Local News

Hygiene facilities in Bali’s tourist sites to receive facelift amid pandemic

The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry is set to revitalize hygiene facilities at several tourist sites in Bali in November.

Wawan Gunawan, the ministry’s regional II destination development director, said that the revitalization program would take in place in one city and eight regencies, namely Denpasar, Badung, Tabanan, Gianyar, Klungkung, Karangasem, Buleleng, Bangli and Jembrana.

Wawan said that the program would be adjusted based on the priorities in each tourist site; however, it would focus mainly on sanitation and health facilities.

Meanwhile, the ministry’s head of infrastructure and destination development affairs, Hari Santosa Sungkari, said on Friday that several tourist attractions on the Island of Gods were not equipped with amenities, antaranews.com reported.

Hari said that the ministry aimed to improve amenities including hygiene facilities at tourist sites to provide comfort for tourists. He explained that it was important for a tourist destination to adhere to the international standards of toilet cleanliness. The revitalization program also aims to improve service quality and competitiveness of tourist attractions.

Bali Tourism Agency chief I Putu Astawa said that the tourism trend would change in the future, saying that travelers would prefer to visit destinations that could provide safety and comfort, as well as a clean and sustainable environment.

“This revitalization program suits the current tourism trend,” he said, adding that hygiene and health features were important to travelers.

Nani Sumaryati Firmansyah, head of water and sanitation at the Indonesian Toilet Association, shared a similar opinion.  She said that having proper hygiene facilities was important for travelers.

“They do not need to be luxurious, but the toilet facilities must be well equipped and run properly,” she said.  “If a tourist’s first impression of the toilet is bad, then they will immediately think that the tourist attraction has bad management.”

The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry is currently working on boosting tourism in Bali, which has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio introduced “We Love Bali”, an educational campaign on cleanliness, health, safety and the environment (CHSE) for Bali’s residents, tourism stakeholders and creative economy entrepreneurs.

The campaign is aimed at boosting the island’s travel and creative economy industries and, at the same time, giving Bali’s tourism industry a positive image. Moreover, the ministry plans to set aside Rp 119 billion (US$8 million) to provide free CHSE certification for businesses across Indonesia. The certificate is intended to help regain tourists’ trust.

Popular Indonesian beer brand, Bir Bintang, said in a statement that it would fully support the CHSE campaign by providing training sessions to more than 50 partner outlets on the island and assisting them in earning the certificate.

The beer brand has also built a microsite, tetapbisa.id, which features a list of certified tourist sites in Bali. The microsite, which launched on Nov. 1, is equipped with a contact tracing feature that is expected to help the administration in the fight against COVID-19. (Thejakartapost 02/11/2020).


Sanur Port Increases Boats To Nusa Penida After High Demand From Domestic Tourists

The Sanur Port has been overwhelmed with domestic tourists this weekend and had to launch more boats to Nusa Penida to keep up with demand.

Hundreds of people were seen in line at the Sanur Port ticket counter on the morning of Saturday Oct 31st 2020.

Domestic tourists flocked to buy tickets for fast boat service to Nusa Penida on Saturday morning to enjoy the national holiday this weekend.

Tourists reportedly were excited to spend time with family and friends in Nusa Penida over the weekend and escape stress and pressure of the pandemic.

One tourist from Malang told The Bali Sun that he needed this time for his family. “There has been much stress on my family, we are thankful for this time together”

The Head of Sanur Port, I Gusti Agus P. Sudharma said that the number of tourists that are going to Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Penida has increased this weekend.

“This might be a record since the Pandemic began, the number of domestic tourists has been increased 50 to 60 percent” Sudharma told Tribune.

There were also people traveling to  Nusa Penida to celebrate the fifth full moon ceremony in Dalem Ped Temple.

Authorities reportedly said that half of the people waiting in line for fast boats were headed to the full moon ceremony.

The port has been operating an additional 4 to 5 boats each day during the holiday weekend.

Sudharma was very grateful that the port is busier than normal and he hopes that it will stay busy when holiday season is over.

Sudharma said that the company regularly disinfects the ticket counter and the boats every morning before operating.

Boats are currently limited to only 60% of capacity to allow for social distancing and are operating from first light until 4:00 pm in the afternoon. (Thebalisun.com 01/11/2020)


Bali plans to connect tourist hotspots with trams, electric buses

Indonesia’s state-owned train manufacturer INKA says it will be developing an electric-based city transportation system in Bali, revealing yet another potential infrastructure project for the popular holiday destination.

INKA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bali administration’s regional holding company (Perusda) today, whereby the two agreed on developing a transportation system and eventually creating a joint venture for its operations in the future.

“INKA and Perusda Bali will be developing a city transportation system powered on batteries, such as trams and electric buses,” Budi Noviantoro, who is CEO of INKA, said in a statement.

The transportation system will cover several of Bali’s main tourist areas such as Kuta, Sanur, and Ubud, as well as the future location of Bali Cultural Center in Gunaksa, Klungkung regency.

