A once-bustling centre for Aussie tourists, Bali has suffered one of the biggest economic blows that any destination has faced due to its tourism reliant economy drying up during the pandemic.
To put the impact into perspective, Bali had 6.3 million tourists in 2019, but in the first 9 months of 2021, it had 43.
The pandemic saw 400,000 Balinese people lose their jobs due to a lack of international travellers.
In an interview with Nine, Indonesia’s tourism minister discussed his goal to entice travellers back to his country.
The tourism minister, Sandiago Uno, took his first international trip since the borders reopened to Australia to ask Aussies to return.
Uno said the nation “misses” Aussies.
“We want you guys to be back,” he said.
“We are seeing demand, very healthy demand from Australia in particular.
“Bali is now open.”
Bali is the world’s fourth most popular tourist destination, according to Expedia, with Los Angeles, Singapore and Fiji taking the top three spots.
Prior to the pandemic, Bali welcomed up to 15,000 visitors a day, but currently, it gets about 10 per cent of that.
Bali has been fully open to Aussie travellers since mid-March after two years of border restrictions.
Fully vaccinated arrivals only need to do a PCR test and once a negative result is produced, they can go out and explore Bali rather than stay isolated in a hotel room.
However, this quarantine-free travel comes with a catch.
Arrivals will need to provide proof that they have four nights in a hotel booked upon arrival.
After the PCR test, fully vaccinated travellers will have to wait in their hotel room until they have received their negative test, according to Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaita.
Unvaccinated arrivals will have to quarantine for at least 7 days and take a PCR test within 48 hours before departure, then one on arrival and one on day three of quarantine.
However, Uno said there is low risk of catching the virus in Bali.
“Only 0.4 per cent of tourist arrival actually get COVID in Bali, so an extremely low number and we want to keep it that way,” he said.