Bali Announces Plans to Reopen to Foreign Tourists by October

…We’re not quite sure how to feel about this.

The Bali Government has announced that it plans to reopen the province for tourism sometime between June and October. Officials came to this decision because they say Bali has been successful in controlling the outbreak. As of this writing, Bali has recorded 407 cases of COVID-19 with 4 deaths, which is significantly lower compared to the 23,165 cases and 1,418 deaths recorded in the country.

Bali’s economy is also dependent on tourism. In March, foreign tourist arrivals into Indonesia decreased by more than 60% compared to the previous year. “80% of people in Bali rely on tourism whether directly or indirectly,” I Ketut Ardana, head of Bali’s branch of the Indonesian National Organisation for Tours and Travel (ASITA), told ABC News last month. “All of us in the industry are really struggling right now, what we’re waiting for is for this pandemic to end.”

 

To ensure safety and restore tourists’ confidence in traveling to Bali, Indonesia’s Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry is rolling out a CHS (Cleanliness, Health, and Safety) program. Lonely Planet reports that Nusa Dua will likely be the first destinations to adapt the program. The government also plans on reopening Yogyakarta, which is famous for the Borobudur temple, and the Riau islands.

Ni Wayan Giri Adnyani,  Indonesia’s secretary of the ministry  said in a statement: “The tourism ministry is looking to revitalize destinations and do promotional work for some parts of the country, including Bali, between June and October”

According to Bali officials, their decision to reopen the island in July is based on the low number of COVID-19 cases in Bali. Since Bali was been able to control the spread of the virus and has successfully flattened the curve.  Officials also said that COVID-19 cases in Bali came from abroad which lessens the number of locally transmitted cases.

Indonesians React

This news comes as Indonesians express their dismay over the government’s lack of response to COVID-19. Many are now venting their frustrations and dismay against the government on social media. Citizens have trended the hashtag


 

What do you think of the decision to reopen Bali?

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