Local News

Bali Plans To Reopen Borders For Chinese Tourists In February

The Vice Governor of Bali, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (Cok Ace) and Bali Tourism Board, met with China’s Consulate General for Bali, Zhu Xinglong, in a virtual meeting to discuss plans to reopen a travel corridor between the China and Bali. Both governments are hoping the a travel corridor can be set up by February, 2021 just in time for the Chinese New Year.

The Government of Bali is attempting to revive the nation’s economy from the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic that struck earlier this year.

Cok Ace describes the bond between Indonesia and China to exceed just trading and tourism, as a cultural commonality connects the two nations.

“Since the pandemic began in China in February, China has ceased international airspace operations which impacted Bali’s tourism-based economy.” said Ace.

Since then, Bali has implemented safety measures to combat the situation, including enhanced health facilities, quarantine houses and free rapid/swab tests.

Cok Ace explained that the above measures will influence a positive outcome as Bali regains trust from international travelers, including China.

In response, Zhu Xinglong said that he appreciates the efforts from Bali’s authorities to implement health and safety protocols during the pandemic. Zhu also mentioned that the domestic tourism in China has gone back to normal, with no surge of new Covid-19 cases. He admitted that many of China’s residents anticipate travel to Bali for either vacation or wedding ceremonies.

“But first, we need to make sure that we have the same commitment to implement all the prevention protocols on both sides before letting people in” Cok Ace concluded. In order to resume tourism, both nations need to be in agreement on travel guidelines, as well as enforce the requirement of PCR test results upon arrival of destination and return to the country of origin.( Thebalisun.com 28/11/2020)


Four Foreigners Deported After Overstaying Visas In Bali

Denpasar Immigration Officers have deported 3 men from Nigeria and 1 man from Cote d’Ivoire for violating Indonesian Immigration Laws.

In an intervuew on Wednesday Nov 25th 2020 with The Head Of Public Relations for Bali Bureaucratic Reform, I Putu Surya Dharma confirmed that the Immigration Officers had detained a 30-year-old man from Nigeria with initials (OUT) on October 20th 2020 for overstaying more than 60 days in Bali.

On the same day on October 20th officers detained another 32-year-old man from Nigeria with initials (UO) for the same reason. They have been detained at the Immigration Detention House while waiting for the deportation process scheduled for Oct 22nd2020.

A third man, 35-year-old Nigerian with initials (CNN) was detained after he wasn’t able to show a legal stay permit to Immigration Officers during an inspection. He will be deported on Nov 11th2020.

Officers detained a fourth man from Cote d’Ivoire with initials (JPL) for overstaying more than 60 days in Bali.

“We deported them in 2 different stages, the first stage we sent OUT, UO and JPL back home using Ethiopia Airlines ET629 that boarded through gate 2 at around 4:10 pm. The n the second stage we sent CNN back with Qatar Airways QR957 that boarded at 5:20 pm from Soekarno Hatta International Airport. We’ve already put their names to the Directorate General of Immigration’s deterrence list” Surya concluded. (Thebalisun.com 28/11/2020)


Teeth reportedly stolen from carcass of sperm whale stranded on Bali beach

Thieves may have gotten to the carcass of a sperm whale that recently washed ashore on a Bali beach first, after officials reported all of its teeth missing and pointed to a lack of awareness among the public about the protected species.

“It’s extremely unfortunate that there are irresponsible parties when it comes to the missing teeth of this stranded whale,” Head of the Coastal and Marine Resources Management Center (BPSPL) in Denpasar, Permana Yudiarso, said.

Last week, the carcasses of two sperm whales were reportedly stranded at different locations in Bali: one near Mertasari Beach, and another on Mengiat Beach.

BPSPL found the second carcass with its teeth already missing, the discovery of which was followed with a statement from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries highlighting that whales are a protected species in the country.

The second carcass, about 13 meters long, was already decaying by the time BPSPL officers got to the location, with tear wounds around its stomach, tail, and anus.

Meanwhile, the first carcass was reportedly sighted near Mertasari Beach, though authorities did not manage to locate it. However, they believe that there were two different sperm whales as the first was said to be about 10 meters long.

At the time of publication, authorities are still investigating the double occurrences of stranded sperm whales in southern Bali.

Sperm whales are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). (Coconuts.co 27/11/2020)


Nusa Dua plans to become a Covid-free green zone

Nusa Dua is currently preparing to become a pandemic-free zone which would provide a safe zone for visitors. The southern Bali peninsula is implementing strict protocols for staff and visitors to eliminate risks at the resorts.

Nusa Dua has decided to try and exceed common protocols outlined by the Covid-19 Handling Task Force. The region is attempting to reach new heights in safety measures to assure the area is entirely free from covid-19 cases.

According to data, most people are still reluctant to travel during the pandemic, even in areas of strict prevention protocols.

Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) manages operations in Nusa Dua and Mandalika. ITDC says they are committed to providing safety for their honored clients by implementing  higher standards of safety.

