july still the target to open bali for foreign tourists, deputy governor
According to the deputy governor, the discovery of new COVID-19 variants in Bali has not deterred officials from their goal of reopening to international visitors in July.
"We have yet to shift the target; there's still a few months to go," Bali deputy governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, or Cok Ace, said.
"A few days ago, I was with [Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin], and we are still holding on to our focus for [reopening in] July."
In March, Indonesian officials unveiled plans for a travel corridor network that could see international visitors visiting Bali by the middle of this year, with President Joko Widodo insisting that the COVID-19 pandemic must be contained for that to happen.
According to Tourism and Creative Economic Minister Sandiaga Uno, the planned "travel corridor arrangement" will be given to countries that can control the spread of the coronavirus, have high vaccination rates, and provide mutual benefits.
Cok Ace reported that Indonesia is rethinking the countries in which it will collaborate now that India and Singapore are dealing with new coronavirus outbreaks.
"We can still hope for China, in terms of quantity, as they contributed quite a large [amount of visitors] in previous years," he added.
With nearly 1.2 million Chinese visitors in 2019, they were the second-largest group of international tourists visiting Bali, behind only Australians, despite having occupied the top spot for many years prior.