Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster attended a limited closed-door meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the National Palace in Jakarta on Monday, 07 June 2021, to discuss strategies for the recovery of Bali’s tourism industry.
The limited roundtable meeting was also attended by the Minister of the State Secretariat, the Cabinet Secretary, the Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, the Minister of Finance, the Governor of Bank Indonesia, and the Chairman of the Financial Services Authority (OJK).
As reported by Balipost.com, many key topics were reviewed at the Monday meeting, including:
- Achieving desired levels of public vaccination in Bali. This also automatically includes widespread implementation of health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19; incentives to persuade domestic tourists to visit Bali; the preparation of special tourism corridors for foreign tourists; enlarging the role of the creative economy in Bali; enhancement of Bali’s digital economy; and enlarging exports to reduce Bali’s over-dependence on tourism. At the special cabinet meeting, Governor Koster confirmed that Bali has already received 3 million dosages of COVID-19 Vaccine – a total that is 50% of the calculated total amount required for the entire Island. As of 06 June 2021, the first injection of Vaccine has been given to 1.4 million people in Bali (47% of the targeted total), with the second injection already administered to 659.000 people (22% of the targeted total). Bali eventually needs 6 million injections to achieve a herd immunity level of 70% of the Island’s total population.
- The Governor told the meeting that Bali is experiencing a declining rate of new infections, with less than 50 new cases reported each day. Meanwhile, “cure rates” are also improving, with more than 95% recovering from the virus, a figure higher than the national average of 91%. Bali’s fatality rate of confirmed cases is 3.71% – a figure that is improving although somewhat higher than the national average of 2.78%. In Bali, that translates to less than five new deaths each day. Active cases handled by hospitals are also on the decline, with 473 patients currently under care, whether in hospitals or quarantine care.
- The Governor underlined that Bali still needs 3 million more dosages of COVID-19 Vaccine to achieve the target of 6 million vaccinations.
- Bali’s Governor underlined that Bali’s economy and its dominant tourism economy had suffered heavily due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bali’s economy contracted by 9.3% in 2020 and another 9.3% during Q1 or 2021. The Governor told the national leaders that the condition of Bali’s economy must be remedied quickly to prevent a further decline in public welfare.
- Bali’s Governor asked the Government’s support to increase the number of national and international meetings held on the Island while, at the same time, gradually reopening the Island’s borders to international tourists beginning in July 2021.
- The Governor requested that current grants to the tourism sector be continued to help provincial and regencies increase their dwindling tax revenues.
- Government support is also sought to extend the tenor of loans owed by tourism operators until corporate cash flows improve.
- The Governor called for soft loans to be made available to Bali’s tourism sector.
Governor Koster reports that his requests delivered to the Central Government were generally well-received by national leaders in Jakarta.
The President subsequently directed his cabinet to move ahead with implementing steps.