Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster, speaking from his office on Monday, 07 December 2020, participated in a limited online video conference with Indonesia’s Ambassador to Japan Heri Akhmadi, the CEO of Garuda Indonesia Irfan Setiaputra, related government agencies, and community leaders – discussing the restoration of tourism on the Island.
As reported by Beritabali.com, the virtual conference discussed the current conditions in Japan and Bali, exploring the possibility and a timetable for the reopening of Bali tourism to Japanese visitors in the near future.
Governor Koster told the meeting that Bali’s Provincial Government long commenced steps to prepare for the Island’s reopening to international tourism. These preparations encompass every element of a visitor’s stay, beginning from the airport and including hotels and tourist attractions. The Provincial Government has also implemented a certification program to verify that all anti-COVID-19 health protocols are being observed.
Offering further assurances, Governor Koster added, “If indeed we allowed to open again (for foreign visitors), we will manage the process well.”
Irfan Setiaputra, the CEO of Garuda Indonesia, also underlined the National Flag Carrier’s readiness to support Bali’s reopening to international travel. He mentioned that surveys show a strong desire to travel to Bali still exists. Because of this, Garuda Indonesia has stated its willingness to open direct flights between Bali and Japan.
Referring to the re-establishment of direct flights between Japan and Bali, Setiaputra commented, “There is no need to transit. In the current pandemic, many passengers hope to fly directly (to Bali).”
Garuda’s preparedness to recommence international operations is demonstrated by its recent inclusion on a list of 20 international airlines considered the safest for travel during the continuing pandemic period.
The Ambassador of Indonesia for Japan, Heri Akhmadi, said he hoped the online meeting would help clear the way to reopen tourism travel between Bali and Japan. He said that 80% of Japanese travelers had declared their interest in visiting Bali. For this reason, the Indonesian Embassy in Tokyo considers it important that the Bali-Jalan travel corridor reopen as soon as conditions permit.
Ida Bagus Made Bimantara, a Director from the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kemenlu), the Provincial Government of Bali, and the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy have all agreed to continue to expand the Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environment Sustainability (CHSE) certification program to all areas of Bali as one of many steps to prepare for the reopening of international tourism for the Island.
The online meeting was also joined by representatives from Immigration, Regional tourism officials, Bank Indonesia, and the Provincial Tourism Office in Bali.