Indonesia speeds up Bali reopening plans

BALI, 28 September 2021: Indonesia is increasing the pace towards reopening the island to international visitors, possibly as early as mid-October.

The Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy and Head of Tourism and Creative Economy Agency, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, held meetings with Bali’s tourism stakeholders to speed up reopening criteria and plans that will be submitted for a final round of discussion on 30 September.

The results and recommendations from the meetings at the weekend will be submitted to the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, during a Ministerial meeting at the end of the month.

“From the inputs submitted by the deputy governor and tourism stakeholders, the conditions for reopening and the preparation steps have entered the final stage,” Luhut explained. “We will prepare everything during October 2021.”

Preparations will include creating suitable tour packages, and hotel stays for destinations in the island’s green zone.

Ideally, all tourist destinations in Bali should be included in the green zone category, but during the reopening phase later in October, it is more likely the government will approve three pilot locations tagged SUN destinations (Sanur, Ubud, and Nusa Dua). They will be the first to welcome foreign tourists.

Details of the countries eligible to visit the three pilot destinations have yet to be finalised, but it is likely to be limited to territories that have successfully managed the spread of the pandemic, particularly the Delta variant.

“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, ” the minister stated.

Meanwhile, Bali Deputy Governor Cok Ace noted, the government continues to monitor the Covid-19 situation in an effort to welcome foreign tourists back to Bali.

“There are several plans (related to whether or not we can open Bali in the near future… We hope to have plans A, B and C. So it’s not a matter of opening or closing, but levels that we need related to quarantine places and accommodation,” he said.

In related news, Antara reported that the Indonesian government had selected the tourist area of Lagoi in Bintan district for the launch of the first travel corridor or “travel bubble” with Singapore.

But with a spike in Covid-19 cases and Singapore’s return to stricter control measures limiting social activities while closing schools, the travel bubble might be delayed yet again.

A limited border opening with Singapore was supposed to be implemented in September 2021, but due to the Covid-19 situation, it has since been postponed until October.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Having read the replies, I personally hope all traveling are vaccinated ( except those with medical reasons of course) . I have been in the tourist trade business for 46 years. and travel widely myself.
    This is the way to go, airlines, trains , hotels etc , should abide by the same rules, fully vaccinated.
    The pandemic must not be allowed to continue !

  2. So now Bali is openly segregating the tourists on the Vax status, that is pretty nice. I guess they will come to their senses when we the citizen of this world won’t take part in their medical apartheid. For now, Bali is scraped off my list, it’s a shame considering how much I like Bali and would have loved to stay their long term.

    • I am glad that a antivaxers like you are banned from travel for a while. I am happy to take you place and travel to Bali, enjoy travel, the island and support the local business on Bali. Al the country’s should only allow people, with commonsense, that have taken a vaccine. You say the citizen of this world wont take part? I know for sure, thank god, you and your ideas are a minority in the world.

      Take the jab, free and protect the world:)

  3. Bali will always offer low prices for tourists despite all this talk of quality tourism. Most of the arrivals come from Java demanding affordable holidays which the local residents can easily satisfy with homestays, warungs, scooter rental and massages, surf schools, tour guides etc. I don’t know any developing country with its own emerging middle class that does not offer cheap tourism.

  4. Bali needs to focus on Quality tourism versus Quantity going forward. Cheap travelers usually contribute minimally to sustainability.

    • Right.. so rich travellers looking for hotel deals that offer private plunge pools, eating large amounts of imported beef, oysters flown in from Alaska, and getting their towels and sheets washed daily do contribute to sustainability? Oh come on *rolls eyes*

      • Bali is a tourist destination like other places where tourist demand clean sheets each day. What do you expect the tourist to eat rice vegetables and chicken everyday? The Balinese want tourists..they don’t want to live in a subsistence economy eating rice and chicken each day.

    • How many rich people are going to stay in $30 and under hotels?
      What do you say to these budget hotel owners?
      A thousand budget tourists will create more sustainability (whatever your definition)
      than 10 rich tourists.

  5. Thailand and Indonesia , Bali, are rushing their opening to tourists, probably because Australia has announced an ease on travel before Christmas, and the Christmas holidays in the rest of the world.
    One can only hope they have vaccinated their populations before the swarms of tourists arrive !!!

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