try.
Mr. Uno is now pushing to have Bali given higher priority as the national vaccination program rolls out across the country. Last week, he even designated Bali’s popular Waterbom water slide park as a location for vaccinations to be administered en masse.
The proposal to open Bali back up to foreign tourists coincides with worsening signs of the devastating impact the pandemic has had on Bali’s economy.
Bali’s provincial government has been in talks with the central government about a financial package to help tourism operators and employees survive the pandemic until foreign tourism can resume. Mr. Uno said more than 2 million Balinese had either lost their jobs or had their working hours reduced. Roughly two-thirds of Balinese rely on tourism either directly or indirectly for a living. There have been periods where 95 percent of hotel rooms and villas in Bali have sat empty.
Many Balinese are economically dependent on tourism, with more than 2 million people losing their jobs or having their hours cut due to the pandemic.(AP: Firdia Lisnawati)
Many hotels have had no visitors for months or have been forced to close altogether. Many that have stayed open have had to slash their rates.
At Bukit Vista, we make sure all of our guest get the best experience when staying in our properties. Also, assisting Bali property owners and together re-building the Island’s tourism sector.
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