Immigration Indonesia Reformation

Immigration Indonesia Reformation – President Urges Changes

Immigration Indonesia Reformation – President Wants to Shake Up Immigration

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has asked that tImmigration Indonesia Reformationhe Immigration Department simplify and ease the process for obtaining visas-on-arrival (VoA) and Limited Stay Permits (Kitas), particularly for foreign investors. 

As Beritasatu.com and Beritabali.com report, the President’s instructions come after receiving many complaints regarding immigration service. The President spoke while leading a meeting convened with top officials to discuss VoA and Kitas at the National Palace in Jakarta on Friday, 9 September 2022.

The President said that he had received so many complaints regarding immigration that he hoped a total transformation would now occur to ease and improve services from the government agency. (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

President Joko Widodo commented: “What I have seen and conveyed to me has come from investors, tourists, people wanting to obtain a Kitas, or a resident permit. I feel that immigration continues to arrange and control the process. Until when? When will this end? This is difficult.”

For these reasons, President Widodo calls for a complete revamp of how immigration handles VoA and Kitas. He said the regulations must be simplified and serve tourists and investors coming to Indonesia.

“This has to change. The atmosphere of immigration should be one of service and facilitation. There needs to be a total change. If we want to attract investment and tourists, there needs to be a change,” said the President.

“This needs to be changed; it must be. What should be its aura is to facilitate and serve. It must change completely. If we want investment and tourists to come, it must be changed,” said Jokowi.

Joko Widodo also said the importance of granting VoA or a Kitas to potential investors must also be seen from the perspective of the investment’s size, job creation, contribution to the economy, and opportunity to enhance exports. (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

The President cited examples from several countries that have facilitated visas and stay permits for foreigners with economic potential or special skills. 

Joko Widodo said he wished to see immigration provide better service and abandon past practices. Easier visas and Kitas for investors and experts are sure to benefit the people of Indonesia.

Sounding an ominous warning to his cabinet and the hierarchy of the immigration department, the President told the cabinet to change the practices of the immigration department, replacing all officials starting from the director-general on down if needed. Adding that if such steps are not taken, nothing will change. (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

Fuel Prices Increased 03 September

bali fuel price hikeThe Indonesian Government has increased the price of subsidized fuel, including Pertalite, Diesel, and non-subsidized Pertamax, effective Saturday, 03 September 2022.

The fuel-price increase was announced by President Joko Widodo in a press conference on Saturday at the Presidential Palace.

As quoted by Kompas.com, President Joko Widodo said: “The Government has taken a decision in a difficult situation. This was the Government’s last choice to re-channel fuel subsidies that will result in the adjustment of fuel prices.”

The new fuel prices will take effect from 3:30 pm Jakarta time on Saturday, 03 September 2022.

The Presidential Press Conference included the attendance of The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arifin Tasrif, who announced Pertamina’s new price levels effective 03 September 2022:

PERTALITE Increased from Rp. 7,650 per liter to Rp. 10,000 per liter.

DIESEL (SOLAR): Increased from Rp. 5,150 per liter to Rp. 6,800 per liter

PERTAMAX: Increased from Rp. 12,500 per liter to Rp. 14,500 per liter.

While the new prices of Pertalite and Solar will be uniform for all areas of Indonesia, the price for Pertamax will vary across the country’s many regions. (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

Bali Prices

In Bali, Fuel Prices in Bali effective 03 September are as follows:

PERTALITE: Increased from Rp. 7,650 per liter to Rp. 10,000 per liter.

DIESEL (SOLAR): Increased from Rp. 5,150 per liter to Rp. 6,800 per liter

PERTAMAX: Increased from Rp. 12,500 per liter to Rp. 14,500 per liter.

  • Pertamax Turbo Rp. 15,900 per liter
  • Dexlite Rp. 17,100 per liter
  • Pertalite Dex Rp. 17,400 per liter

High Cost of Air Travel

Although the number of flights operating between Jakarta and Singapore continues to expand, demand still exceeds supply, resulting in air ticket prices that are very expensive, sometimes four times the price levels that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Air TravelQuoted by Beritasatu.com, Suryopratomo, the Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore, speaking during an interview with Investor Daily, said: “In the past, the round-trip ticket price Singapore-Jakarta on a low-cost airline was only SIN $200 (around Rp. 2.1 million), now that price has increased to SIN $600-$800. In the past, this was very cheap, and now it is much more expensive.”

After the pandemic had abated, said the Ambassador, the number of passengers flying Jakarta-Singapore increased extraordinarily. “I think 100,000 can fly between Singapore and Jakarta in a single month,” said Suryapratomo. (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

The Ambassador suggests supply of aircraft seats far exceed current demand, with demand held down by high prices.

The Ambassador continued, explaining that Singapore Airlines flights have now increased to five times and recently increased from four times each day. However, this number has yet to reach half of the flights between the two cities before the COVID-19 pandemic, when Singapore Airlines flew 13 flights each day. (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

Meanwhile, Garuda Indonesia, flying during the post-pandemic period only once daily, has increased its flight schedule to 11 times each week, leaving four days on which there are two flights each day. 

Turning his focus to Bali, the Ambassador said Garuda had recommenced flights from Singapore to Denpasar 3 or 4 times per week, while Singapore Airlines flies twice daily.

