Let the roller-coaster begin.
Contradicting statements from an Indonesian official are coming out of Jakarta regarding the reopening of Bali for International tourism.
Earlier this week, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan stated plans were on track to open for September 11th, 2020.
But today, Panjaitan changed his tune saying it could be delayed until the end of this year as Indonesia focuses on domestic tourism instead.
“We want 70 percent of domestic tourists. The problem of foreign tourists is that we will not accept it until the end of the year. Let us first consolidate,” Luhut said in a webinar held by APINDO, Thursday (13/8).
There has been no official statement made by the Indonesian government.
Until President Joko Widodo, releases an official government decree, all travelers can do is wait and hope that Bali will reopen.
“We are grateful that after two weeks the number of Covid-19 in Bali decreased. The governor said there were local herbs, drank the wine from them. Whether it’s true or not, the important thing seems to have dropped, I just support it,” Luhut stated.
Bali Governor Wayan Koster has been putting pressure on the Indonesian government to lift the blanket ban on foreign tourism.
Last month Koster issued a decree on the implementation of new health protocols to help protect both domestic and foreign tourists when visiting the island.
The Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama stated that the government would focus on the 8 million Indonesians who usually vacation abroad to travel domestically instead.
“We will focus on having Indonesians travel locally so that the US $9 billion they spend abroad will be spent in Indonesia, “Wishnutama stated.
Travelers may want to hold off booking those plane tickets but not lose hope as the narrative in Indonesia can change overnight.