When WIll The Island Of The Gods Open For You?

Bali Property Report

When Will Bali Reopen?

Okay, December 1st has come and gone and Bali has not yet opened up its international terminal for foreign tourism. Adventurous souls can still come into Bali through Jakarta; visas can now be gotten online and there is no hard quarantine.

However, while the more vibrant communities of Canggu and the Uluwatu area remain quite active with the nomads, the once sedate communities of Legian and Seminyak have begun to show signs of reopening as they prepare for the Holiday travellers. Shops and restaurants are popping open like new lotus buds every day. Many will of course have not survived the shutdown so dozens of enterprises still remain vacant and/or boarded over. The big hotels down in Nusa are reporting high occupancy rates for the 2 or 3 weeks surrounding the end of the year and they are fully prepared to provide the safe and secure (and enjoyable!) holiday that so many are in need of.

Quickly after the now defunct plans to reopen made the rounds with global media, Bali’s Deputy Governor responded to the flood of misinformation, stating it’ll be early 2021 at best.

Dr. Ir. Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, M.Si. commonly called Cok Ace is the Vice Governor of Bali. He has served alongside incumbent Governor of Bali, I Wayan Koster, since 5 September 2018.  Cok Ace has served as Regency of Gianyar Regency (2008-2013) as well as in many tourism capacities , including the Hotel and Restaurant Association ( PHRI) and is now the Deputy Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board, and is therefore very well qualified to bring us up to date on the status of Bali tourism.

To predict the international tourists return to normal, Cok Ace said that Bali needs to focus on the global tourism recovery pattern. Some important things that will influence the tourism recovery are:

Vaccine supply
Level of confidence to travel
International border crossing and return to home policies
Global economic recovery.

He stated that recovery is predicted to be back to 50% in 2021 and fully recovered in 2022 and that Bali’s economic growth will hopefully be back to normal in 2022. And he thinks that Chinese tourists are the most likely market to be back quite soon, because China became the first major economy to recover from the economic shutdown. Moreover, the Chinese government travel restrictions have been loosened, allowing their people to travel abroad including to Bali once international borders for Bali and Indonesia are opened. Any country that is seeing spikes is going to be slower to expand their thinking to global travel.

The Bali Government at the provincial and regency/city level have been working  hand in hand with the tourism industry to verify the procedures for CHSE (Cleanliness, Health, Safety and Environment) creating a verifiable certification protocol implementation in tourism business activities. When a tourism business has been verified, they will get a certification of CHSE to prove they are ready to welcome and service their guests in “New Normal” condition, as tourists trends have shifted to focus more on health and hygiene. They are also now implementing the program of 3T (Tracing, Testing and Treatment) for human resources in the tourism industry. Starting last month the local teams have done 200 SWAB tests per day for the industry front liners, for free with a government budget allocation .
The assistance programs for the unemployed workers in tourism industry include a huge effort by the Ministry of Tourism and Economy Creative which has distributed food supplies since April for a total of 40,500 workers and banks have created some very ‘user-friendly’ loaning practices and credit extension programs to help both small businesses and families alike.

Most Important

Bali has to get the trust from tourists to feel confident to travel again to Bali. While every corner of the globe has had somewhat varying responses to the outbreak, the people of Bali by and large, have not had the intense emotional responses that some our friends from around the world have had. As such, Bali’s response has often been seen as too lax. The message going forward is this: creating and maintaining some sort of international standard for safe travel is the new normal. Bali is absolutely up to the task. The culture may be as laid back as they come, but in order to restore the economy, certain practices – regardless of our opinion of their efficacy – will be maintained to ensure a return the robust days of just 12 months ago.

As such, public sectors, such as public transportation, traditional markets, education sectors, including tourism facilities are ready and willing to comply all CHSE protocols (with verified certification as a proof for public/ tourists). Also, the 3T (Tracing, Testing and Treatment) programs are being implemented and health facilities (hospitals, PCR based test laboratories, hotel quarantine and other health facilities) are all ready for tourism sector to return.

Plan the work and work the plan. Bali, and hopefully your hometown too, are coming back, pelan pelan.