Elaborating further, the Ambassador said Batik Air flies twice daily. The lower number of flights reflects demand held back by high ticket prices in the post-pandemic era. (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

Foreign Arrivals to Bali on a Steady Rise

bali tourismThe total number of foreign visitors to Indonesia in July 2022 reached 476,970. According to the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, this is the highest number recorded since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on Tuesday, 06 September 2022, Minister Sandiaga said foreign visitors to Indonesia are dominated by five source countries: Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, India, and the U.S.A. Australia – the largest source of Indonesian visitors – represents nearly 40% of foreign visitors. (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

On a cumulative basis, from January until July 2022, foreign visitors totaled 1.2 million people, 15 times more than the same period in 2021.

The Tourism Minister says the significant increase in foreign visitors to Indonesia is fundamentally fueled by travelers using visa-on-arrival to Bali. 

Foreign visitors to Bali in July 2022 totaled 246,504. Adding: “This represents the highest number of arrivals since the pandemic with daily arrivals in the thousands. These visitors are entering Indonesia via Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

Addressing Visa-on-Arrival (VoA), Sandiaga said 75 countries are now eligible to receive VoA with the recent addition of the Maldives, Monaco, and Columbia.

Citizens of ASEAN Nations are eligible for a visa-free visit to Indonesia. These nations include the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

199-mtr Glass Bridge Opens in Blahbatuh

Beritabali.com reports that the Balinese Regency of Gianyar is preparing to open Bali’s first glass bridge in the Village of Saba, Blahbatuh District, in September.

bali glass bridgeFrequently unsettling to the uninitiated, guests can walk the elevated 199-meter distance between Banjar Blansinga to Banjar Tegenungan in the Sukawati District. The resulting feeling for the brave heart is not unlike walking on thin air.

A leading villager of Blangsinga, I Nyoman Artawa Putra, also on the expert staff of the Regent of Gianyar, confirmed the bridge is scheduled to open in September 2022. The bridge was constructed under the supervision of a Chinese company that has built similar glass bridges worldwide. (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

The contractor boasts that the finished bridge can bear loads of pedestrians up to a maximum weight of 40 tons. Putra said that once the bridge is open to the public, authorities will strictly control the number of people allowed to cross the bridge at any time. Putra added, “The number of people that can walk across the bridge simultaneously is around 250. The bridge will be very safe.”

Village officials and the Gianyar Regency have prepared supporting facilities for the new glass bridge, including parking lots and widening access roads to the ridge planned for 2023.

Putra said that in 2023 the surrounding roads would be taken over by the Regency and widened by an additional one meter to permit bus travel.  (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

The bridge’s construction is now complete but is not yet open to the public. Still to be finished is a gateway and ticket booth for the bridge that will span the Petanu River. Those using the bridge will enjoy views of the river below and the adjacent Tegenungan Waterfall.

China Airlines Flies Taiwan-Bali 2 x Weekly

China Airlines flying from Taiwan has returned to Bali with the landing of Flight Number CAL 771 at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport on Friday, 02 September 2022, at 3:06 pm.

Bali Taiwan flightsThe flight was operated on an Airbus A333 aircraft configured to carry 307 passengers. Welcomed with a water canon salute, the inaugural flight carried only 163 passengers, comprised of 136 economy class and 26 business class travelers. The flight from Taipei to Bali took 5 hours and 30 minutes to complete.  (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

The return flight to Taipei (CAL 772) departed at 4:07 pm with 84 passengers on board.

China Airline’s flight is the 22nd international airline operating to Bali. 

The manager of Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport, Handy Heryudhitiawan, told BeritaBali.com that China Airlines plans to operate twice each week on Tuesday and Friday initially. 

In 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 1,196,497 Chinese Travelers (including mainland PRC) visited Bali, followed by 1,137,087 Australians, and 377,543 Indian nationals. (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

Before COVID-19, eight airlines operated 20 flight routes from Mainland China and Taipei. 

From January to August 2022, 1,860,842 international passengers across 10,647 air movements traveled to and from Bali’s Airport. (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

Putin Plans to Visit Bali in November

putin g20 baliThe State News Agency Antara quotes the Russian Federation’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Lyudmila Vorobieva, saying the Jakarta Embassy is preparing for Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Bali in November 2022 to attend the G20 Conference.

Ambassador Vorobieva’s comments were made during a press in Jakarta on Wednesday, 07 September 2022.

Confirming that President Putin has received a formal invitation from Indonesia to attend the G20 Summit, Vorobieva said, “The Russian Embassy in Jakarta has begun preparing for the arrival of Putin in Bali. On the Indonesian side, President Jokowi has already sent an invitation to President Putin. That invitation was received with great gratitude.” (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

Vorobieva explained that Putin intends to participate in the G20 Summit directly. Adding that the Russian President’s attendance continues to depend on developments in several areas, including the military operation in Ukraine, the future situation with COVID-19, and the overall security situation.

Vorobieva restated Russia’s continued support of the priorities set by Indonesia’s Presidency of the G20 Summit and continues to participate in various G20 programs conducted by Indonesia. Adding: “We fully support Indonesia’s Presidency of the G20 and greatly appreciate the position of the President and the Government of Indonesia.” (Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)

She said Russia is preparing to send two musicians to attend and perform at the G20 on 12 September 2022.

Russia is also ready to attend an October G20 Parliamentary Meeting in Jakarta.

 

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(Main Article: Immigration Indonesia Reformation)
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Domestic Travelers in Bali

Domestic Travelers in Bali

bali domestic travel rulesPT Angkasa Pura, the state-owned company that manages Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport, has published the new travel guidelines for air travel following a circular memorandum issued by the Ministry of Transportation (SE 77 of 2022) covers travel during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

The General Manager of Bali’s Airport, Handy Heryudhitawan, told Radarbali.com that he was assuring the public that there would be no obstacle to implementing the new travel guidelines. “Implementing the memorandum SE 77 travel regulations will not change passenger flows at the Airport, and there will be no backloads or accumulation of passengers or operational problems at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport,” said Herydhitawan on Tuesday, 16 August 2022.

