Bali seeks to give tourists holiday feel during quarantine

Boats sailing along the Lovina beach in Bali on July 3, 2020. - Courtesy of Kemenparekraf

DENPASAR (The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network): The lacklustre response to Bali’s reopening, with few tourists keen to be locked up in a hotel room for five days, is forcing the government to think outside the box.

It now wants to allow foreigners to spend the five days of mandatory quarantine aboard boats off the coast of Bali. Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said the island-province had received requests from tourists and industry players that were interested in a five-day quarantine at sea, where visitors would be able to enjoy outdoor activities, such as diving and swimming.

“[This is especially important] as the winter holiday period from December to March is approaching,” he said during an online press conference on Monday (Oct 18).

Meanwhile, the Ministry's undersecretary for tourism products, Rizki Handayani, said her team was coordinating with the Health Ministry to evaluate and certify ships that had been booked by tourists.

“The ships’ operators say they are ready and have no problem with not docking for five days,” she said during the same conference. Ngadiman Sudiaman, CEO at online water transportation marketplace cGO, said the liveaboard option would revive the marine tourism industry and put thousands of ships and pinisi (traditional Indonesian sailing boats) back to work.

“This is a great policy. It can help bring back revenue to ship owners,” he told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday, adding that it would also accelerate the tourism industry's recovery.

“Demand is still low, but I’m sure this [option] could be an attractive alternative for foreign tourists as they can feel the vacation ambiance during quarantine,” Ngadiman added.

Bali’s border was reopened on Oct 14 to welcome foreign travelers from select countries. However, the island has yet to see tourism return to its former glory.

Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati and the provincial tourism agency set a modest target of around 250 foreigners visiting Bali this month.

Despite the reopening, travellers entering Bali need to present a negative Covid-19 test result along with proof of vaccination and undergo a five-day quarantine in designated hotels at their own expense, among other requirements.

The Bali administration has prepared 35 quarantine hotels, located in Ubud in Gianyar regency, Nusa Dua in Badung regency and Sanur, Denpasar, all three of which are marked as “green zones”, or areas with low Covid-19 case numbers.

Thailand has announced it will admit tourists without the need for quarantine, but Sandiaga said Indonesia would not be following suit anytime soon.

“We are not opposed to the idea of lifting the quarantine requirement, but for now, our focus is on reopening tourism with quarantine,” he said, adding that Indonesia would start considering opening the islands of Bali and Riau for vaccinated tourists with no quarantine once the ministry had “data to back it up”.

“We would like to remind everyone that we are in the middle of a pandemic, and we want to make sure that health and safety are our priority until the pandemic is over,” Sandiaga added.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Indonesia , Bali , reopen , tourism


Next In Aseanplus News

Only 743 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore but two seniors die o n Saturday (Dec 4); weekly infection rate now lower
Asean News Headlines at 10pm on Saturday (Dec 4)
Indonesia only reports 246 new Covid-19 cases and five more deaths
Thailand recorded 5,896 Covid-19 cases and 37 deaths on Saturday (Dec 4)
Philippines logs 517 new Covid-19 cases as death toll tops 49,000 on Saturday (Dec 4)
Cases continue to rise as Vietnam records nearly 14,000 Covid-19 infections on Saturday
WHO chief scientist urges people not to panic over Omicron
World no. 1 Axelsen and India's P.V. Sindhu power their way into the finals of World Tour Finals in Indonesia
Vietnamese man to be extradited to Belgium after 39 people found dead in lorry in infamous tragedy
Myanmar's foreign trade deficit reaches nearly US$57 million by mid-November as Covid-19 cases continue to drop

Others Also Read