Destinations

Bali to reopen to international tourists in September

Indonesia’s famous holiday island is on track to reopen to international tourists next month, according to one of the nation’s federal ministers.

The news comes as Bali officially reopened to domestic tourists – who represent around 60 per cent of the island’s total visitor numbers – on 31 July, as part of its three-step plan to resuming activities.

As outlined by Bali governor Wayan Koster in July, the provincial government is expected to re-evaluate the plan on opening the border for international tourists “by the end of August” for an aimed opening date of 11 September.

These plans have been given a further shot-in-the-arm following comments by Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

During an address to the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club on Monday, Luhut was reportedly asked directly if the 11 September plan was on track.

“Well, yes. I think I heard Australia has a plan to do so [open travel bubbles]. They especially love Bali. We can consider that one. The rest so far, with China, yes we are discussing a travel bubble with China,” Luhut said, as reported by  The Sydney Morning Herald.

“We negotiate with Australia, we will see what happens. I think what they need from us and what we need from them, we have to negotiate on that. Their standards have to be to the standard of here, because no one can claim they are better than others.”

However, even if Indonesia were to change its regulations to allow Australians into the country – as part of an already flagged Indonesia–Australia travel ‘bubble’ – Australia would have to give permission for them to leave the country’s shores.

Australia’s federal Tourism Minister, Simon Birmingham, has on multiple occasions warned Australians the border is likely to remain shut into 2021.

“With our international borders expected to remain closed for the foreseeable future, our priority is getting Australians travelling to other parts of Australia, where it is safe to do so thanks to the successful suppression of COVID-19,” Birmingham said, as reported by the The Australian Financial Review.

“The best thing that can happen for our tourism industry right now, is for people to make bookings and undertake trips within Australia, where it is safe to do so, because this will help save a small business or the job of a fellow Australian.”

Likewise, Luhut said he did not expect Indonesia to open up to tourists en-masse.

“For international tourists, I have to be honest we are not going to open immediately. We have to carefully select the origin [of] tourists coming over to Bali,” he said, as reported by SMH.

“I think Australia, New Zealand maybe later on, China of course, maybe South Korea and Japan. We are thinking about that, we study this carefully day-to-day,”

According to SMH, Lahut predicted plans for travel bubbles with at least some of neighbouring countries would be announced “this month or at the latest next month”.

For those travellers with a case of Bali fatigue, Indonesia is seeking billions of dollars in investment to develop new tourism destinations, to draw tourists further afield.

Travel Weekly has contacted the Visit Indonesia Tourism Office for comment.


Featured image source: iStock/R.M. Nunes

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Travel Agents

Flight Centre showcases agents’ expertise (and unveils new captains) in first-ever global brand campaign

A new captain and co-captains, a fresh tagline, a new microsite and a TikTok account – Skroo and his team sure didn’t muck around with Flight Centre’s first global campaign.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Experience Co expands portfolio with two big acquisitions

After getting its house in order and navigating its way through COVID, the ASX-listed company has made a couple of very big plays.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean names new sales boss for Australia and NZ

After pulling a Michael Jordan and coming out of retirement, the much-loved and well-respected Peter McCormack is once again hanging up his boots at Royal Caribbean.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Air Canada introduces new refund policy for COVID-affected flights

And, in good news for agents, you can hold on to your loonies, with the Canadian carrier confirming it won’t recall any sales commissions on refunded tickets that it processes.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

AAT Kings to relaunch #EmptyEsky series with new trips

Travel Weekly’s esky is usually full of beers. However, we’d happily drink them all to be ready for these new trips.

Share

CommentComments

Events

“So disappointing”: Bali-themed festival forced to apologise, issue refunds and offer free entry

Organisers of a festival aiming to quench the thirst of Aussies who would rather be in Bali right now appear to have missed the mark by quite a bit.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

ScoMo “in no hurry” to reopen Australia’s international borders

It appears the likelihood of more travel bubbles being announced soon is about the same as ScoMo’s beloved Sharkies winning the NRL Premiership this year … not good.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

YIPPEE! Two-way trans-Tasman bubble finally kicks off

Today is the day, folks! As of midnight last night, the two-way trans-Tasman bubble is FINALLY open! Get the lowdown on NZ flights and tour discounts right here.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

“Do not trust the GPS”: Google Maps places rural town 85km north of its actual location

According to the mayors of a handful of rural Aussie towns, this isn’t the first time the popular travel app has caused problems for them.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“We call it the triple win”: Global Work & Travel launches new affiliate program

Have you been searching for ways to earn some much-needed moolah ever since JobKeeper ended? Here’s one that doesn’t involve busking on the street or spinning signs.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

CLIA to welcome 18 new ships with virtual showcase

The association is bringing you all the latest vessel news from the maritime world with this exclusive showcase.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

GM appointed to lead Best Western’s newest Aussie hotel

Australia’s newest luxe boutique hotel has named its GM who, according to the accompanying press photo, has a strong beard game.

Share

CommentComments