From January to July 2022, Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport served 5,612,677 domestic and international passengers, with passenger flows continuing upward. Reflecting what has been labeled as “low season” and higher ticket costs, domestic and international passengers are now averaging around 20,000 each day, down from a daily average of 28,000 in July.

“I hope the new travel guidelines will not affect traffic flows at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport,” added Herydhitawan.

SE 77 sets the following new guidelines:

  1. Every domestic air traveler must use the Government’s online health certification application PeduliLindungi.
  2. Domestic air travelers aged 18 and above who have received a complete vaccination program, including a booster shot, are NOT required to present proof of a negative RT-PCR or rapid antigen test.
  3. Domestic air travelers aged 18 and above who have only received the first and second COVID-19 vaccine must show proof of a negative RT-PCR performed within 3 x24 hours of departures.
  4. Domestic air travelers aged 6 – 17 years who have received both the first and second vaccination are NOT required to present a negative test result from an RT-PCR or rapid test antigen.
  5. Domestic air travelers aged 6-17 years who have only received the first vaccination or have received no vaccination are required to present proof of a negative rapid test antigen performed within 1 x 24 hours of travel or a negative RT-PCR test performed within 3 x 24 hours of travel.
  6. Domestic air travelers aged 6-17 years who have not been vaccinated and are arriving in Indonesia on an international flight are required to show a negative rapid test antigen performed in 1 x 24 hours of travel or an RT-PCR performed 3 x 24 hours of travel.
  7. Domestic air travelers suffering from specific health conditions or comorbidities preventing them from undergoing vaccination are exempted from government rules on immunization. They must present proof of a negative RT-PCR performed 3 x 24 hours of travel. This group is also required to submit a letter from a doctor or Government Hospital stating the traveler is unable to under vaccination against COVID-19.
  8. Domestic air travelers under the age of 6 years are exempted from vaccination requirements and are not required to present proof of screening by RT-PCR or rapid test antigen. Travelers under the age of 6 years must be accompanied by an adult who has satisfied the COVID-19 vaccination and screening tests outlined in the government deadlines.

Handy added that vaccination service is available at a special facility at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. This service has been open since 07 July 2022 and operates from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)

Bali Hosts World Tourism Day on 27 Sept

Indonesia has won the privilege to be the global host of the 42nd World Tourism Day, which falls on 27 September 2022.

World Tourism DayQuoted by Kompas.com, the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, said: “For the 42nd edition of World Tourism Day, Indonesia has received the honor of being named host with the headquarters for the global celebration to be Bali on 27 September 2022.

The tourism minister announced during his weekly online press briefing on Monday, 08 August 2022.

Sandiaga reminded everyone how World Tourism Day for 2022 has adopted the theme of “rethinking tourism” that encourages the re-surveying of what constitutes quality and sustainable tourism. Meanwhile, the Tourism Ministry’s acting deputy for resources and tourism institutions, Frans Teguh, commented that the theme of “rethinking tourism” needs to be embraced across Indonesia. Adding: “As hosts (for World Tourism Day), we need to agree with other nations that we (all) want to encourage tourism enterprises to develop a tourism model that is people-oriented, quality-oriented, and sustainable.”

Bali’s role as the host for the global celebration also entails the hosting of related events. These events will include panel discussions led by Bali tourism practitioners on “Rethinking Tourism as a Key Element on Recovery” and “The Tourism We Want.

In the run-up to World Tourism Day on 27 September, the Ministry of Tourism says seminars, competitions, community projects, and clean-up campaigns will be held nationwide. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)

Bali Terrorist Umar Patek Early Release?

Bali Terrorist Umar PatekInternational media is focusing on the planned imminent early release from prison of Umar Patek (50), the convicted bombmaker in the Bali Bombing of 12 October 2002 that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians, 23 Britons, and 53 others, spread across 20 other nationalities. At least 209 others suffered severe injuries in the attack.

Patek’s release forms part of a long-standing Indonesian program to reintegrate into mainstream society former terrorists now professing a personal reformation. Patek’s proposed release at this time would fall just short of the 20th anniversary of the murderous attack and represents a total of two years’ sentence reduction for the East Java man.

Channel 9 Australia quotes Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese: “This will cause further distress to Australians who were the families of victims of the Bali bombings. We lost 88 Australian lives in those bombings.” Adding: “His actions were the actions of a terrorist, and they did have such dreadful results for Australian families that are ongoing, the trauma which is there.”

The Australian Prime Minister is reportedly making “diplomatic representations” to the Indonesian leadership to discuss Patek’s planned early release and other issues, including the fate of Australians sitting in Indonesian jails. The Prime Minister said Patek’s release from prison is “abhorrent.” (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)

The Indonesian prison system typically grants sentence reductions in conjunction with the Nation’s Independence Day (17 August) or on religious holidays.

The head of the provincial office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Zaeroji, told the Associated Press that Patek has received a five-month reduction in his sentence for good behavior and could subsequently be released in August 2022. Zaeroji said prisoners in Indonesian prisons are eligible for early release if they meet the legal requirements. Explaining: “While in prison, he behaved very well, and he regrets his radical past, which has harmed society and the country, and he has also vowed to be a good citizen.”

