The recent announcement by Bali’s Governor Koster that he proposes establishing a cap on the number of travelers allowed to enter the island has rocked the travel world.
While these big statements may first appear to cause panic for island lovers, there is little cause for concern right now.
The proposed quotas, if enforced, would still allow millions of travelers to enter Bali every year. The idea behind the proposed travel quotas in Bali is to promote high-quality tourism, which officials say will have a more positive impact on tourists’ experience of the Indonesian province.
The Head of the Bali Tourism Board, Tjok Bagus Pemayun, has told the media that the proposed travel quotas are a good idea and that the island remains on course to hit tourism targets for 2023.
He also shared that the bounce back of Bali’s tourism industry is going from strength to strength, noting that this will be helped by World Health Organization has formal removal of the Public Health Emergency Of International Concern for Covid-19.
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Pemayun, like many tourism stakeholders in Bali, says that the formal downgrading of the international pandemic is a positive sign for global travelers.
However, he revealed that the central government had given no official plans to remove the final Covid-19 related travel restrictions, namely the requirement for international travelers over the age of eighteen to show proof of full Covid-19 vacation or medical exemption.
With all this in mind, the Bali Tourism Board is keen to ensure that holidaymakers continue to have a memorable stay on the island.
Speaking to the news about WHO removing the global pandemic status, Pemayun said, “in Indonesia [Covid-10] is still being managed by the task force…but from the one side, the tourism industry is very happy about this so that it will make it easier for tourists from all over the world to move to Bali.”
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Speaking on the topic of the proposed travel quotas for Bali, the Head of the Tourism Board urged that the plans are designed to help promote quality tourism, which will translate into even better travel experiences for tourists.
Pemayun said, “quota is not quantity; it means quality. So far, this quality is what is wanted because the Governor has prepared [new policies] concerning standards for implementing Balinese Cultural Tourism. Everything is standard, including [the policies]. How do we [promote] quality and dignified tourism.’
He also took the opportunity to highlight how the quotas will also serve as an opportunity to help travelers experience more local culture and traditions of Bali while also protecting the stunning natural landscapes that the island is so famous for.
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What is the drama around these proposed tourism quotas? On Friday, 5th May, Bali’s Governor Koster made a series of big announcements at the Future Of Bali Development, 100 Years of Bali in the New Year 2025-2125, conference; Governor Koster announced that he wants to put a cap on tourism arrivals in Bali.
This, he says, will help improve the public image of the island and ensure that quality tourism is prioritized for the benefit of both tourists and local communities. He said, “Tourism control [is needed] so that tourism is not cheap, mass tourism, as we have seen in recent cases.”
Governor Koster has suggested that the quota should be fixed around the number of international arrivals that visited Bali annually before the pandemic.
He also suggested that financial checks should be carried out on tourists to ensure that they have more than sufficient funds for their stay.
The Governor explained, “[the quota] is limited to seven million foreign tourists, for example, per year, with certain criteria, so it’s tightened. For example…a minimum [amount] of money to carry in savings. Don’t let [tourists] only bring IDR 10 million enough for a week and suddenly stay in Bali] for a month.”
As it stands, Bali is very much open and welcoming to international tourists. Travelers who are planning their trips to the Island of the Gods can continue to do so safely in the knowledge that these proposes are not yet enacted into policy.
Even if plans go ahead, millions of international travelers will be welcome to explore all that Bali has to offer every single year.
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