bali professor encourages cautious approach to tourism industry recovery

Category : Adventure | Posted On Jun 22, 2022

Data from Indonesia's Center for Statistics, Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS), show that the country received 50 times as many foreign tourists in April 2022 as it did in April 2021. The great bulk of these international visitors arrived in Bali. The center sees this as proof that the tourism industry has officially begun to recover on a national scale.

While this is good news for Bali's tourism industry, experts in Indonesia have urged that a cautious approach should be maintained to support long-term recovery. Prof. Hendre Adjie Kusworo, the director of Gajah Mada University's Ph.D. program in Tourist Studies, believes that while Indonesia has made progress, the tourism sector remains vulnerable to international government decisions.

Prof. Kusworo told The Jakarta Post, "The revival of tourism depends on governments' responses to Covid-19 around the world, and most critically, on our continuous efforts to keep the virus under the limit."

He went on to explain that Indonesia's present stance on Covid-19 is effective, but that the tourism industry in Bali could suffer if governments elsewhere change local rules or experience an increase in Covid-19 cases.

He stated that based on his examination of travel trends and recently disclosed BPS figures, he believes that international arrivals would increase slowly but steadily as they return to pre-pandemic levels. He noted that the incremental approach to removing constraints aids the sector's constant and positive recovery.

Arrivals are likely to increase during Bali's peak season in July and August. Peak season in 2022 may not reach pre-pandemic levels, but it will undoubtedly surpass 2021. As with every high season, there will be a minor drop in arrivals as overseas travelers return home after their vacations.

Despite this decline, predictions indicate that the sector will continue its steady ascent back to pre-pandemic levels across the board.

I Dewa Gede Rai, the Head of Bali's Covid-19 Task Force, has repeated Professor Kusworo's remarks. Rai said this week that caseloads in Denpasar are at an all-time low and under control. He also advised the public not to relax Covid-19 health and hygiene practices as the end of the pandemic approaches.

Bali has been upgraded to PPKM Level One, allowing the retail sector to function at full capacity. Masks must be worn indoors and on public transportation, and cafes, restaurants, event venues, and places of worship may only operate at 75 percent capacity. The mandate will be reviewed on July 4, 2022. If caseloads continue low, all limits might be lifted as soon as the first week of July.

Pre-arrival PCR tests for vaccinated tourists have been discontinued, and the requirement to wear masks in public places outside has been repealed. The visa on arrival service is currently open to tourists from 72 countries. These are significant benefits for vacationers looking for a simple pre-arrival approach.

As the peak season approaches and request for flights, accommodations, and activities increases, the tourism industry must walk a fine line between fumbling to recover revenue lost during the pandemic and ensuring that there is no increase in Covid-19 cases that could result in restrictions being reinstated.

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