With Christmas Day just hours away, the Vice President of Indonesia, Ma’ruf Amin, has spoken to reporters about the upcoming holiday and what it means for tourism. During a visit to Nusa Dua in Bali on Friday, 23rd December, Vice President Amin called on tourist businesses such as attractions, venues, and restaurants to prepare for a busy few weeks.
This Christmas and New Year is the first time Bali will have been able to welcome both domestic and international tourists since 2020, with numbers reduced in 2019 in light of the emerging international travel restrictions.
Speaking to reporters, Vice President Amin said, “The pandemic has subsided during the Christmas and New Year holidays. People have not had holidays for a long time, and tourist attractions need to prepare themselves”. He encouraged micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to make the most of the opportunities bought by the influx of visitors.
Amin urged businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector to prioritize sharing information about destinations, deals, and news updates to make sure visitors feel safe, comfortable, and in the know.
When asked about early weather warnings issued by Bali’s Center for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics, Vice President Amin reiterated the advice from the weather agencies.
On the 22nd of December, the Center for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics issued earlier weather warnings for all regencies in Bali. In a statement, the BKMG Bali announced, “The community is advised to remain vigilant and careful about the impact of disasters that can be caused, such as floods, puddles, landslides, strong winds, falling trees, and lightning.”
They also issued warnings for weather conditions on the open water. “In addition, users and operators of sea transportation services, services, marine tourism, and the public who are active around coastal areas are advised to be aware of the potential increase in wind speed and sea waves with a height of up to 2.0 meters or more in the Bali Sea, Bali Strait, Badung Strait, Lombok Strait, and the Indian Ocean south of Bali.”
The BMKG Bali called on community leaders, business owners, and homeowners to conduct weather resiliency assessments to prepare for high wind and heavy rains. During the interview on Friday, Vice President Amin reiterated the advice and warnings shared by the BKMG and called on local governments and communities to ‘prepare themselves and conduct mitigation efforts’.
Many of Bali’s tourist attractions and facilities have already leveled up their operations ahead of the start of the Christmas holidays. In Uluwatu, the organizers of the Sekaa Kecak Uluwatu have scheduled additional performances to keep up with the demand for tickets.
The Head of the Putra Barong Sekaa on Jalan Raya Celuk Sukawati, I Made Wija, told reporters that there had been a steep increase in demand for tickets to see the traditional Balinese cultural dance and ceremony.
Organizers are now putting on shows twice a day, with sessions from 6 pm – 7 pm and another from 7 pm until 8 pm. The Sekaa Kecak Uluwatu is one of the most famous cultural shows in Bali. The show involves over 70 performers who tell the story of the heroism of Prince Rama in saving Princess Sita from the evil King Rahwana.
Businesses in Bali are undoubtedly eager for a busy holiday period. By the end of November, Bali Airport had welcomed over 10 million passengers.
The General Manager of Bali Airport, Handy Heryudhitiawan, shared, “From January to November, we have served 3,790,404 international travelers and 7,087,273 domestic travelers. Overall, there were 10,877,677 passengers…This amount includes the arrival and departure of state guests and the G20 Summit participants who attended on the island of Bali”. Now the island is hoping to boost the figure to 12 million with the help of tourists over the festive season.
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