Since the reopening of Indonesian borders for travelers in February 2022, numbers of visitors have risen consistently and show no sign of slowing down. This comes as welcome news for the travel and tourism sector of Bali whose businesses have been decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bali Governor, I Wayan Koster confirmed that Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport has recorded a 287% increase in its international arrivals in April compared to March 2022. This sharp increase in arrivals can be attributed to the ending of Indonesia’s strict quarantine policy and the reopening of the visa on arrival program. The visa on arrival program enables travelers from 60 countries to travel to Indonesia without filing for a tourist visa before their arrival. The visa on arrival enables visitors from the 60 listed countries to stay in Indonesia for up to 30-days.
Widespread uptake of the vaccine is also being hailed as a reason why travelers feel confident and safe to resume international travels. Governor Koster has stated that the distribution of the vaccine within Bali has enabled restrictions to be reduced. In a press statement, he said that he feels optimistic that tourism in Bali will make a speedy recovery and that the island is ready and excited to host the G20 Summit in November 2022.
During April Bali received an average of 2,222 arrivals per day, totaling 66,685 people across the month. Despite the increase in total visitor numbers, the number of domestic flights decreased in the month of March. This was due to lower demand for travel during the month of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. However, over the Eid Al-Fitr weekend, the number of domestic travelers on the move across Indonesia increased significantly with many people leaving Bali and crossing the strait to enjoy the beaches of Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan.
As Bali, and Indonesia more broadly, continue to emerge from Covid-19 travel restrictions both authorities and locals have their eyes set on the G20 Summit. The event is a hugely important opportunity for Indonesia to showcase its tourism sector to the world and to table itself as an essential economy on the world stage.
The Indonesian government and provincial ministries are taking the G20 Presidency seriously. There will be 39 heads of state in attendance with over 10,000 delegates, representatives, speakers, and other attendees during the two-day event. The G20 Summit will be held from the 15-16th November, with supporting events happening throughout the month.
With widespread vaccine rollout and both Australia and New Zealand opening their borders for travel, it is coming easier for travelers from Indonesia’s most depended upon nations to plan their travels. Despite borders opening and quarantine restrictions ending earlier in February and March, rules for Australians and New Zealanders returning home heavily influenced people’s decisions to travel. Although Indonesia was open, many countries were still imposing strict quarantine tules for their own citizens upon their return meaning many have held off booking their time abroad.
Bali is by far Indonesia’s most popular tourist destination, for both international and domestic travelers. A hub for digital nomads and ex-pats, the Island of the Gods was used to welcoming over 6.5 million direct foreign visitors a year in the decade leading up to the pandemic.
Comparatively, welcoming just over 66,000 people a month is nominal. Both the Balinese tourism authorities and the global travel sector are committed to ensuring that this recent rise in visitors continues safely and sustainably.
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