Bali prepares to re-open after coronavirus…

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In 2015, 9.73 million international visitors entered Indonesia, staying in hotels for an average of 7.5 nights and spending an average of US$1,142 per person during their visit, or US$152.22 per person per day.
Tourism in Indonesia – Wikipedia

Why is Bali famous for tourism?
Famous for its volcanic mountains, iconic beaches and coral reefs, Indonesia’s resort island of Bali has topped TripAdvisor’s best destination list for 2017. The crowd-sourced travel guide has named it the best tourist destination for the first time despite being a popular travel hotspot for many years.March 28, 2017
Bali named as world’s best tourist destination for 2017

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Bali, famous for its beaches, scenic terraced rice paddy fields and temples, saw foreign tourist arrivals slump 22% to 1.04 million in the first quarter from a year ago, according to official data. The island received a record 6.2 million foreign tourists last year.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-14/how-bali-escaped-being-a-virus-hot-spot-with-village-traditions

Excerpts:

Bali, the resort island popular with backpackers, was always seen as a fertile ground for the coronavirus as millions of foreign tourists flock to its beaches. But it is today being touted as a model by Indonesian authorities in tackling the pandemic.

The success in curbing the virus has come with the help of about 1,500 traditional village committees with considerable sway over the majority Hindu residents, according to Governor Wayan Koster. The island with a population of 4.2 million has reported just four virus-related deaths and 343 confirmed cases for a fatality rate of 1.2%, far below the national average of 6.5%.

Officials tapped the influential village committees and Hindu beliefs to ensure residents stayed at home and no outside visitors were permitted to avoid wider infections after a British tourist with Covid-19 was the first in Bali to succumb to the virus in early March. People were also asked to perform certain Hindu rituals for protection, which mandated them to obey local leaders, according to Governor Koster.

Few other places in Indonesia, an archipelago of of 18,000 islands, have a village structure similar to Bali where leaders hold as much sway over a population of its size. Then there’s also a lack of testing, with President Joko Widodo calling for scaling up the nation’s diagnostic capacity, saying the daily testing of 4,000-5,000 specimens was “far below our target.”

The province didn’t impose more punishing social distancing rules such as ban on mass gatherings and curbs on public transport unveiled by the central government and followed in places such as Jakarta and West Java. But it locked down three villages, following local community infections from returning migrant workers. Authorities are prepared to handle the return of thousands of migrant workers, including from cruise ships, in the coming weeks, Koster said.

“The villages have a very strong influence on the community. Whatever the elders in the villages said, people will abide,” said Ngurah Wijaya, adviser to the Bali Tourism Board. “This has enabled the government to impose its policies down to the community level effectively.”

Bali’s triumph on the virus front is not limited to suppressing new cases or limiting loss of lives. The recovery rate from Covid-19 in the island is more than 66%, compared with national average of 22%. Three labs in the island can now test almost 500 specimens a day, as opposed to sending samples to cities outside the province initially. That allows authorities to speed up contact tracing and isolation, Koster said.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-14/how-bali-escaped-being-a-virus-hot-spot-with-village-traditions

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Excerpts:

SCMP

Coronavirus: Bali tourism ‘almost paralysed’ as flow of Chinese tourists to Indonesia dries up

  • Number of travellers from China and Europe plummets as Indonesia imposes travel restrictions and airlines around the world pull flights
  • Hotels in Bali are laying off staff, while some regions have suffered a hit of up to 90 per cent of their revenue amid shrinking tourism
Randy Mulyanto

Randy Mulyanto

Published: 3:30pm, 21 Mar, 2020



Bali is almost the only island in Indonesia where 70 per cent of people’s lives depend on tourism, both directly and indirectly.
Association of the Indonesian Tours & Travel Agencies B

As the pandemic puts pressure on Indonesia’s economy, the tourism industry has also been hit due to plummeting number of inbound tourists.

The nation reported its first cases on March 2, and has 450 infections as of March 21. Twenty people have recovered from the illness, while 38 patients have died.CORONAVIRUS UPDATEGet updates direct to your inboxSUBSCRIBEBy registering, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy

According to the latest figures from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), 1,272,083 foreign tourists visited the country in January this year. The number went down from 1,377,067 in December 2019.

On the same day Indonesia’s first infections were confirmed, a BPS official said the country’s declining tourist arrivals was “closely related” to the coronavirus outbreak that originated in China, as reported by Indonesian online publication Katadata.co.id.

Last month, Indonesia imposed a temporary travel ban to and from mainland China, and halted 260 direct flights from Bali to a number of Chinese cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.

On March 20, the government also suspended visa-free and visa-on-arrival arrangements for 169 countries and territories for one month – documents which had been part of measures to increase the nation’s foreign exchange reserves through tourism.

Across Indonesia’s regions, “Bali is certainly the most affected” by plunging tourism numbers due to the coronavirus outbreak, said Bagus Sudibya, the chief adviser of the Association of the Indonesian Tours & Travel Agencies Bali.

The popular holiday island was the only province in Indonesia with a significant dependence on tourism, he said.

Last year, Australian and Chinese tourists formed the largest groups of foreign visitors to Bali, making up 27.7 per cent and 26.9 per cent of the total visitors, respectively, according to figures from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Travellers from China have been increasing over the years, with 1,196,497 Chinese visitors travelling to the island last year, spending an average of US$600 each for a four-night trip, Sudibya said.

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/health-environment/article/3076168/coronavirus-bali-tourism-almost-paralysed-flow-chinese

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