Bali Terrorist Umar PatekA former member of the militant Islamic terrorist group, Jemaah Islamiyah, Patek, was arrested in Pakistan in 2011 and extradited to Indonesia, where he stood trial and was convicted for his involvement in the 2002 bombing. In 2012 he was sentenced to 20 years for murder and bomb-making in connection with the Bali terrorist attack and a Christmas Eve attack on a church in 2000. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)

The anger of many members of Australian society is disagreeably palatable. Erik de Haart, an Australian, who helped evacuate victims from the Bali bombsite, speaking on the Australian TV program Sunrise, questioned the Indonesian justice system that allows a man who has killed and injured hundreds, like Patek, to go free and the execution of Australian citizens Bali Nine members for simply smuggling drugs and who had demonstrated regret and remorse during their pre-execution imprisonment.

De Haart added, “This guy’s responsible for the death of over 200 people, and he gets released early because he was a good boy in jail? Please. Anyone can pretend to be de-radicalized—but, at the end of the day, he made a weapon that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians. And, you know, 10 years? Is that enough? … He doesn’t deserve to be given a good-behavior release”. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)

De Haart has joined a substantial chorus of fellow Australians calling for Australia to take a harder line with Indonesia, including rejecting a billion-dollar loan being extended by Australia for COVID-19 recovery.

Jan Laczynski, a survivor of the bombings, interviewed by Channel 9, said that many Australians would be “devastated” by Patek’s release. “This guy should not be going out unsupervised, unmonitored,” he said. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)

Bali Police Bust Online Gambling Racket

bali online gamblingA police strike force headed by the chief of the Denpasar Precinct, Police Commissioner Bambang Yugo Pamungkas, raided a fourth-floor meeting room in an unnamed hotel on Jalan Kartika Plaza in Kuta Bali at 8:00 pm on Saturday, 13 August 2022, suspected to be the headquarters of an illegal online gambling operation.

When police arrived at the scene, the conference room was empty. Police seized four computers, four operating units (CPU), seven routers, and four handphones.

As reported by Balipost.com and Beritabali.com, Police Commissioner Yugo told the press that police came to the location following reports from local citizens and the hotel’s management, who were suspicious of activities taking place in the hotel’s Orchid Meeting Room. Yugo confirmed that the Head of the Bali Provincial Police has ordered a crackdown on online gambling and that his officers continue reviewing the material gathered from the suspected gambling center.

The hotel’s management confirmed that the meeting room had been booked and used over the past several weeks. Police believe the party renting the conference room were locals currently sought by police. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)

Travel+Leisure: Bali 3rd Best Island

bali domestic travel rulesKompas.com reports that Travel + Leisure has published its list of the “25 Best Islands,” naming the Island of Bali as the World’s 3rd best.

In an online poll conducted from 25 October 2021 until 28 February 2022, the sophisticated readership of Travel + Leisure were asked to rate their favorite travel experiences, from destinations to hotels, attractions, and transportation providers.

The list of favorite holiday islands was based on Travel + Leisure reader reviews on the friendliness of native populations, local cuisine, tourist activities, panoramic views, and quality of beaches. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)

The Travel + Leisure global list of the 25 best holiday islands for 2022 and accompanying scores:

  • Ischia, Italy                               94.61
  • Maldives                                   94.44
  • Bali, Indonesia                        92.51
  • Milos, Greece                         92.50
  • Fiji                                            92.38
  • Galapago, Ecuador                  92.00
  • Phuket, Thailand                     91.90
  • Dominica                                 91.00
  • Boracay, the Philippines        90.89    
  • Cape Breton, Canada              90.88
  • Palawan, the Philippines       90.81
  • Paros, Greece                           90.62
  • Azores, Portugal                       90.48
  • Phu Quoc, Vietnam                 90.25
  • Moorea, French Polynesia    90.24
  • Cebu, the Philippines              90.12
  • Ibiza, Spain                               89.89
  • St. Vincent and Grenadines 89.79
  • Madeira, Portugal                    89.78
  • Maui, Hawaii, USA                   89.55
  • Anguilla, UK                              89.43
  • Crete, Greece                            89.40
  • Mackinaw Island, Mich, USA     89.10
  • Hawaii, USA                               88.53
  • Kiawah, South Carolina USA 88.49 (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)

2 Holiday Inns Seized on Kuta Beach, Bali

bali holiday innTeams from the Attorney General’s office have seized the assets of an Indonesian businessmam Surya Darmadi located across three provinces of Indonesia – Jakarta, Bali, and Riau,

As reported by Sindonew.com, Darmadi is currently charged in a corruption case involving Rp. 78 trillion in two separate cases. One is the result of allegations of malfeasance by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) involving the change in the status of jungle land in Riau. The second case alleges Darmadi, via his company PT Duta Palma Group in Riau, illegally usurped land measuring 37.095 hectares.

In Bali, as reported by Balipost.com, Prosecutors have taken action based on a ruling made by the Denpasar High Court (Nomor: 5/Khusus/Pen.Pid.Sus-RPK/2022/PN/ Dps). Prosecutors seized a parcel of land held by PT Menara Perdana measuring 26,730 square meters on Kuta Beach occupied by the Hotel Holiday Inn Resort Bali and the adjacent Hotel Holiday Inn Express Bali. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)

Another parcel of land in Kuta comprising 2,000 square meters owned by the Duta Palma Group has been seized as part of the corruption case. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)

The case also includes a 4,470 square meters parcel on Jalan Rasuna Said in South Jakarta, a piece of land measuring 9,271 square meters, and a building on Jalan Gatot Subroto in South Jakarta. 

