Local tourism chief has slated Bali reopening to international tourists on 11 September, but this is still subjected to the approval of the government in Jakarta.
Currently, “the Minister of Law and Human Rights still has not allowed foreign tourists to enter Indonesia,” said the head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office, Putu Astawa. “As long as this regulation has not been revoked, the plan to open Bali on September 11 cannot go ahead.”
Therefore, it is still not definite that Bali will reopen on the said date. Other countries also have their respective travel restrictions, which will affect the number of foreign tourists Bali can receive.
Erick Thohir, chairman of the national economic and COVID-19 recovery committee, said “reopening to foreign tourists would be positive, but we must decide the right timing. We really need foreign tourists, but we don’t want to risk having new clusters.”
“Reopening to foreign tourists is under evaluation. The (possible) vaccines may only be available next year,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bali has reopened to local tourists on 31 July and the country is strengthening its domestic tourism by developing other tourist spots.
Wishnutama Kusubandio, minister of tourism and creative economy, is encouraging Indonesians to explore their “backyard”. The country is shifting its full focus in tapping on Indonesia’s vast domestic market. Wishnutama aims to develop more tourism villages in order to spread out the tourists for the intended physical distancing.
An increase in purchasing power of citizens, coupled with the country’s huge population, means that the potential of the domestic tourism market should not be underestimated.