Bali has finally reopened its doors to foreign tourists but there are no flights
Authorities are also taking other measures to attract both travelers and airlines.
âWe will provide entertainment for those waiting for their PCR test at the airport, such as dancing,â said Herry AY Sikado, airport general manager.
âWe have specifically offered incentives to airlines by offering free landing fees to all airlines that will soon be operating in Bali. We will not charge a landing fee, which airlines have welcomed. “
The Indonesian government did not make Australian travelers part of the initial welcome due to strict border controls at Canberra and Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar have not announced that they are resuming flights to Bali from the end of March next year. But officials are eager to reunite with the Australians and NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet’s shock lifting of any quarantine for fully vaccinated arrivals in Sydney from November 1 may well hasten their return.
Meanwhile, the Bali provincial government predicts that China and India will be the main sources of foreign tourists and hopes that between 4,000 and 5,000 will arrive per week once flights resume.
The island’s rulers have been instructed by Jakarta to make a cautious transition, even with Bali’s full vaccination rate exceeding 70%. The world’s fourth largest country has just emerged from a wave of the virus in which cases have climbed to more than 56,000 a day and daily deaths have exceeded 1,000 for more than a month. There are also concerns about a third wave of COVID-19 at the end of the year in Indonesia, which remains vulnerable with less than a quarter of the population having received a double dose.
Business owners, however, are desperate for foreign tourists to return after the financial hardships caused by the pandemic.
Made Sudarmika, the general manager of famous restaurants and hangouts Made’s Warung, argues that even 40 five-day hotels are too much.
âEveryone is fighting,â he said. âDomestic tourists have helped us bounce back a bit, but we are still reducing our operations. No surviving business currently in Bali is operating at full capacity.
âNow we are finally reopening, but on such short notice. They should give people a few months to prepare [their holidays], do not announce it the day before and expect tourists to take the plane the next day.
“And what about the quarantine days, even reduced to five days that still affect people who have limited vacation periods.” All who come should be vaccinated and [most] The Balinese are also fully vaccinated. Shouldn’t quarantine days be removed? “
There are others who are more in favor of the cautious approach.
Made Merta, who runs the five-star Merusaka Nusa Dua, one of 35 hotels approved for quarantine, believes it is a necessary evil.
âWe have to see the big picture. We must also save our nation, our people, âhe said. âCompanies must benefit, but our employees must also be protected. We can’t just bring people in and ignore all health protocols.
âWe already have reservations for Christmas and New Year, around 25% already. We have Russians, Europeans, [tourists from] Uzbekistan. Russians in particular, their length of stay is usually around three weeks, so even with five days of quarantine, they still have plenty of vacation days afterwards. “
Luh Putu Wena Widiarty, general manager of the four-star Aveda hotel in North Kuta, said accommodation was offered at half of its pre-pandemic price, with operators aware of the possibility of being forced to close again if the cases increase sharply again.