March 28, 2021 19:37:36
March 29, 2021 09:07:24
Indonesia has announced a plan to reopen Bali province to foreign tourists in July this year.
The country will also prepare a travel corridor, or travel bubble, with other countries to boost tourism arrivals, reports Ankara-based Anadolu Agency citing an Indonesian minister.
“We have to set up the same parameters to establish reciprocal travel bubbles with other countries,” Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said at a virtual news conference for the 2021 Bali Investment Forum.
Indonesia closed its borders last year to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Exceptions were given to those who had special permission from Indonesian ministries or institutions.
The country saw a 75 per cent decline in foreign tourists in 2020.
While Bali is at the forefront of a bid to revive travel and restore the economy, authorities last week brought up potential plans for COVID-19 “green zones” in Bali — areas where travelers can visit and stay.
A deputy minister of the country said there would be requirements for countries that wanted to establish a travel corridor with Indonesia.
The countries must be able to keep infection rates under control and maintain significant vaccination progress.
Indonesia will also consider the availability of direct flights that connect Bali to those countries to reduce the risk of transmission.
“We will prioritise the quality of tourists in terms of longer duration of stay and higher expenditure,” she said.
Bali’s regional government asked the Indonesia’s central government to accelerate its vaccination programme to support the reopening of Bali tourism in July.
There are about 3 million of 4.3 million people that need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
However, so far, only around 300,000 people in Bali have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Bali, where 54 per cent of the population is from tourism, has seen significant job and income losses since it closed its borders last April.
In the last quarter of 2020, its economy shrank 12.21 per cent year-on-year.
The province reported more than 38,000 coronavirus infections, including 1,000 fatalities.