Early 2021 Return of Intl Tourists to Bali?

Despite social media news to the contrary, Bali’s Deputy-Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace) emphasizes that Bali will remain closed to foreign tourists until at least the end of 2020. His assurances discount any suggestions that Bali will once again welcome foreigners on 01 December 2020.

Quoted by Beritabali.com and CNBC IndonesiaCok Ace said on Tuesday, 17 November 2020, “There is no plan to reopen for foreign tourists on 01 December.”

The Deputy-Governor said that it is impossible to confirm when Bali will reopen for foreign tourists, underlining it was unlikely Bali would reopen its international border any time in 2020. Adding, “It looks as though (opening of Bali’s borders to foreign tourists) will happen early next year (2021).”

The Deputy-Governor, who is also a leading tourism figure in Bali, explained many considerations are connected to Bali’s reopening to foreign tourists. Chief among these are developments in the continuing COVID-19 Pandemic and the Government’s success in controlling the disease.

“Besides our efforts in Bali (to control COVID-19), the Central Government must make a decision, and the prevailing condition in tourism source country markets also comes into play,” said Cok Ace. He assured the public that the Provincial Government of Bali continues to monitor the latest developments and is studying the total reopening of the Island’s tourism industry from several perspectives.

The Central Government in Jakarta declared Bali open only for domestic tourists at the end of July 2020. Initially, plans were for Bali to reopen to foreign tourists on 11 September 2020. However, the 11th September date was then postponed indefinitely by Jakarta, based on the developing outbreak of the Pandemic.

The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, said that Indonesia could not consider welcoming foreign tourists until sometime after 2020. “We are focusing on the domestic market for the recovery of the national tourism sector. We want domestic tourists to become 70% of the (overall) tourism market. The problem is that foreign tourists think that we can receive them at year’s end. But, first, let’s consult internally,” said Minister Panjaitan at a recent gathering of Indonesian entrepreneurs.

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