Bali pushes for quality tourism

Bali pushes for quality tourism

Denpasar, Bali (Antara) – The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the social and economic lives of people all over the world.

One of the economic sectors affected by the outbreak is tourism, as restrictions imposed to control the spread of COVID-19 limit people’s movement and mobility.

Regions whose economies depend on tourism, such as Bali, have had a tough time, with some tourism businesses closing down.

In fact, according to Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, Bali is Indonesia’s second-largest source of foreign exchange after oil and gas.

The province accounts for 50 percent of foreign exchange earnings from tourism, amounting to around $20 billion a year.

In view of Bali’s important role in Indonesia’s tourism industry, the government has made several efforts to revitalize Bali’s tourism industry, starting with providing travel incentives, increasing tourism projects, and opening the door to domestic and foreign tourists.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adanom Ghebreyesus recently lifted the COVID-19 global health emergency after nearly 3.5 years.

drive for revival

The lifting of the global health emergency of COVID-19 has become an opportunity for tourism recovery in Bali.

In 2020, the province’s economy experienced a severe economic contraction of minus 9.31%, the lowest growth rate among Indonesian provinces, as recorded by the Bali Statistics Bureau (BPS).

Bali’s economy then slowly improves in 2021, although its growth rate remains negative at 2.47%. In 2022, Bali’s economy will achieve a positive growth of 4.84%.

Ida Bagus Raka Suardana, an economic observer from the Denpasar National University of Education (Undiknas), is optimistic that tourism in Bali will increase significantly following the good news from the World Health Organization.

Several steps need to be taken to support the renaissance of tourism in Bali, such as dissemination of information and publicity to attract quality tourists, etc.

Tourists who spend more will benefit Bali’s tourism industry. One of the ways to attract quality tourists is to increase MICE or meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition travel.

MICE tourism is considered to be of higher quality compared to mass tourism, which, while attracting many tourists, has not yet balanced out the large expenditures.

In the long run, increasing the cost of the Visa on Arrival (VoA) scheme and retaliation fees for foreign tourists visiting Bali are some of the things that can be done to drive quality tourism.

According to the Immigration Department website, the visa on arrival costs 500,000 rupiah (about US$33.68), which can be paid in US dollars or Indonesian rupiah.

As of April 2023, Indonesia has extended VoA facilities to as many as 92 countries.

Center for Economic and Legal Studies Director (Celios) Bhima Yudhistira said that apart from the quality of tourists, local governments and tourism businesses also need to ensure the development of infrastructure so that they are ready to receive tourists.

Stakeholders then also need to add direct flights, travel promotions and international events that can provide higher foreign exchange, such as exhibitions and music events.

Equally important is the role of Indonesian representatives abroad, such as embassies, in promoting tourism.

In addition to this, there is a need to keep the area safe and comfortable, as tourism requires a favorable environment for development.

tourist quota

The Bali provincial government is currently working on a regional regulation on imposing quotas on the entry of foreign tourists, aimed at attracting quality tourists.

According to the Governor of Bali, Wayan Kost, as seen recently, travel controls are aimed at preventing mass tourism. To this end, a quota system will be implemented for foreign tourists visiting Bali.

In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of foreign tourists visiting Bali reached 6.3 million.

The Bali government said the regulations would cover a number of things, including limiting foreign tourist quotas and the minimum amount foreign tourists must deposit in their savings accounts before flying to Bali.

The regulation will not limit the nationality of tourists, but will be more specific about the total number of arrivals.

A plan to implement foreign tourist quotas in Bali has been proposed as a solution to boost quality tourism and tackle the phenomenon of disruptive and illegal tourists.

The Regional Office of the Bali Provincial Department of Law and Human Rights also expressed support for quality tourism in Bali.

The head of the office, Anggiat Napitupulu, has also taken tough action against disruptive foreign tourists, such as those who break the law and show a lack of respect for Balinese culture and local wisdom, in the form of deportation.

The Ministry of Law and Human Rights also conducts screenings for disturbing tourists, along with other agencies in the Aliens Watch Team.

From January 2023 to April 2023, the Bali Immigration Bureau deported 101 foreigners, especially in Bali, due to various issues such as overstaying and violating Indonesian regulations.

As many as 194 foreigners have been deported since Bali reopened its doors to international tourists from May to December 2022.

According to the records of the Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights of Bali Province, the number of foreigners deported was Russian nationality. Tourists deported also included Nigerians, Ukrainians and Japanese.

It is not impossible to encourage higher quality tourism in Bali, especially with the support of the withdrawal of the COVID-19 global health emergency.

The most important thing now is to achieve high-quality tourism. This cannot be achieved by the Bali government alone. It requires the support and commitment of all parties, including all sectors of society.

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Translated by: Deva Ketut, Raka Adji
Editor: Aziz Kumara
Copyright © Antara 2023

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