In COVID-19, News, Tourism
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Image: Steady as she goes. Navigating Bali tourism. Credit: taylorstracks.com

The central government through the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment (Marvest), Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, gave a signal that economic activity around the country would be opened in stages in September 2021.

Luhut, who is also the Coordinator of the Java-Bali PPKM, was quoted in NusaBali that President Jokowi had directed his staff to optimise the country’s vaccination program, thus controlling the number of Covid-19 cases and the re-opening of economic activities can be carried out gradually.

Tourism players in Bali welcomed the statement, but considered the gradual opening slated for September was too long for the island.

“Let alone September, even if it opened today, we in Bali, especially in Samigita (Seminyak, Legian, Kuta) are ready to open,” I Wayan Puspa Negara, observer and stakeholder in Bali tourism said to Radar Bali on Tuesday (3/8).

“We propose to President Jokowi that economic activities in Bali can be opened on August 17, as a gift for Independence Day,” he said.

The former member of the Badung DPRD emphasized that tourism areas in Bali are ready to open because they have carried out the CHSE verification and certification.

CHSE is a program of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy in the form of implementing health protocols based on Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environment Sustainability.

In fact, destinations in Nusa Dua, Ubud, and Sanur have also gone through the stages of preparation to create tourism green zones.

“Including destinations in Samigita, the government has verified it. We have also received the CHSE certificate. That means, we are ready to open,” he said.

Puspa also hopes that President Jokowi will open public facilities. In addition, we hope essential sectors such as the food and drink sector can be opened until 11pm. “So, the wheels of the economy can spin,” he said.

Puspa gave an example that Legian has 142 hotels, 132 restaurants, 350 tourism support services such as art shops, spas, karaoke places, and more. With the opening of places to eat and drink until 11pm, the food and drink needs of tourists at night will be fulfilled.

“It’s such a pity for the jinggo rice traders on the side of the road for example. At the least open until 11pm, and if possible 24 hours. The important thing is that the protocols remain tight,” said the man from Legian.

To be even more stable, Puspa proposes that small, medium and large business actors sign an integrity pact. According to Puspa, until now there has been no signing of an integrity pact. “When a protocol violation is found, it’s just a matter of sanctioning them because there is an integrity pact,” he said.

Confirmed separately, the Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office, I Putu Astawa, also stated that Bali is very ready to open in September.

“We are ready (to open). We already have CHSE and tourism green zones. There are also SOPs at the airport, and there have even been simulations,” said Astawa.

The former Head of Bappeda added that another factor that made Bali ready to open was the achievement of vaccinations. Currently, the achievement of the second dose of vaccine is 31 percent.

“If there are no obstacles, the second dose of vaccination for 3 million people or 70 percent of the proposed herd immunity, will be achieved in September. We are very supportive, if the central government allows Bali to open,” he said.

Meanwhile, a member of the DPR RI for Bali, I Ketut Kariyasa Adnyana said he also supports the opening of Bali tourism as soon as possible. However, Kariyasa reminded all that before tourism is opened, health procedures and facilities, especially hospitals, must be ready. “All this has to be ready in case something unexpected happens when tourism has been re-opened again,” he said.

The politician from Buleleng also asked for the opening of tourism to be carried out after vaccination in Bali at least 70 percent. Prior to the 70 percent vaccination, Kariyasa asked the government to be careful.

“Finally, security at the entrances, especially by land, must be tightened. No more holes,” he concluded.