Destinations

Bali bubble pops: No international travellers allowed until end of 2020

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

Despite officials just weeks ago insisting Bali would reopen to international visitors in under a month, the tropical island’s governor has announced it will remain closed.

Bali’s provincial governor, Wayan Koster, said the decision had been made following news Indonesia will continue to ban its citizens from travelling overseas until at least the end of 2020.

“The government is still prohibiting its citizens from traveling abroad at least until the end of 2020,” Koster said in a statement, as reported by The Jakarta Post.

“In line with the policy, we also cannot open the gate to international travellers until the end of 2020 as the situation in Indonesia, including Bali, is not yet safe to welcome them.”

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), Indonesia in the last seven days to 24 August reported 14,030 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Indonesia’s Health Ministry reported 1,877 new cases for Monday, 63 of which were recorded in Bali.

Koster noted that “Australia, whose citizens travel the most to Bali, is only planning to allow its citizens to travel in 2021”.

“This is also the case for China, Korea, Japan and many European countries,” he said.

Around 80 per cent of Bali’s economy is reliant on tourism. Koster revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic had badly hit the province’s local economy, which contracted 10.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, according to The Jakarta Post.

At least 2,667 people who work in the tourism sector have also lost their job, according to The Jakarta Post, and 73,631 people have been forced to take unpaid leave.

However, since reopening its border to domestic travellers, Bali has reportedly seen an increase in tourist arrivals of more than 100 per cent.

Koster said the island’s reopening to domestic tourists had been successful so far with “no increase in new cases of COVID-19, no new clusters of COVID-19 cases”.

The news comes after Koster in July said the provincial government would re-evaluate its plan on opening the border for international tourists “by the end of August” for an aimed opening date of 11 September.

Those plans were given a further shot-in-the-arm by Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, who earlier this month said Bali was on track to reopen in September.

However, Koster has previously made it clear that he favours a hardline approach on keeping the island closed to international tourism, telling a meeting in June that his government would follow Singapore in its response to reopening.

“Singapore in December did not accept other citizens and its citizens were prohibited from leaving, so I think almost all countries should follow this protocol,” he said.

“We will not be provoked by pokes so we quickly open tourism. I am not in a position to follow the complaints from a number of tourism actors who want to open too quickly.”

“This must be done slowly.”

Speaking to Travel Weekly, the Visit Indonesia Tourism Office said the health and safety of travellers and the local community had guided the recent decision by Bali’s provincial government to keep its borders closed.

“Previous announcements about the opening for international tourists and a possible bubble reflect market demand to travel to Bali and a desire to manage the economic health of an island dependent on tourism,” Visit Indonesia Tourism Office, Australia, country manager Miriam Tulevski said.

“Destination border openings remain fluid and sensitive as we adapt to living with COVID-19.

At present, Bali provincial government and central government are implementing cleanliness, health and safety protocols and focusing on domestic tourism,” she said.


Featured image source: iStock/Oleh_Slobodeniuk

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Cruise

Viking ups its marketing tools for Aussie agents

Looking to impress your friends and colleagues with some very specific cruise ship fun facts? You’ve come to the right place.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Giant 2,000-year-old cat mural found in Peru

A huge drawing of a cat relaxing has been uncovered in Peru’s Nazca Desert, and now we know where we’re headed the second international borders open.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Queensland to reopen borders to NSW (except for Sydney)

Sydneysiders were seen kicking cans down the street this morning while shaking their fists in Queensland’s general direction following the announcement.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Helloworld’s retail network “largely intact”, as company lays out border and travel ‘bubble’ forecasts

by Huntley Mitchell

Travel Weekly has poured over Helloworld’s quarterly update to bring you this package of highlights.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Emirates unveils new NDC-powered gateway for travel agents

Have you always found Emirates’ online trade platform to be a little clunky and lacking in capabilities? Relieve your tech-induced pain here.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Velocity Frequent Flyer partners with Hertz-owned car share company

Are you seeking other ways to boost your Velocity points than by buying a case of Virgin Wines or signing up for another credit card? Look no further.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

NSW introduces strict new laws to regulate short-term rental market

The new laws include a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ approach for irresponsible hosts. However, that’s not to say they will be forced to wield baseball bats or chew tobacco.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean updates 2021/22 Aussie sailings

The cruise line has also launched a new agent-focused campaign to help you get clients booking early.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid slashes prices for NT trips

Show your clients that they don’t need to leave the country to experience epic scenery with this banger deal from Intrepid.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qatar Airways entangled in online recruitment scam

Adding to its already horrendous news week, the airline has become embroiled in an online recruitment scam.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

“It’s good business to have”: Contiki boss talks pivoting to domestic and why agents should target youth travellers

Adam Armstrong began his stint at Contiki at an interesting time, to say the least. Here’s his game plan for the brand and his advice for agents.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre boss demands proof of Queensland’s border closure advice

Skroo’s patience with the Queensland government is wearing thin, after making yet another request to see the medical advice that influenced the state’s border closure.

Share

CommentComments