Local News

Tourism Minister to visit Australia to encourage more Aussie tourists in Bali 

Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno is scheduled to visit Australia from July 6 to July 12 in a bid to boost Bali tourism by encouraging Australians to travel to the Island of Gods.

“We are preparing a visit to Australia. This will be my first official visit since I started my term in the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy,” Sandiaga said yesterday.

Australians are typically among Bali’s top travelers – bolstered by cheap flights and keenly priced tourism attractions, from night clubs to beaches. Since Bali started gradually reopening its international airport for international flights, Australians have begun flocking to Bali to satisfy their pent-up wanderlust.

“We see that Australia is still a potential market to increase tourist arrivals [with] Bali as the main destination. But naturally there are other destinations that we have prepared,” the minister added.

This year, Indonesia aims to see between 1.8 to 3.6 million tourist arrivals. According to the Ministry, 15,000 travelers have arrived in Bali in 2022 as of last week with visas on arrival (VOA). Most of them came from Australia, Singapore, the US, France, and the UK.

There are currently only 42 nationalities eligible for VOA entry.

A publication has claimed that tourist arrivals from down under, in particular, have been helping revive Bali’s economy.

Separately, Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Penny Williams confirmed that many Australians are looking forward to returning to Bali now that the island is officially open to tourists again. (coconut.co 06/04)


Vaccine Booster Required For Travelers In Bali During the Eid Al-Fitr Holiday

An official from the Bali Health Agency has confirmed that a Covid-19 vaccine booster is a requirement for travelers during the upcoming Eid Al-Fitr holiday season.

The Head of Bali Health Agency, Nyoman Gede Anom, confirmed that the enthusiasm of Bali residents to receive the Covid-19 vaccine booster has significantly increased since the government decided to make the vaccine booster certificate a travel requirement for the upcoming Eid Al-Fitr holidays in May 2022.

“This new travel requirement helped increase the vaccine booster distribution on the island,” Anom said.

In anticipation of the massive demand for vaccine boosters, officials decided to extend the operating hours of vaccination sites.

“We decided to extend the operating hours of vaccination sites until late in the evening. Some of our medical staff are even distributing vaccines to their residences,” Anom added.

Since the Bali provincial government started the vaccine booster distribution in early January 2022, 52.4 percent of Bali residents have received their booster shots as of April.

“Although there are expired Covid-19 vaccines in some regions, we still have over 137,000 doses of the vaccine left. Hence, we’re optimistic that we can reach a 100 percent vaccination rate in the near future,” Anom concluded. (thebalisun.com 06/04)


Maybank Marathon returns to Gianyar this August

Marathon runners, are you game to get ready, steady, and go? Maybank Bali Marathon is returning to Gianyar in August – marking the event’s return for the first time since the pandemic began.

First introduced in Bali back in 2012, Maybank Marathon was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, and was held virtually last year.

Scheduled on Aug. 28, Maybank Marathon will start at Bali Safari & Marine Park in Gianyar and will consist of three race categories: full marathon (42.195 kilometers), half-marathon (21.1 kilometers), and the 10K.

“The event […] is expected to reignite the passions among running enthusiasts who have been longing for the challenges of running in nature, especially in Bali,” said Maybank Indonesia CEO Taswin Zakaria. He added, “[The event] is also expected to become one of the efforts to reactivate outdoor sports competitions in Indonesia.”

Taswin also said that Bali has the infrastructure to host runners from all over the world and the event could boost tourism in the pandemic-ridden island.

Maybank Bali Marathon has been recognized as an elite road race marathon by World Athletics (previously known as International Association of Athletics Federations). (coconut.co 01/04)


Governor Koster claims Bali is entering COVID-19 endemic phase

Bali Governor Wayan Koster said earlier today that the Island of Gods is witnessing a shift in phases from a pandemic to an endemic based on recent COVID-19 cases and vaccination rates.

“Seeing curve patterns from 2020 and 2021 and currently 2022, I think from the development aspect between past patterns and existing curves, we are actually entering the endemic phase,” Koster said during a meeting at the Bali Regional Council today.

Koster met with legislators to discuss the 2021 accountability report (LKPJ) and shared his thoughts on the current COVID-19 situation. The top official later conceded that, at the end of the day, the official statement on whether Bali has entered an endemic phase would have to refer to a declaration from the World Health Organization (WHO).

“But I think Bali is already in that phase. So [it’s] safe,” he added.

In his report, Koster said that the province recorded 40 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, while 30 people recovered and, thankfully, no death was reported. The highest recent daily infections rate fell on Feb. 9 with 2,556 new cases that day, but numbers have continued to decline since.

Koster added that Bali has administered booster shots to 50.3 percent of its population – the highest in Indonesia, he noted – while the first dosage coverage is at 104 percent and 95 percent for the second dosage.

“Even now with international tourists able to enter Bali without quarantine and by using visas on arrivals, there has been no increase in COVID-19 cases. So we may continue the policy,” he said, referring to the 42 nationalities eligible for visas on arrival and the recently-introduced no-quarantine policy for Bali visitors. (coconut.co 01/04)


Turkish Airlines Resumes The Istanbul-Bali Flight Route

Turkish Airlines has officially landed a flight at the international terminal of Bali Ngurah Rai Airport for the first time since 2020.

The President of Angkasa Pura I, Faik Fahmi, confirmed that Turkish Airlines has resumed the Istanbul – Bali route and has landed its first flight at Bali Ngurah Rai Airport on Tuesday evening (29/3).

“We’re enthusiastic about the resumption of routes by Turkish Airlines. Bali Airport now has more international flights that will transport a larger amount of visitors into the island,” Faik said on Wednesday (30/3).

The plane that landed at 7:41 pm transported 288 passengers. They flew for over 12 hours from Istanbul, Turkey, and were scheduled to fly back to Istanbul on the same day at 9:45 pm with 208 passengers on board.

“The flight was 70 percent full. That’s a good beginning as more travelers become less reluctant to travel,” Faik added.

This resumed route is scheduled to operate every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Turkish Airlines had been operating this route since July 2019 but then decided to close its operation in early 2020 when the pandemic struck. “With this resumption, Bali Airport will receive an average of 520 passengers through the international terminal daily, from 5 different flights,” Faik concluded. (thebalisun.com 01/04)


Who killed the Berawa beach dogs?

For the last six years, 67-year-old Angie Bryce would wake up before 5am and cook chicken meat, chicken liver, and rice for the street dogs along Canggu’s beaches.

Carrying around 25 kilograms of home-cooked dog food in her bag, Angie would then either call her usual motorcycle taxi driver (or, if he’s not available, GoJek) to take her to Perancak Beach, Berawa Beach — popular amongst tourists and surfers — and Nelayan Beach.

Angie affectionately called the street dogs “furry gypsies.” To her, feeding them is the most spiritual thing she does on the Island of Gods.

On March 22, at around 6:30am, Angie received a picture of one of the dogs, called Old Putih (“Old White”), lying lifeless on the Perancak Beach.

She immediately contacted her feeding partner Natasha, 44, who later rushed to the beach and helped her bury the poor dog.

Exactly a week later, more dogs had been found dead – including several who had owners. Several beach dogs roaming around Berawa were found dead by poisoning in between March 22 and March 29, 2022. (coconut.co 01/04)