In Riau, the government has seized a piece of land measuring 10,944 square meters on which stands a building operated by PT Duta Palma in Pekanbaru.

State Prosecutors seized the lands in three separate provinces of Indonesia in a continuing criminal case for money laundering against businessman Surya Darmadi originating with his Palm Oil business (PT Duta Palma Group). (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)

Gala G20 Cultural Dinner to be held at GWK

bali g20 summitBali’s iconic Garuda Wisnu Kenaca Cultural Park (GWK) Lotus Pond has been selected as the venue for the welcoming cultural dinner for at least 20 heads of state and related delegations expected to attend the G20 Summit in Bali in late November 2022.

As quoted by NusaBali.com, Andre Prawiradisastra, the head of marketing communication and events for GWK, told the press on Saturday, 20 August 2022, that preparations for the prestigious November dinner have reached the 80% level.

Among the items being prepared for the G20 Summit Dinner at GWK in November is the renovation of the entrance gate, creating new steep access roads. Andrew confirmed these three main preparatory steps with other projects, including CCTV surveillance installation and enhanced public area lighting. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)

Various government ministries and agencies are helping GWK prepare for the big event. This includes the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing. Andre added: “Everything must be ready by September. But, by August, President Joko Widodo may come to check that all is clean and ready.”

Andre warned the public to expect the popular GWK Cultural Park to be closed for three days before the event, from 16 -18 November 2022, and 2 days after the gala dinner. 

Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali 

 

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New Bali Theme Park

New Bali Theme Park by Paramount Picture

New Bali Theme Park by Paramount Picture

New Bali Theme Park The creation of the Paramount Theme Park in Bali made significant progress on Tuesday, 26 July 2020, with the signing of a development (construction) agreement between PT Kios Ria Kreasi and Paramount Pictures (USA) in an online ceremony.

The signing was supplemental to an earlier Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two companies.

(Main Article: North Bali Airport Plans) As reported by NusaBali.com and Kompas.com, the online signing of the agreement is needed to commence project construction.

The event was attended by representatives of the two companies and witnessed by the Regent of Jembrana, I Nengah Tamba; the Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno; and the Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster.

Regent Tamba told the press: “Today is a historic date for the Regency of Jembrana. On this day, in Los Angeles, USA, a signing took the place of an agreement between PT Kio Ria Kreasi and Paramount Pictures.”

The Regent of Jembrana, I Nengah Tamba (left), accompanied by the Regency Secretary, I Made Budiasa, participating in the online signing ceremony between PT Kios Ria Kreasi and Paramount Pictures for New Bali Theme Park.

Tamba continued, saying the signing affirmed that we will now achieve Jembrana’s desire to become home to an international-standard entertainment attraction with the construction of the Paramount Theme Park Bali.

New Bali Theme Park(Main Article: New Bali Theme Park ) When completed, Tamba said the Paramount Theme Park Bali would become the largest theme park in Southeast Asia, a magnet for international tourists to Jembrana. He added that this significant development in the tourism sector would enhance the Jembrana region’s economy.

Tamba said: “God willing, we continue to pray (for success). We welcome this project because it will bring extraordinary change to the income, progress, and performance of the Regency of Jembrana.

Buleleng North Bali Airport plans opposed by village community

(Main Article: New Bali Theme Park by Paramount Picture)
Buleleng North Bali AirportBeritabali.com reports that the chairman of the Special Planning Commission for the Provincial Zoning in Bali (RTRW-Bali), Anak Agung Ngurah Adhi Ardhana, announced that, after years of debate, the Village of Sumberklampok, in the Gerokgak District of Buleleng Regency has been selected as the location for a Buleleng North Bali Airport.

The location for the proposed new airport mow forms a part of the Provincial Zoning and Development Plan for Bali for the period 2022-2042. New Bali Theme Park

Bali Governor Wayan Koster confirmed the Sumberklampok location based on a letter from the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning and the National Land Agency (BPN) sent on 15 January 2022 (Nomor PF.01/ 08-200/ I/ 2021 tanggal 15 Januari 2021).

The chairman of the special commission appointed to create a 20-year zoning plan, Adhi Ardhana, reminded that the final confirmation of the location for the north Bali airport remains in the sole authority of the Ministry of Transportation.

The final go-ahead in the construction and location of a major airport in North Bali remains bogged down by numerous regulations and inter-agency disputes.

Buleleng North Bali Airport On 28 April 2022, a letter from the National Secretariat (B.0203/Seskab/Ekon/04/2022) was sent to Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster that contained an attachment containing specific guidance from President Joko Widodo.

Calling for work on an airport in northeast Bali (Kubutambahan) be halted because the airport location has now been shifted to a new location in northwest Bali.

This was preceded by a letter (PB.01/ 369-II-200/ VIII/ 2021) sent on 04 August 2021 from the Minister of Agrarian Affairs and the head of the National Land Agency (BTN) to Governor Koster recommending specific changes in the Provincial Zoning and Spatial Plan (RTRW – Bali).

Ardhana also explains that the relocation of the proposed airport must also contemplate issues related to the conservation of a protected National Forest. Ardhana confirmed that a letter (Nomor S.127/ PKTL/KUH/PLA.2/ 2/ 2021) was sent on 08 February 2021 from the Director-General of Forestry Planning from the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry (KLHK) addressing issues related to the infringement of the new airport on the National Park.

Ardhana, quoted by Detik.com, explained: “Because the land sought for the North Bali Airport is dry and non-productive. Thus, regarding environmental impact and other factors, the area’s zoning is still under review.”