If you’ve been paying attention, it’s likely that you’re well-aware that officials in Bali have been talking about big infrastructure projects in recent years, including plans for a railless train system connecting Ngurah Rai International Airport and Sanur.

Earlier in August, Koster also emphasized on the need for integrated and connected infrastructure in order to develop the regional economy based on local resources. (Coconuts.co 01/11/2020)


Komodo Dragon vs Truck: Park officials announce temporary closure following viral ‘standoff’ photo

Officials from the Komodo National Park have partially closed one section of the park starting today, following outrage from a widely circulated photo of a komodo dragon facing a truck in an ongoing “Jurassic Park” construction project spearheaded by the Indonesian government.

The closure of the Loh Buaya Resort at Pulau Rinca, one of the park’s three larger islands, is scheduled to last until June 30, 2021 but will be evaluated every two weeks, according to an official announcement issued yesterday.

This latest announcement, which officials said was taken to speed up ongoing construction at the site, came after a “standoff” photo between a komodo dragon and a truck went viral over the weekend, raising widespread awareness and concerns among Indonesian netizens over the future of the vulnerable species.

It’s unclear at this point who took the photo, but it has quickly come to symbolize the struggle of nature vs human intervention in the region. The photo has helped spawn the trending hashtag #SaveKomodo today, while a petition urging the revocation of development permits at the park has been signed by more than 341,000 people.

According to Kawan Baik Komodo, a collective aiming to protect Komodo National Park and the environment in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), there are now orders forbidding photo-taking on Pulau Rinca.

“You may not get any more photo updates. The good friends of Komodo on the field are afraid of being criminalized, because there’s now a letter of [temporary] closure and also prohibition. What’s happening at the Komodo National Park will be even more obscure for the public,” the collective said in another tweet.

The Komodo National Park, established in 1980, sprawls across three larger islands of Komodo, Rinca, and Padar, as well as 26 smaller islands, covering a total area of about 1,800 square kilometers. The park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991.

Though the park was initially established to conserve the unique Komodo dragon and are today supposedly dedicated to protect other species, including marine species, it has also been marked as a huge tourist attraction by the Indonesian government.

Last October, officials unveiled controversial plans to transform it partially into a “Jurassic Park” style destination. Activists and local residents have previously said that the proposed concrete-based project could potentially harm the komodo’s natural habitat.

Granted, it’s been a while since we saw Jurassic Park, but as much as we loved it… didn’t the whole franchise basically teach us that the park itself was doomed to fail? Life, uh, finds a way, or something like that. (Coconuts.co 01/11/2020)


Thousands of domestic tourists visited Bali during long weekend

From the iconic Ulun Danu Beratan Temple to popular seafood restaurants along Jimbaran beach, thousands of domestic tourists were spotted in Bali’s top tourist attractions during the long weekend, with numbers of visitors exceeding official expectations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The head of Bali Tourism Agency, I Putu Astawa, said that nearly 10,000 travelers flew into Ngurah Rai International Airport last Wednesday, which marked the beginning of the five-day long weekend.

“On Oct. 28 there were around 9,500 [travelers]. Usually there are only 3,000, 2,600. And then on the 29th there were around 6,800,” Astawa said.

He said the numbers exceeded official expectations, as estimates of 10,000 visitors during the pandemic were only thought possible later in December.

As many as 5,000 tourists visited Ulun Danu Beratan Temple over the long weekend, while more than 2,000 tourists visited Tanah Lot as of Friday, according to reports.

Officials in Bali said health protocols were implemented and strengthened across the island’s popular destinations, adding that the sites were only allowed to operate at limited capacity.

Some “normal” sights evidently returned last week, as traffic jams crowded areas such as Canggu and Kuta, while tourists flocked to Jimbaran beach for their well-known seafood dishes. Footage from the latter showed some people wearing masks, but social distancing was virtually non-existent. (Coconuts.co 01/11/2020)


Traditional dance performances finally return to Uluwatu Temple

After being suspended for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional dance performances finally returned to Uluwatu Temple with new health protocols in place.

Kecak Dancers at Ulutwatu Temple returned for performances this weekend to entertain domestic tourists that traveled to Bali for the holiday weekend.

The female dancers were obligated to wear face shields and the face masks during the performance which was tough for the dancers with the hot conditions.

The management team of the temple has implemented all the prevention protocols such as telling guests to wash their hands before entering the temple area and checking their body temperatures.

Before entering the dance performance area, all visitors were obligated to wear face masks.

The Head of Karang Boma Dance Studio, I Made Astra said that he limited the amount of visitors that can enter the performance area at once.

Usually capacity is 1,200 people but has been reduced to only 400 people to allow for social distancing between guests.

The number of dancers was also reduced from 90 to 60.

The traditional dance will be performed 4 times per week from Thursday to Sunday. When demand rises they will return to doing the performance daily.

Uluwatu Temple is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bali. (Thebalisun.com 01/11/2020)