As the number of international arrivals in Bali steadily increases, the tourism sector is keeping a close eye on every last detail of the island’s recovery to ensure that the industry bounces back efficiently. Speaking at a press conference held by Indonesia’s Minster Tourism and Creative Economies on Monday, the director of Bali tourism also shared his insights on how the sector must organize its priorities.
The Head of the Bali Regional Tourism Promotion Board, Prof. Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, who is affectionally addressed as Cok Ace, told the press that he hopes that the central government will implement policies that will help increase the number of visitors to Bali.
Speaking in metaphors, he suggested that the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is like a healing process. He described how Bali now needs the correct medicine and that in this case, the medicine looks like increasing flights to the island and targeted promotions.
He went on to say how the tourism sector in Bali needed to focus on supply and demand as a matter of priority. He said ‘There needs to be a suitable drug in the form of policy changes. Don’t let us run out of promotions, but the number of visits does not increase much because it is not supported by the number of flights’.
Promotions include deals on flights, accommodation, all inclusive tours of Bali and tourist activities.
Indonesia’s Minster Tourism and Creative Economies, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno responded to Cok Ace by saying ‘our crucial task right now is to check supply and demand management. The solution is that together we try to encourage the addition of the number of flights to Bali, including seat capacity’.
He referred to data that demonstrated that Bali remains at the front of travelers’ minds as a destination of choice and that the island should not miss out on welcoming these potential travelers simply because of flight availability.
Cok Ace echoed the feelings of Minister Uno who confirmed that he had been in talks with Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation to see what could be done to increase flights to the island. He specifically mentioned working with airlines to modify their existing agreements. Minster Uno talked of the importance of setting visitor targets. He set a target to welcome 1.5 million international visitors to Bali by the end of 2022, and 7 million domestic travelers too.
Minster Uno shared insights into his vision to diversify the tourism sector. He explained in detail the upcoming international events that form a large part of Bali’s recovery strategy. Major events like the G20 Summit in November are helping to support micro, small and medium enterprises in Bali, which will in turn boost the island’s economy overall.
Less high-profile international conferences like the International Conference on Ecotourism, which will be held at West Bali National Park in July also help to present Bali as the destination of choice for all different kinds of travelers.
During his speech, Minister Uno shared how he hoped to promote Bali as a destination for the ‘silver economy’. He hopes that the department’s new silver economy initiative aims to promote Bali as a safe and comfortable destination for the over-60s who leave their homes in Australia, Europe, and North America during their local winter months.
He stated that the silver tourism economy is worth over USD 1 trillion and that Bali can access a percentage of that.
All these discussions come as a way of utilizing ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ after promotional budgets for the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economies were slashed by 80% in light of the pandemic.
Minister Uno ended his speech by using Singapore as an example of the impact targeted digital marketing can have. Singapore has targeted promotional budgets at high-spending American tourists based on the logic that if the influential are targeted others will follow.
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