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Bali Prepares To Welcome Back Chinese Tourists In 2023 And Predicts Economic Growth

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As it has been confirmed that China will reopen its borders from 8th January 2023, Bali tourism businesses are preparing to welcome a sharp increase in arrivals. The Bali Tourism Board have spoken to reporters about their predictions for the start of the year.

In light of other countries implementing mandatory PCR testing for travelers from China, as caseloads in the country appear to be increasing, businesses in Bali are now discussing how to welcome Chinese tourism back to the island without compromising the consistently low infection rates across the province. 

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Speaking to reporters, the Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board, Ida Bagus Partha Adnyana, said, “They [China] opened [the border], but I don’t know how many will come from China to Bali. What I know is there are [direct flights from] SQ Singapore Airlines from Beijing to Singapore, the other [options] I don’t know yet. There is no information on how many people there are”. 

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Currently, there is no direct flight from mainland China to Bali, the most efficient route currently available would be to fly from mainland China to Singapore and onwards to Denpasar. In light of the borders reopening in China, airlines will be keen to offer a direct route from China to Indonesia. Before the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of tourists from China would spend the Luna New Year holidays in Bali. Chinese New Year 2023 falls on 22nd January.

Adnyana continued, “We don’t suddenly want to open the faucet, so I think that Singapore is definitely strict on screening; I think Singapore is good compared to the others, strict for inspection, meaning people who are really boosted according to the rules can come to Indonesia”.

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He explained that he is calling on the provincial government to promote booster vaccines for hospitality workers and the wider community. He said, “No other way [to prevent the spread]. So I asked for 7,000 booster vaccines for tourism workers in Badung, Denpasar, and Gianyar”. Hopefully, early this year, we can do it,” Governor Wayan Koster has accepted the request, and the vaccines will be delivered in the coming weeks. 

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Tourism officials in Bali have already spoken up about their intention to attract high-earning Chinese tourists when borders reopen. Speaking on the 1st December 2022, the Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office, Tjokorda Bagus Pemayun, said middle-income and high earners needed to be the targets of marketing campaigns for the island.

He explained, “This is what we are working on because the spending money is high. Sleeping or staying overnight is definitely in expensive places. [They] spend money, and the spending is extraordinary [they] take it everywhere.” 

Huge-Resort-Hotel-On-Beach-in-Nusa-Dua-In-Bali

News that China is reopening its borders comes just as President Joko Widodo confirms the end to the remaining Covid-19 restrictions in Indonesia. The President said ‘there will be no more restrictions on gatherings and movements”.

This means that Indonesian citizens will no longer be required to show proof of a booster vaccine to travel domestically, but it remains the case that proof of vaccine is required for international travelers. The last update regarding international travel regulations was published in a circular letter by the Covid-19 Task Force on the 10th of November 2022. However, this remains under constant review. 

Bali-Village-Busy-With-Locals-and-Visitors

Looking to the year ahead, the Bank of Indonesia is projecting strong economic growth in 2023. This will no doubt be bolstered by the return of Chinese tourism to the island. The Head of the Bali Representative Office of BI Trisno Nugroho told reporters, “We are optimistic that in 2022, as a whole, Bali’s economy will grow by around 4.60-5.40 percent. Thus, for Bali’s economic growth in 2023, we are projecting it to still be driven by the increase in performance of businesses related to tourism”.

Tourists-On-Busy-Bali-Beach-In-Seminyak

He shared that in the third quarter of 2022, 52% of the economy in Bali was generated by tourism, either directly through businesses like hotels or indirectly through construction businesses and other service companies. Nugroho concluded, “Therefore, the development of the number of tourists who visit Bali will affect Bali’s tourism performance and economic growth”.

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Bamgert, Tineke

Friday 6th of January 2023

Arriving in Bali on the 1st of Februari, I hope the Balinese government will check carefully every Chinese tourist entering Bali now the number of covid infections is rising sky high!

Randy

Saturday 7th of January 2023

@Bamgert, Tineke, what about Chinese tourists arriving in Thailand then non Chinese tourists from elsewhere in Thailand later on come to Bali...they need to be checked too.

Jimbo

Friday 6th of January 2023

"This means that Indonesian citizens will no longer be required to show proof of a booster vaccine to travel domestically" Sorry but there's no such information in the Indonesian medias as of now. That's the other way around, as Satgas Covid19, and Menkes said that vaccination must be pushed (boosters) and the rules for traveling domestically remain the same. Now that Indonesia produces its own vaccines namely Indovac and Inavac, it will be a long time before any vaccine requirements are dropped. The money is too good and easy to get to stop the comedia del Covid.

James

Thursday 5th of January 2023

Oh no! With COVID-19 running rampant in China right now and new restrictions being imposed on Chinese tourists worldwide, the last thing Bali (locals), and all its international holiday makers (us) need is to get struck down with COVID whilst on vacation. This would be devastating to the Balinese people who are only just starting the long road to economic recovery post pandemic. COVID-19 tidak selamat datang!!!!!

Ananda

Tuesday 3rd of January 2023

Welcome the new Covid19 infected Chinese? Bali people never learn lesson from past?? hope the economy doesnt die this time.. Think and not be short sighted & mata duitaan Balinese...

Paul

Tuesday 3rd of January 2023

The last thing that bali need is the grubby Chinese they where responsible for the pandemic in the first place and still they're refused to let the world know how many case's they have until China comes clean the world should ban them from traveling