Quarantine is suspected to be the main consideration for foreign tourists to be reluctant to go to Bali

After the opening of international flights to Bali on October 14 last, until now the response of airlines and foreign tourists is still minimal. The obligation to quarantine for five days is thought to be the determining factor.

In a weekly meeting with the media on Monday (25/10) afternoon, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, acknowledged the void of the international flight schedule.

Menparekraf Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno explained the evaluation of Bali's international flights during a working visit to Kaimana, West Papua, in a screenshot.

Menparekraf Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno explained the evaluation of Bali’s international flights during a working visit to Kaimana, West Papua, in a screenshot.

“Until now, there are no international flights to Bali. However, there have been several requests, which are being finalized. Because it is related to the conditions, both quarantine and insurance, and also regarding the reciprocal handling of the country,” said Sandi.

Even so, Sandi said he was still optimistic. He said the level of demand was increasing and questions as a result of socialization and promotion continued to come in. This means that there is a response to the government’s efforts to revive the tourism sector in Bali.

“There are also requests from several countries, such as Australia and Singapore, to open discussions. And of course we do the whole process across ministries and agencies, so that we do everything in coordination, and we can do the realization in stages, stages and sustainably,” he added.

Study a Number of Steps

Until more than ten days after the opening, Sandi said that the regulatory improvements related to entrances at the Bali airport continued to be improved. In addition, his party also continues to synchronize quarantine hotel data. This step involves all parties, such as the Bali Port Health Office, the Ministry of Health, and the Bali Tourism Board.

The flight information screen at Ngurah Rai International Airport looks blank before international flights reopen in Bali, Thursday 14 October 2021. (Photo: AP)

The flight information screen at Ngurah Rai International Airport looks blank before international flights reopen in Bali, Thursday 14 October 2021. (Photo: AP)

Kemenparekraf also re-discussed insurance issues with the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investments. The government has determined that foreign tourists who come to Indonesia must have insurance with an insurance value of $100 thousand. This high guarantee is considered important to anticipate if the tourist needs health care, if something happens.

Sandi also added that his party was synchronizing the decision of the COVID-19 Task Force Number 15 of 2021, regarding quarantine for tourists. There is a discussion whether during quarantine, tourists can carry out activities inside designated resorts or villas.

“We are also preparing too live onboard, namely the quarantine on board the Phinisi ship. In addition, the insurance payment scheme is still being refined,” explained Sandi who was in Kaimana, West Papua.

A woman waits for tourists at Puseh Temple, Batuan Village, Gianyar, Bali, February 5, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)

A woman waits for tourists at Puseh Temple, Batuan Village, Gianyar, Bali, February 5, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)

To maximize this effort, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has collaborated with travel agencies in 19 countries. In addition, promotions are also intensively carried out through ministry media and campaign raising through the hashtag #itstimeforbali.

Quarantine Duration Important Factor

The Deputy for Marketing at the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Nia Niscaya, also believes that interest in visiting Bali remains high. One measure, is the search data on internet search engines. In addition, Nia also mentioned that the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is actively communicating with travellers. This interest can be read from the results of the questionnaires they distributed. It’s just that the rules related to quarantine are still an obstacle

Deputy for Marketing Kemenparekraf, Nia Niscaya.  (Photo: Courtesy/Kemenparekraf)

Deputy for Marketing at the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Nia Niscaya. (Photo: Courtesy/Kemenparekraf)

“Indeed, the main obstacle is the necessity of a five-day quarantine. So there is one from Australia, for example, trying to ask if quarantine can be done.reduce be two days,” said Nia.

Of course, Kemenparekraf tries to convince all parties that the rules set are based on health reasons. Five days is counted as the incubation period of the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, checks must be carried out during this period.

For this reason, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy believes that the interest of foreign tourists to Bali is still very high. If there has been no arrival until now, it’s only because of the quarantine rules. Travelers may still be waiting, as there may be some flexibility.

“Because on the basis, they have been vaccinated, before leaving they were PCR, and when they arrived they were also tested.”swab PCR,” said Nia.

Even though it is difficult, Kemenparekraf believes that the experts who decide the quarantine rules have careful consideration.

“But this is indeed challenging, compared to our competitors who freed no quarantine,” he continued.

Bali Needs Time

Tourism observer from Warmadewa University, Bali, I Made Suniastha Amerta, admitted that the opening of international flights was a policy that the local community had been waiting for.

However, Suniastha reminded, this step forward will not necessarily be able to restore Bali’s tourism sector. On the other hand, opening the door to international flights also has risks, related to COVID-19 cases. Bali, which is now quite under control, must be able to be careful.

Tourists walk on the beach as the government extends PPKM to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Badung, Bali, September 9, 2021. (Photo: Antara/Nyoman Hendra Wibowo via REUTERS)

Tourists walk on the beach as the government extends PPKM to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Badung, Bali, September 9, 2021. (Photo: Antara/Nyoman Hendra Wibowo via REUTERS)

“People, in my opinion, there is no need to be too euphoric. This is sure take time. It will take time to restore Bali tourism as a whole. However, this is a positive step that the community has been waiting for,” he said FLY.

There are a number of reasons put forward by Suniastha why Bali needs time to recover the tourism sector. First, he said, is the general condition of the global economy, which is experiencing disturbances. This situation certainly has an impact on the ability of tourists to allocate vacation funds, especially outside their country. The second reason, is because every country also imposes rules for its citizens to go abroad.

“Say the one closest to us, Australia for example. I’m not sure if they just came right away, with all the terms and conditions of their country. It is impossible for them to ignore the strict conditions there, to come to Bali,” he said.

Moreover, the third reason is that COVID-19 itself is highly unpredictable. Conditions of an area may change from time to time. Of course it will be a consideration for tourists, how Bali is able to manage this pandemic well.

If all goes well, Suniastha calls the end of this year a golden opportunity for Bali to start recovering. It has become a tradition that the end of the year is the peak season for tourist arrivals. The remaining time can be maximized to make peak season later as a milestone in the revival.

“The Bali government has done its best. All health standards from WHO are used as a reference. We’ve done everything to the maximum. I hope they will visit again to enjoy Bali like their previous experience, “continued Suniastha. [ns/ab]

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