Indonesia’s vacation haven – Bali, is open to international travellers from Thursday, 14 October; following 18 months of pandemic pause. However, the vacation haven needs one crucial support: international flights.
The Indonesian government recently declared Bali’s opening after an acute decline in coronavirus cases since July, during which Indonesia was Asia’s COVID-19 epicentre.
But the foreign travellers were nowhere to be seen around, as the island’s Ngurah Rai international airport is not expecting much International activity anytime to happen soon.
Kenned for its temples, waterfalls, surfing, and nightlife, Bali drew 6.2 million foreign visitors in 2019 COVID-19 struck, but tight pandemic border constraints have reduced tourism, which is worth more than half of its economy. According to the reports, in 2021, only 35 foreign tourists entered Bali through its airport so far.
In downtown Kuta, just off its famous beach, shops and bars were open on Thursday but with only a few customers, while taxi drivers waited outside.
Details about the reopening have been patchy and Indonesia only identified 19 eligible countries late on Wednesday. Those include China, India, Japan, South Korea and several European and Gulf countries.
But Bali’s reopening plan is not matched by demand.
As well as requiring Bali visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Indonesia has said they must spend their first five days in quarantine, a requirement rival destinations are phasing out. It also requires medical coverage of up to $70,000 for COVID-19 treatment.