Image: Empty beaches remain. Photo taken last Sunday at Kuta Beach. Credit: Seminyak Times.
Bali opened to domestic tourists on July 31 and since then the movement of tourists per day has been around 2,000-2,500 people.
The Head of the Bali Tourism Office, I Putu Astawa said the data came from the airport and he also expressed Bali’s readiness to receive tourists as everything was prepared according to the health protocols set by the central government.
“I can say Bali is ready to receive tourists because Bali is safe. In the past 15 consecutive days the recovery rate from the virus in Bali continues high, reaching 87 percent. This figure is high compared to the national and world averages, and also the percentage of deaths is also small. The most important thing is we continue to disseminate information to the community to make peace with Corona. In the sense that if you have to wear masks, yes we wear masks, wash our hands frequently and we ensure that the implementation continues to be disciplined,” Astawa said.
“We have also carried out a certification process for all aspects of local tourism, such as hotels, restaurants, bars, transportation and tourist attractions so that they are very safe for tourists and staff. We will also implement health protocols and cooperate with the police and traditional villages. There are sanctions from the customary villages and the pecalang (or local village officers) who oversee the implementation of this protocol,” he added.
“We are controlling tourism activities during this period, deploying a task force in tourist spots. We are limiting crowds according to their capacity. For example, there are usually 1,000 people on the beach, now we keep it to only 500,” Astawa explained to detik.com.
It is not only the beaches that are being visited by tourists at this time as the mountain areas are also busy.
“Tourists are crowding the beaches, lakes and also botanical gardens. Bali is small, so people can go anywhere, including the mountains,” he added.
Regarding international tourists, it was said that Bali would open to international flights on September 11. However, Bali still has to follow the decisions from the central government. “September 11 is just about ready, but the decision depends on Jakarta. Before the international flights policy has been lifted, we will not open the door to international tourists. We support the central policy, but we are clearly preparing to welcome tourists,” he said.
Meanwhile in Ubud, Chairman of the Gianyar branch of the Indonesia Hotel Association, Pande Mahayana Adityawarman, alias Pande Adit, has said yesterday to Nusbali that Ubud has not seen any benefit from the reopened domestic tourism as most of those limited tourists stay in the southern Kuta areas. He said Ubud tourism needs foreign tourists and until they begin to arrive most hotels and restaurants in the area will remain closed.
He said the opening of VoA was very important for tourism growth, especially in Gianyar Regency. This is because, although the government has opened the tap for domestic tourists, this has had zero effect on the growth of tourism in Gianyar. “While the VoA remains blocked, flights and tourists will not be heading Bali’s way,” he said.