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Image: Fam trips coming soon. Credit: kemenparekraf.go.id

Even with the Bali governor stating just two days ago that he won’t be reopening any time soon, the Bali tourism association, ASITA says they are ready to re-open. Hundreds of tour operators and travel agents, all members of ASITA Bali, have expressed their readiness to welcome the new normal in tourism.

The new normal will prioritize hygiene, health and safety protocols for tourists in the future and ASEAN Market Chair for ASITA Bali, Febrina Budiman in a statement on Friday (5/6), quoted in NusaBali, said there are 400 tour operators and travel agents of the association who have expressed their readiness.

“We are very optimistic that we can ‘make friends’ with Covid-19 or in other words we should be friends, even though we cannot be friends forever,” said Febrina Budiman.

The optimism of tourism businesses and the creative economy in Bali is not without reason. The success of the local government together with the local community in controlling Covid-19 has made the industry optimistic in the face of this new phase of Bali tourism.

ASITA Bali itself has designed hygiene, health and safety protocols and ensures that these will be implemented together with all stakeholders in tourism and the creative economy in Bali. The new protocols will start from the pre-arrival of tourists, when arriving at the airport and to the hotel, while doing tour activities, and returning to the airport for flights for home. The industry is fully prepared to provide the sense of comfort and security, and new experiences for tourists in this new era of tourism.

“But for now the opening of destinations still depends on the government’s decision,” Febrina said.

Deputy of Marketing for the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy /Tourism and Creative Economy Agency, Nia Niscaya also said in a statement yesterday that from the beginning the government was committed and prepared to mitigate the impact of Covid-19, including the preparation of a new protocols for tourism and the creative economy with the program CHS – Cleanliness, Health, and Safety.

“Before opening a destination we need to build self-confidence in order to provide a sense of security and comfort for tourists. And here are the steps,” Nia Niscaya said. She then explained again the steps forward for the reopening of Bali and other tourist destinations in Indonesia.

The program is divided into two stages, namely Gaining Confidence and Appealing. Gaining Confidence starts from the preparation of the CHS protocols, which will later be socialised through interesting and engaging video tutorials and easy-to-use guidebooks for tourism stakeholders such as hotels, restaurants, shopping centers and other tourist destinations. Then proceed with the training, simulation, publication and campaign and promotion stages, as well as the implementation of the CHS application.

Within the Appealing stage the department will run a number of programs such as Mega Famtrip, which will involve orientation trips of key opinion leaders, the media, as well as travel agents and tour operators.

“We shall also make a joint promotions and tour packages with airlines and hotels. Then also prepare the implementation of MICE activities on a small scale.

“But we emphasize that opening any destination depends on a decision from the Covid-19 Task Force and the regional government. Because each destination has different situations and conditions,” Nia Niscaya said.

The Nusa Dua area of Bali is planned to be a pilot project for the CHS Program. The Nusa Dua area was chosen because of its strategic location and being an exclusive, gated area it can be easily monitored. The area is also complete with supporting facilities, not just a range of accommodations, but also amenities such as shopping and dining, and even an international standard hospital.

“Indonesia, like many countries, is currently focusing on preparing a new normal in preparation to welcome tourists back. CHS is what we are preparing and we are optimistic that we can welcome tourists back with new and interesting experiences,” said Nia Niscaya.