During a Global Tourism Forum webinar at the Pullman Hotel Jakarta on Friday (27/11), The VP of Destination Planning ITDC, Doddy Dwinandam, highlighted his short and long-term goals during the event.

“In the Nusa Dua Green Zone, resorts will test visitors upon arrival. All staff will reside within the property to minimize Covid-19 coming in from outside the resort” explained Doddy.

Travelers will be tested upon arrival at Bali Airport. Once cleared, a designated vehicle which will take them to the resort. “Hopefully this program will be actioned this December” Doddy concluded. Thebalisuns.com 01/12/2020)


Vaccine hopes make tourism players optimistic about next year

Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani on Wednesday said that foreign tourist arrivals were projected at 13 million to 14 million in 2021.

For comparison, the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry expects only 2.8 million to 4 million foreign visitors this year, well below the government’s initial target of 18 million. The forecast for 2021 is still lower than last year’s recorded 16.1 million foreign visitors.

“We assume [a rebound] when [mass] vaccination is conducted. If it is conducted from January to March, then tourists will start travelling after the three months,” he said during an online discussion held by news agency Beritasatu. “What should be noted for the inbound tourists to Indonesia is they need vaccines.”

Tourism is one of the industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic as people canceled travel plans amid virus concerns and border closures.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo previously said that the government planned to carry out a mass vaccination program late this year or early next year. However, the Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) has said it will not authorize the emergency use of a COVID-19 candidate vaccine in December because of a lack of data on its effectiveness.

Meanwhile, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), the number of foreign tourists arriving from January to September slumped by 70.57 percent year-on-year (yoy) to 3.56 million visitors.

The PHRI has estimated that the global health crisis has cost the tourist industry more than Rp 100 trillion (US$7.1 billion) in potential revenue as of November.

As many as 550,000 hotel employees, or around 78.5 percent of the total registered workers in the industry, have been furloughed or laid off, PHRI data show.

Budijanto Tirtawisata, the president director of publicly listed tour and travel company Panorama Sentrawisata, said the decision to cut the year-end holidays would not greatly affect the number of travelers, as most people had already booked their travel when agents and hotels dropped their prices.

The government has rolled out Rp 2.4 trillion worth of discounts for Indonesian nationals traveling between October and December this year as part of the incentives to spur a rebound in travel demand.

“Those who have already asked for leave from their companies won’t change their plans, and the public’s longing to go on a holiday is going through the roof,” he said.

However, Budijanto said, the key to an optimal recovery was still vaccination, which would boost public confidence in traveling.

“We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We only need to convince travelers of their safety to maximize the rebound,” Budijanto said during the discussion. (Thejakartapost.com 27/11/2020)


Denpasar establishes 25 kilometer bike lane from cultural center to Sanur beach

Those of you who joined the cycling boom amid the pandemic can now consider Denpasar as your next riding destination, as the city has just established a 25 kilometer bike lane.

“The opening of the bike lane, which is also integrated with Trans Metro Dewata, is expected to inspire the public that’s been cycling a lot lately. Especially now that Car Free Day remains suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” I Ketut Sriawan, who heads Denpasar’s Transportation Agency, said yesterday.

Sriawan said the 25 kilometer lane is merely the first phase, with the second phase planned for 2021.

Cyclists can start their Denpasar biking journey from the city’s cultural center, also known as Dharma Negara Alaya. This eastern route can take them all the way to Sanur Beach.

For those planning on trying the new bike lane in Denpasar, officials are also encouraging them to hop on the province’s new bus systems, as one of its stations on Jl. Gajah Mada is located along the established route. In September, Bali launched the Trans Metro Dewata bus system, offering a new alternative in public transportation. Citizens can give it a whirl for free until December, as the regional government hopes to attract more people to use the buses. (Coconuts.co 30/11/2020)


Free wifi access coming to Bali beaches

The Badung Regency will provide free internet connection across the main tourist beaches in Semiyak, Legian and Kuta.

During an interview on Friday (27/11) the Head of Badung Communication and Informatics Agency (IGN), Jaya Saputra, confirmed the installation of wifi networks at popular beaches in Badung.

He explained that the innovation will give surrounding residents access to updated information in the digital age, which will help contribute to economic growth.
With this development, the government will also renovate site amenities such as showers, ornamental lights and pathways for a refreshed look.

New cafes are part of the action plan as Kuta Beach is gets set to operate 24-hours a day.
In accordance with cultural tradition, the Regency will construct an iconic monument on every beach. The 19 meter high sculpture will also serve as a shelter in case of tsunami.

“We will cooperate with the Public Works, the Spatial Planning Agency and the Communication and Information Ministry during the process” Saputra said.

A Senator for Badung District, Gusti Anom Gumanti, hopes the infrastructure developments will be completed in 2021. It is hoped that  the technological updates will help enhance the the quality of tourists visits to the beach added the Senator. (Thebalisuns.com 30/11/2020)