Bali tourism recovery program is expected to be started by the end of 2020

22 April 2020 - Covid19 is probably the worst thing ever happened to Bali’s tourism businesses in history. The damage caused by this pandemic is way more terrible than other tragedies such as Bali bombings and Mt. Agung eruption. When Bali experienced the bombing tragedies in 2002 and 2005 the hotel occupancy rates were plunged down at 20 percent, while during the eruption of Mt. Agung the occupancy rates of all accommodation in South Bali were still at 60 percent - as the red (dangerous) zone is only 12 KM from the crater. But these days, the hotel occupancy rates are even lower than 10 percent, which is followed by more than a million people who work in tourism sectors losing their job. The head of Indonesia Hotel and Restaurant Association or PHRI Badung IGA Rai Suryawijaya mentioned "Since April, almost 96 percent of hotels (in Bali) have closed, because there are no more tourist visits, the number will even continue to increase to 100 percent, because existing tourists will need to go back to their home countries". 

However, almost all of the members of Indonesia Hotel and Restaurant Association in Bali agreed with the Government’s decision to focus on handling COVID-19. "We are currently in a crisis situation, what we need to focus on right now is to get all the people contracted by COVID-19 a proper health care. So that people can calm down, and continue to their normal life soon, "  Added IGA Rai Suryawijaya. 

At this moment Bali Government is doing what’s best to accommodate the homecoming of thousands Balinese Migrant Workers, monitoring the protocols of quarantine sessions and the implementation of other policies. According to IGA Rai Suryawijaya, the return of Balinese Migrant Workers must be handled seriously by the government. Including all of the prevention efforts in the local communities. Such as, educating the public about the importance of wearing masks anywhere outside the home, to raise public awareness on applying a clean and healthy lifestyle and behavior. "Hopefully we can overcome this problem soon. The optimistic target for Bali is… At least if all of the 20 thousand Balinese Migrant Workers have arrived then we will take all necessary steps seriously, I think by August we can declare Bali safe and sound, "he explained.

Nonetheless, IGA Rai Suryawijaya also mentioned about the recovery program for Bali tourism businesses is expected to be started by the end of the year. He hopes that Bali tourism can be reopened to tourists at Christmas and the new year 2021. Moreover, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has also stated that the tourism business will surely  return to normal again in 2021. Tourists will be most likely to increase their vacation time after being bored at home during the COVID pandemic quarantine.

Right after the pandemic ends, there will be a discussion about tourism targets. Including efforts to bring more tourists to Bali. As there are many factors that must be considered to predict when tourism business in Bali will recover. "We focus first on mitigation and maintenance [the pandemic] so the people are not confused. After the pandemic ends, then we will think about it, " ended IGA Rai Suryawijaya.