There has been a discourse from the Ministry of Health to hold back the opening of the full Bali borders until 2022 for foreign tourists. Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travels Agencies (ASITA) has criticized the Health Minister’s plan saying it would be detrimental to the economy to postpone the reopening.
The Head of Regional ASITA Representatives for Bali, I Putu Winastra said that this scheme will bring the economy to fall into a deeper crisis.
“It’s impossible to be implemented. Besides, that scheme was just a request from the Health Minister, and I think other Ministers like the Tourism Minister have a different solution to solve this problem,” Winastra said on Saturday (13/3).
He also explained that the majority of businesses in Bali have closed their operation since the pandemic struck and have no source of income.
“The impact of this pandemic to Bali within a year is already destructive, and if the border remains closed for another year, it will definitely kill more businesses and the situation will be even worse, especially since the soft loan program has not been realized by the central government” Winastra concluded.
He urged the government to open the travel bubble with the selected countries when most of the people in Bali including tourism workers are vaccinated.
He explained that the vaccination program for tourism workers is expected to finish at the end of April 2021, so the central government can consider reopening the border in the near future as international visitors will feel safer with the progress of the vaccine rollout.
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