Accommodation and travel experience platform Airbnb has released its list of most searched destinations for winter 2022…winter in the northern hemisphere, that is! Sharing the details of the most highly sought-after destinations for the end of the year, Airbnb has confirmed that Kuta, Bali is topping their list.
Perhaps due to the G20 Summit, or perhaps due to the launch of the platform’s partnership with the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism, Bali is the most searched-for destination for winter sun. While some hotels and guesthouses in east Bali have shared concerns about room bookings being too low, all could be able to change.
Kuta tops the list on Airbnb, and it is not hard to see why. Kuta has been Bali’s flagship holiday destination, boasting everything travelers need on a winter getaway. With some of the world’s most famous beaches, amazing accommodations, and an environment dedicated almost exclusively to the comfort of international guests, it’s hard to turn down a chance to hang out in Kuta.
The iconic beachside destination beat some other popular Christmas holiday destinations. Kuala Lumpur came second, followed by Ipanema and Angra dos Reis in Brazil. Bangkok came in fifth place, beating Sydney and Singapore, respectively. Spain’s popular beachside resort Malaga came in eighth place, with Melbourne coming in ninth place and Pattaya in Thailand completing the top ten.
Now that Kuta has racked up more searches than Bangkok and Pattaya will be welcome news to Bali’s Deputy Governor Cok Ace, who has been vocal about his frustration to see travelers chasing Thailand over Bali. He noted that flight costs have been cheaper to Thailand in the last new months, while travelers have pointed out in online communities that it is Thailand’s 30-day free visa on arrival that has been the clincher.
Indonesia is currently charging IDR 500,000 for a 30-day visa on arrival, much to the upset of many of Bali’s regular holidaymakers. Though, the Immigration Department has launched a new e-visa on arrival option allowing tourists to apply and pay for their VOA before they fly.
In early November, Airbnb announced a new partnership with the Indonesian Tourism board, Wonderful Indonesia. The partnership titled ‘Live And Work Anywhere Bali’ has been created to promote the Island of the Gods to digital nomads and remote workers by improving awareness of the B211a socio-cultural visa.
Many have received the partnership well, though some international residents in Bali have noted that rental prices are soaring at the moment. Some fear that the increase in rental prices will cause them to look further afield to afford their digital nomad lifestyle. The presence of Airbnb in Bali has always been something of a contentious issue.
Some small guesthouses and independent rental homeowners begrudge the platform for changing how the accommodation sector works. While others have had their lives changed for the better by the convince and structure provided by the platform.
According to the Airbnb website, “Airbnb is partnering with Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, promoting Bali as part of our Live and Work Anywhere program, designed to highlight outstanding global destinations for remote working. The Indonesian province has been blazing a trail for years as a leading destination for aspiring digital nomads”.
The digital nomad visa for Bali was a long time in the making. In September, Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies, Sandiaga Uno, confirmed that digital nomads could reside in Bali using the B211a Social-Cultural Visa for up to 6-months at a time.
The visa is valid for 60-days or 180 days. The 60-day visa can be extended up to 180-days. The visa is a single entry, and no single stay can be longer than 180-days. It is believed that digital nomads can enter Indonesia, complete their 180-days and exit the country, returning again as soon as their next B211a visa is approved, known as a ‘visa-run.’
The processing time is four working days once the application and payment are complete. The visa costs IDR 2,000,000 (USD 135) for 60-days or IDR 6,000,000 (USD 400) if applying for the full 180-days before arrival. Each extension costs IDR 1,500,000 (USD 100) if choosing to add 60-days at a time. Digital nomads can apply for the B211a socio-cultural visa directly on the Indonesian Immigration website.
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