Community Opposition to New Airport Location

(Main Article: New Bali Theme Park by Paramount Picture)
Buleleng Regency community members have formed a group called the Forum for North Bali Progress (Fobatama) is voicing its adamant opposition to plans to build the airport in Sumberklampok.

Fobatama, with members drawn from diverse sectors of the community, is suggesting that “certain parties” meddled in the selection of the new location for the airport in their community,

Antonius Sanjaya, a member of Fobatama, warns that if officials force the construction of the new airport in Sumberklampok, they will face various obstacles.

In addition to the natural limitations of the proposed location, there are also problems caused by the infringement by the airport on segments of the West Bali National Park (TNBB) and the Park’s central role in the conservation of the endangered Bali Starling population.

“We reject plans to move the planned North Bali Airport and the revision of Provincial Regulation Number 3 of 2020 governing the relocation of the proposed air gateway from the Village of Kubutambahan to Sumberklampok.

We are firm in rejecting the proposed location, which is not following the Presidential Decree on developing national strategic projects,” Anton said on 20 July 2022.

Anton Sanjaya also serves as the chairman of the executive board of the non-governmental organization Gema Nusantara, warns that relocating the airport to Sumberklampok violates the law.

The location of the new airport at Sumberklampok is only 40 km from the Belimbing International Airport in Banyuwangi, East Java.

Blaze on Gili Trawangan

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lombok gili trawanganA massive fire on Saturday night, 30 July 2022, damaged 94 buildings on Gili Trawangan, leveling at least 49 tourist villas.

Gili Trawangan, the largest in a group of three small offshore islands situated northwest of Lombok, measures some 3 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide and is home to a population of approximately 800 residents comprised of island residents and tourists.

Gili Trawangan is a popular island party destination supported by an extensive collection of beach side restaurants, bars, and hotels. The island has a “no vehicle policy,” with transportation provided via rented bicycles and local horse carriages (cidomo). New Bali Theme Park

(Article: New Bali Theme Park) Saturday night’s fire began shortly after sunset at 6:30 pm at the Hotel Jambuluwuk, spreading quickly to the nearby Eden Homestay.

The fire made quick work of many buildings primarily constructed of wood, thatched roofs, bamboo, and other natural materials.

Guests were safely evacuation, and no injuries have been reported. Because the island has no formal fire department, residents formed makeshift fire brigades using buckets filled with water, fire extinguishers, and scooped water from swimming pools.

Beritabali.com reports that police continue to investigate the incident. 

Bio Security Controls for Bali Travelers from OZ

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bali security controlsThe Australian federal government is urgently introducing strict new biosecurity precautions at Australian airports to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) from Indonesia, which is experiencing an outbreak across a wide geographical area.

As reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), “bio security response zones” are being introduced at Australia’s international airports where every traveler arriving from Indonesia must use specially-designed foot mats and undertake bio security measures that include the thorough disinfection of footwear and clothing.

These measures represent a sterner upgrade from the recent past, where travelers from Indonesia were asked to voluntarily submit to using foot mats and momentarily surrender their shoes for cleaning.

The new measures at the Australian airports are mandatory for a three-month trial period and only apply to travelers arriving from Indonesia. The force of law for these measures is mandated under Australia’s 2015 Bio security Act. New Bali Theme Park

(Article: New Bali Theme Park) Australia’s Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Wyatt is defending the new and strongest bio security measures in Australia’s history as necessary to protect the public and animal health.

Viral traces of FMD have been identified in Australia.

bali bio security controlsSenator Wyatt told the ABC: “We have already announced a $14 million assistance package to reduce the risk of FMD spreading from Bali to Australia, which includes increased detection and protection here in Australia and a million vaccines for the Indonesian cattle industry.”

Adding: “I also announced the deployment of sanitation foot mats at all international airports as an additional layer of protection for returning travelers from Indonesia.”

The mats are now being urgently introduced at airports nationwide in Australia.

The worsening crisis of FMD has precipitated demands from opposition members, including National Party legislator David Littleproud, to close the borders between Indonesia and Australia. Littleproud is a former Australian Agriculture Minister.

(Main Article: Buleleng North Bali Airport) The ruling party in Australia and the National Farmers Federation have dismissed any proposal to close the borders between the two countries. The president of the National Farmers Federation, Fiona Simson, says, “Our members do not support the closing of borders. It would put at risk a trade that is very valuable.”

While viral traces of FMD have been identified in meat products in Melbourne and Adelaide, Australia remains FMD-free.

Fiona Simson warns: “If even one case was to emerge in Australia, farmers would be faced with heart-wrenching decisions around the extermination, culling, and euthanizing of livestock to stop the spread of the disease. “It would shut the export markets immediately — so our meat, our wool, our cheese, our dairy products — they would all be halted immediately,” she said.

Adding: “We cannot allow this to happen.” Australian officials assure that Australian meat and dairy products remain safe to consume.

Sanur Beach: A Special Economic Zone

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Sanur Beach A Special Economic ZoneThe long-standing proposal that the Sanur Beach area of Bali become a Special Economic Zone (KEK) has received the agreement of the National KEK Council chaired by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy. Airlangga Hartanto, at a meeting of the Council held on Friday, 22 July 2022.

It is now expected that the National KEK Council will recommend to the Indonesian President that government regulations be promulgated to support a Special Economic Zone status for Sanur Beach. (Article: New Bali Theme Park)

(Main Article: New Bali Theme Park) Quoted by Balipost.com, Minister Airlangga said in a written statement, “With this (recommendation), the National KEK Council agrees with the proposal to create a special economic zone in Sanur and (the government) will soon finalize this fact in a Government Regulation embracing a KEK Sanur.”

