Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies has been speaking to the media about the latest travel figures which show that the country has surpassed tourism targets for 2023.
In light of these new figures, Minister Sandiaga Uno wants to see this momentum continue to grow with more direct flights to Bali.
Minister Uno has said he wants to see more direct flights from India to Bali. At present, there are no direct flights from the sub-continent to Bali, meaning travelers must first trust through Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, or Bangkok before arriving on the Island of the Gods.
Since travelers from India are now in second place as the most frequent international arrivals in Indonesia, Minster Uno wants to make it easier and more affordable for tourists from the country.
He told the media, “India itself is now in second place in Bali as foreign tourist contributors. This replaces the previous dominance of Chinese tourists.”
It remains the case that the most frequent international tourists to Bali come from Australia. Minster Uno continued, “We continue to encourage Denpasar – Mumbai and Denpasar – New Delhi as direct flight routes. There are two companies that we are exploring, namely Vistara and IndiGo airlines.”
He added, “We hope that in the middle of the fourth quarter, October-December, there will be a bright spot for direct flights.”
From a business perspective, many would say that it is a smart move for Indonesia to promote Bali as a tourist destination for travelers from India.
As Minster Uno explained, “Incidentally, Balinese customs and Indian customs are quite close. And because we are both Hindu communities, we see the opportunity to increase quite rapidly once we open direct flights.”
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Much like travelers from Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and most of Europe, tourists from India can enter Indonesia on a 30-day visa on arrival.
The visa costs IDR. 500,000 and can be extended once for an additional 30 days for a further fee. Indonesia’s visa-on-arrival program is open to travelers from 97 countries, making it one of the most accessible countries in the world.
The key now, from the Ministry of Tourism’s perspective, is to ensure that flight availability to Bali and other leading Indonesian destinations is as comprehensive as possible.
New direct flights to India would bring benefit to tourists from India and South Asia, but also for tourists visiting Bali from North America and Europe.
Direct flights from cities like Mumbai and New Delhi provide ideal transiting hubs for long-haul travelers from around the world.
At present, there are very few direct flights from cities in North America and Europe into Denpasar. Most tourists have to transit to Jakarta, Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, or Bangkok first.
However, concerns have been growing in the last month about an outbreak of Nipah Virus in India. Two people have died from the virus in the state of Kerala.
While the World Health Organization has confirmed that there have been no new cases in the state since 15th September, airports in Indonesia have increased screening measures as a precaution.
All arrivals into I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport will pass through a thermal imaging camera. This device helps detect any arrivals with a raised temperature.
This screening process helps immigration teams identify any potential carriers of the virus as they enter the country.
Speaking on Monday, the Head of the Bali Provincial Health Service, I Nyoman Gee Anom, confirmed that Bali Airport has followed the directions of the Ministry of Health.
He explained, “At the airport there is a temperature detection device. If a tourist’s temperature is found to be above normal, [the tourist] will be followed up with an interview.”
Anom also confirmed that medical teams on the island are briefed and on standby in the unlikely event that someone arrives in Bali showing clinical signs of the virus or if someone anywhere in the province develops symptoms.
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