The Chinese Foreign Ministry has praised the Indonesian government for making leading tourist attractions accessible for Mandarin speakers. The compliments come as Bali prepares to welcome the first arrivals from mainland China since borders opened on the 8th of January. Though there are no direct flights from mainland China to Denpasar, Ministers are hopeful that many Chinese travelers will choose to celebrate the Luna New Year on the Island of the Gods.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang Wenbin, released a statement giving thanks to the tourism leaders across Indonesia who have learned Mandarin. Wenbin said, “Indonesia and several countries have prepared staff who can speak Mandarin to assist in several fields of work related to tourism. A number of Chinese restaurants in tourist spots such as Bali, which were closed temporarily due to Covid-19, will gradually reopen”.
He confirmed that plans are in progress for relaunching direct flights from mainland China to key tourism destinations in Indonesia. He said, “There will be various more efforts to make it easier for Chinese tourists to reach tourist attractions, including increasing direct flights. We also remind Chinese tourists to be careful and monitor their health condition so that travel abroad is smooth and enjoyable”.
This positive statement from officials in China will be well received by tourism authorities and businesses in Bali. Earlier this week, Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies Sandiaga Uno told reporters that he and his teams had set targets for the number of Chinese tourists they want to see come to Indonesia in 2023.
In a social media post, he wrote, “Indonesia is ready to welcome Chinese tourists. Stay vigilant, health protocol observed! Tourists must keep showing complete vaccine documents and fit and healthy body. By 2023 we are targeting 253,000 Chinese tourists who will travel #DiIndonesiaAja. Let’s use this momentum to stretch SMEs in the craft sector, opening up wider business opportunities and job opportunities”.
When asked about health protocols regarding travelers from China, Minster Uno said that the regulations remain the same for all travelers. The USA, Japan, and South Korea have all imposed additional restrictions on travelers from China in light of the reported rising case of Covid-19 in the country.
Minister Uno said, “we convey that we welcome tourists from China. We really appreciate it, and they will definitely be very responsible in their tourism activities, especially if they feel unwell. Therefore all the provisions that will be stipulated refer to the policies that we have taken now, including those related to the health protocol.”
He added, “Stay alert. Health protocols continue to be maintained! Tourists must still show complete vaccine certificates and bodies in fit and healthy condition.”
Earlier this week, Minster Uno announced that he is calling on airlines to launch more direct flights to Indonesia’s leading tourist destinations to help recession-proof the economy. The Ministry for Tourism has set ambitious targets for 2023, and a global recession and cost of living crisis will undoubtedly have an impact on international travel.
He told reporters at his weekly press briefing, “Of course, this will have an impact on people’s spending, especially in the tourism sector. Therefore, we immediately made adjustments in terms of focus on developing tourism and the creative economy, especially foreign tourists.”
Minister Uno continued, “there have been several foreign direct flights from Qatar and Dubai that have already delivered. We also want additions from Singapore and several ASEAN countries. This is what we are trying to do in the first quarter of this year in collaboration with airlines and the Ministry of Transportation so that the market is very this potential also includes India being served by direct flights, especially to the two leading destinations, namely Denpasar and Jakarta, maybe later it can be added to other destinations”.
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