October 14, 2021
Sultan Anshori and Augustine Beo da Costa
Denpasar, Indonesia (Reuters) – Bali, Indonesia’s holiday island, was reopened by foreign tourists after an 18-month pandemic break on Thursday, but the island lacks one important element. It’s an international flight.
The government recently announced the resumption of Bali after a sharp drop in coronavirus cases since July, when Indonesia was the epicenter of COVID-19 in Asia.
But on Thursday, no new visitors from abroad were seen anywhere.
Ngurah Rai International Airport on the island has conducted exercises to prepare tourists for their return, but we do not expect much to happen soon.
“Regulations have just been issued. These will take time. These countries and visitors will need time,” Bali Governor I Wayan Koster told reporters.
“By the end of October at the latest, we hope that there will be arrival flights, whether charter or commercial, as a sign of the beginning of Bali’s tourism recovery.”
He added that he received reports that hotels in Bali began accepting reservations by foreign visitors, primarily from Europe, for their November visit.
Known for its surfing, temples, waterfalls and nightlife, Bali attracted 6.2 million foreign tourists in 2019, the year before the COVID-19 outbreak, due to strict pandemic border restrictions. The tourism industry, which accounts for 54% of the economy, has been devastated.
From January to June of this year, only 35 foreign tourists entered Bali from the airport.
Shops and bars were open on Thursdays in downtown Kuta, just off the famous beach, but with few customers while taxi drivers were waiting outside.
“We are really poor,” said driver Johannan, 52, who is waiting for the curb. “We want tourists to come here, but no one comes.”
It may be because of government preparation.
Details of the reopening were mottled, with Indonesia identifying only 19 eligible countries late Wednesday. They include China, India, Japan, South Korea, and some European and Gulf countries.
Thailand began reopening in July, with Koh Samui and Phuket welcoming vaccinated tourists from most countries, with hundreds arriving on the opening day. Vietnam will welcome visitors to Phu Quoc Island next month.
However, Bali’s reopening plan is not yet in line with demand.
The island’s tourism agency, Putu Astawa, said hotel reservations were low and the timing was “very sudden.”
“They need time to take care of their visas and flights,” he said.
Indonesia states that it is necessary not only to require Bali visitors to be vaccinated with COVID-19, but also to spend the first five days in quarantine. This is a requirement that rival destinations be phased out.
Indonesia also requires up to $ 70,000 in medical insurance for COVID-19 treatment.
Ida Bagus Purwa Sidemen of Bali’s Hotel and Restaurant Association said the island is ready for tourists, but “not all guests come suddenly.”
(Reports by Sultan Ansholi of Denpasar and Augustine Beo da Costa in Jakarta, additional reports by Bernadette Christina and Stanley Widianto, writings by Kate Lamb and Francisca Nangoy, Martin Petty, Robert Barcel , Edited by Mark Heinrich)
Bali, Indonesia will be reopened to foreign tourists, but no flights
Source link Bali, Indonesia will be reopened to foreign tourists, but no flights