Establishing a special economic zone in Sanur, Bali will be home to Indonesia’s first integrated medical health facility.

Airlangga said he hoped this development would save Indonesia’s foreign exchange while enhancing the national economy by transferring knowledge and technology from establishing a world-class medical campus in Sanur.

Sanur Beach A Special Economic ZoneAirlangga said that creating a Special Economic Zone in Sanur will create a demand for human resources and stimulate new investment.

By 2030, the Minister hopes that the segment of between 4% to 8% of the Indonesian public, representing between 123,000 to 240,000 people now seeking medical treatment overseas, will be able to seek medical care in Sanur.

Projected through 2045, the total foreign exchange savings will equal Rp. 86 trillion and generate 19.6 trillion in additional foreign exchange for the National Economy.

(Main Article: North Bali Airport Plans) The special economic zone established in Sanur will showcase medical and tourism projects, including hospitals, clinics, hotel accommodation, an ethno -medicinal botanical garden, MICE facilities (meeting, incentive, conference, and exhibition), and a commercial center. The total land area projected for the KEK Sanur is 41.26 hectares, with investments worth Rp. 10.2 trillion.

43,647 jobs are expected to be created by the Special Economic Zone.

Sanur Beach A Special Economic ZoneAt the center of the Sanur Special Economic Zone is the Bali International Hospital, now being built in Sanur in cooperation with the prestigious USA Mayo Clinic.

The Indonesian government seeks to stimulate national economic development by establishing special zones themed in various sectors, including digital enterprises, maintenance-repair-and-overhaul (MRO), education, and health.

Indonesia Remains Free of Monkey Pox

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Indonesia Free of Monkey PoxOn Saturday, 23 July 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the monkey pox epidemic a global medical emergency.

The Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has described the spread of monkey pox to more than 70 countries as an extraordinary situation qualifying as a global emergency.

In an unprecedented move, the WHO has declared a global emergency to sound an alarm and help coordinate an international response and make available funding for vaccines and care protocols to prevent the further spread of the disease.

Bali Free of Monkey Pox(Main Article: New Bali Theme Park by Paramount Picture) The WHO reports that monkey pox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted from animals to humans).

Contagion comes from close contact with an infected animal or human being through lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials, such as bedding.

With a fatality rate of 3-6%, monkey pox is self-limiting, with symptoms usually lasting for 2-4 weeks. Symptoms resemble smallpox – a disease eradicated globally in 1980, presenting clinically with fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes. New Bali Theme Park

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Indonesian Ministry of Health, Mohammad Syahril, announced on Sunday, 24 July 2022, that there had been no confirmed cases of monkey pox in Indonesia.

Syahril said that the Government is vigilantly following developments with the global outbreak of monkey pox to prepare a national response to prevent the spread of the disease to Indonesia.

Adding: “At airports, seaports, and land borders – we are on alert towards humans and animals that can cause the spread of monkey pox.”

 

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Indonesia Travel Restrictions

Indonesia Travel Restrictions – New Domestic & Inter’l Travel Rules

Indonesia Travel Restrictions – New Domestic & Inter’l Travel Rules

Indonesia Travel RestrictionsThe Ministry of Transportation has published circular memoranda providing guidelines to take effect on 17 July 2022 on the use of public transportation.

The circular memoranda – numbered 21 and 22 – covers travel guidelines for both domestic and international travelers during the continuing pandemic.

Adita Irawati, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transportation, stated in a written explanation on Monday, 11 July 2022, that the guideline covering domestic travel comprises four memoranda: memorandum no. 68 on sea transportation; memorandum no. 70 on air transportation; memorandum no.72 on rail transport; and memorandum no. 73 on land transportation.

For international transport, there are three relevant memoranda: memorandum no. 69 on sea transportation; memorandum no. 74 on land transportation; and memorandum no. 74 on land transportation.(Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

The guidelines generally covered the memoranda address nationwide air, sea, land, private vehicle transportation, public transport, ferries, and train travel.

Indonesia Travel Restrictions – Domestic Travel

The key guidelines include:

  1. Domestic travelers who have received the third COVID-19 vaccination (including the 3rd booster shot) are not required to show negative results of an RT-PCRor rapid antigen test.
  2. Domestic travelers who have received a second dosage of the COVID-19vaccination are required to present a negative result for a rapid antigen test performed within 24 hours before departure or a negative result for an RT-PCR test performed 48 hours before departure. These domestic passengers must also be prepared to submit to an on-site booster (3rd vaccination) at the port-of-departure.
  3. Domestic travelers who have only received the first COVID-19 vaccinationmust present a negative result from an RT-PCR test performed within 72 hours of departure.
  4. Domestic travelers suffering from specific health conditions or comorbidity that prevent vaccination are exempted from the vaccination requirement. Still, they must present proof of a negative RT-PCR examination within 72 hours of departure. These individuals must also submit a doctor or government hospital letter stating that the traveler cannot follow the COVID-19 vaccination
  5. Domestic travelers between the ages of 6 and 17 must show a certificate showing they have received the second COVID-19 vaccination and are not required to present a negative RT-PCRor rapid test antigen.
  6. Domestic travelers under the age of 6 years are exempted from vaccination requirements and are not required to present a negative RT-PCRor rapid test antigen. The young travelers must be accompanied on their journey by someone who has met established vaccination and testing protocols.

