Leaders in Bali have shared their optimism that the G20 Summit will have a positive impact on tourism. While mass tourism has officially returned to the island, arrivals numbers remain lower than before the pandemic, and not all tourism activity is evenly distributed. Leaders have told reporters that they are hopeful that the lasting legacy of the G20 Presidency in Bali will be positive for the tourism sector.
The Provincial Secretary for Bali, Dewa Made Indra, told reporters in Denpasar that ‘I, the Governor, we all have optimism, we [will] have recovered in 2023. The momentum is for the G20 Summit. If it is successful, we must be optimistic that we will return to our initial positive before Covid-19’. He shared with reports his belief that Bali has an extraordinary opportunity to promote the local tourism offering.
He continued to say that if the G20 Summit goes well, Bali will be seen positively in the eyes of the world’s 20 strongest economies. Indra explained that it is the responsibility of all parties in Bali to make the G20 Summit a success to make the most of the ‘free promotion’. He explained that people will think, ‘if the world’s leaders are safe in Bali, what about others? It is definitely safe’.
When asked about the number of tourist arrivals, Indra told the press, ‘this will continue to move up in line with our promotional efforts. In line with the efforts of the Governor to fight for other stakeholders, both the central government, airlines, and controlling Covid-19’.
Bali currently welcomes around 60% of the average number of daily arrivals compared to pre-pandemic data. Cumulatively international arrivals have reached 1.19 million people by 19th September 2022, and domestic arrivals reached 2.75 million. In 2019, Bali welcomed more than 6 million international arrivals and 10.5 million domestic visitors.
With the G20 Summit just over a month away, leaders have their complete focus on the international conference. Heads of State from the world’s twenty biggest economies will arrive in Bali along with their delegations.
A comprehensive security operation is already underway, and temporary infrastructural developments are already being implemented. Bollards have been put on pavements around Nusa Dua, where most events will take place, to control traffic and prevent mopeds from riding along public walkways.
The VVIP Terminal at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport is almost complete. Security personnel has been stationed across the island on increased patrols. World leaders like France’s President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minster Liz Truss, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will attend the event.
With tensions around the attendance of Chinese President Xi Jinping and potentially Russian President Vladimir Putin, all eyes will be on Bali in November as leaders, diplomats, delegations, and working groups discuss solutions to the issues highlighted in the event’s themes. The focus for the 2022 G20 Summit is ‘Recover Together, Recover Stronger’. Priority issues include global health architecture, digital transformation, and sustainable energy transition.
Provincial Secretary Indra has also spoken to reporters this week to reiterate his orders for police and immigration to track down a social media influencer who posted photos of himself sitting on a sacred Balinese Temple. Indra told authorities to bring ‘the strictest sanction’ on the influencer, who is believed to still be in Bali.
Speaking last week, Indra publically called on the central government of Indonesia to do more to increase international flights to Bali to bring in more tourists to support the economic recovery of the island further. He told reporters in Denpasar that he is urging the Ministry for Transportation to stick to its promises about increasing flight routes by coordinating with airlines to potentially subsidize airfares for both international and domestic travelers.
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