As reported by RadarBali, a virtual online discussion was recently held between the Deputy-Governor of Bali Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (Cok Ace) and the Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Bali, Zhu Xinglong. The online exchange was joined by the Bali Tourism Board chairman, Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana.
The meeting was intended to discuss steps and strategies to restart the Chinese market to Bali.
Baron Sai meets Balinese Barong
Cok Ace said that the PRC and Bali connections are both extensive and intensive during the virtual meeting – not limited to merely trade and tourism. The Island of Bali and China also share cultural links, said the Deputy-Governor.
Continuing, Cok Ace said: “Since the Covid-19 Pandemic hit China in early February 2020, Bali closed its International Airport to all international tourists. This step has had a profound impact on Bali’s economy, which depends on tourism.”
Looking back, Cok Ace said that after COVID-19 afflicted the Bali economy for nine months, the Island is now reliant on domestic tourism and is slowly rebuilding its economy. He added that since the onset of the Pandemic, Bali has done its utmost to prepare the Island’s health system and medical services, provide quarantine arrangements, and facilitate rapid testing and PCR testing for COVID-19.
“The condition in Bali continues to improve, and the Bali provincial government and tourism stakeholders have consistently and aggressively carried out international-standard health protocols in all aspects of tourism, including hotel accommodation, tourist areas, transportation, restaurants, and shopping. We hope that all the people in Bali can apply the health protocol. In this way, Bali will be ready to welcome international tourists back,” said the Deputy-Governor.
For these reasons, Cok Ace said he hopes that China will see how Bali has introduced health protocols to recommend the Island to related tourism networks in China and rebuild its confidence to revisit Bali.
In response, the Consul-General of Chines in Bali, Zhu Xinglong, expressed his appreciation to the Province of Bali for all it has done to handle the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Consul-General said China has managed to rebuild its domestic tourism industry at levels equal to those before the global Pandemic with no new cases linked to travel for tourism.
Bali’s senior Chinese diplomat said that the PRC was considering reopening its international tourism borders and allowing Chinese citizens to travel overseas once again. Any final decision to allow Chinese to travel will depend on the degree of readiness of health protocols and the control of COVID-19 at each travel destination.
Zhu told the Deputy Governor and the Bali Tourism Board that China’s people were very eager to travel again to Bali for tourism and wedding tourism. He said the Chinese Government desires that Chinese New Year’s celebrations in February 2021 will see tourism traffic once again flowing between Bali and Mainland China under the prevailing conditions at that point in time.
The Chinese diplomat said that the reopening of tourism would require a shared understanding between Indonesia and the PRC on accepting mutual PCR test results for embarking and returning passengers. In addition, both Indonesia and the PRC must put in place effective, strict health protocols that will provide travelers with peace of mind.