Indonesia Travel RestrictionsAdita Irawati elaborated, saying the above requirements do not apply for routine travel by land using public or private vehicles, trains operating within a single region or municipal area, pioneer modes of transportation in border areas, and, in limited special circumstances, in remote regions.

 

(Indonesia Travel Restrictions) – Generally, the protocols apply also to foreign travelers using the following gateways:

  1. International airports that include: Soekarno Hatta (Banten), Juanda (Surabaya), Ngurah Rai International (Bali), Hang Nadim (Riau), Raja Haji Fisabilillah (Riau), Sam Ratulangi (Manado), Zainuddin Abdul Madjid (Lombok), Kualanamu (Medan), Sultan Hasabuddin (Makassar), Yogyakarta International, Sultan Iskandar Musa (Aceh – only for Haj pilgrimage), Minangkabau, (West Sumatra – only for Haj pilgrimage), Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II, (South Sumatra – only for Haj pilgrimage), Adisumarmo, (Solo Jawa Tengah – only for Haj pilgrimage ), Syamsuddin Noor, (South Kalimantan – only for Haj pilgrimage), Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Sepinggan, (East Kalimantan – only for Haj pilgrimage).
  2. All international seaports in Indonesia
  3. Eight international border crossing points that include Aruk, West Kalimantan; Entikong, West Kalimantan; Motaain, East Nusa Tenggara; Nanga Badau, West Kalimantan; Motamasin, East Nusa Tenggara; Wini, East Nusa Tenggara; Skouw, Papua; and Sota, Papua.

Adita said the guidelines outlined in the latest memoranda would take effect on 17 July 2022.

Bali G20 Summit – Early Storm Warnings!

Bali G20 SummitIndonesia’s goal of hosting a peaceful and productive G20 Summit in November 2022 is being cast into growing doubt amidst growing international tensions fueled by Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

In a runup to the November Summit, Indonesia convened a meeting of G20 member nation foreign ministers in Bali on 08 July 2022. Disappointing to the Indonesian hosts, the Bali event saw many attendees acting in an openly recalcitrant manner, including a high dudgeon walkout in the early stages of the gathering by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, accused the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister of failing to respect the G20 Meeting of Foreign Ministers. The highly critical accusation from the EU representative was made against Lavrov after the latter walked out of a meeting of foreign ministers in the Nusa Dua.

In Nusa Dua, Lavrov finished his speech presenting the Russian perspective on Ukraine and other topics and then left the proceedings without listening to his G20 counterparts table their countries’ respective positions.

Kompas.com, reporting on the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meetings (FMM), quotes Borrell, speaking on behalf of the EU, saying: “He (Lavrov) spoke and then left without any explanation. He didn’t listen to other Ministers’ remarks and avoided every interaction and discussion.”

The State News Agency Antara quoted Borrell alleging that Lavrov’s behavior in Bali failed to respect the G20 meeting of foreign ministers and that he attended without any intention to seek a solution to the Russian-Ukraine conflict. (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

The Russian-Ukraine conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic drew international attention to the Bali meeting of G20 foreign ministers that serves as a preliminary before the main event of the G20 Summit in November 2022. Borrell explained the Bali meeting was convened spontaneously amidst the emotional atmosphere of the life and death drama of those living in the Ukraine war zone.

Borrell also mentioned the food crisis resulting from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, warning of the effects on the global food supply if the war does not end soon. “It is not only the Ukraine that will suffer,” said the EU official.

Bali G20 Summit 2022Meanwhile, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the meeting of foreign ministers under Indonesia’s G20 presidency was a success with the attendance of all the G20 foreign ministers to discuss significant global challenges. Adding: “This is an achievement: gathering all the key players in one room for talks.

During the Bali meeting, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, had a one-on-one side-meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Meanwhile, reflecting the current state of US and Russian relations, Blinken and Lavrov made no effort to meet in Bali. (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

“Discussion were conducted in a very open atmosphere, and everyone accepted that they each had their position, but that fact was not of no great importance.” Retno acknowledged Larov’s abrupt departure from the meeting room, saying other foreign ministers were also coming and going from the room to undertake bi-lateral side meetings with their international counterparts.

Dian Triansyah Djani, an Indonesian career diplomat, assigned to coordinating the G20 Summit and its side meetings, told the press that no delegations walked out of the Bali meeting. Dian said if such a walkout took place, it was merely a normal part of international diplomacy. “What’s important is that (what happened) was not a walk out against Indonesia’s leadership of the G20,” added Dian. (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

Continuing in the same vein, Dian insisted that the attendance of all the foreign ministers of the G20 in Bali showed international faith in Indonesia’s current presidency of the G20. Indonesia demonstrated its ability to conduct neutral meetings reflecting the country’s commitment to a foreign policy that is independent, active, and always in search of solutions to global problems.

In a separate report from Kompas.com, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov publicly complained after the reported Friday 08 July 2022 “walk out” at the Nusa Dua Complex. Lavrov lamented that foreign ministers attending the Bali meeting used the occasion to launch verbal attacks on Russia instead of remaining “on topic” by discussing global economic challenges. After leaving the meeting, Lavrov said he decided not to attend the main meeting and a group photograph. (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

A Russian news source, Russia Today, claimed that some countries had agreed to try to punish Russian because of the Ukraine conflict, using the G20 meeting in Bali to underline Russian diplomatic isolation. “It’s clear they used the G20 for a manufactured purpose,” said Lavrov.

Lavrov rejected moves to depict Russia as aggressors, invaders, or occupiers. He also claimed that Western Nations were sending mixed signals, with some countries calling for a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine conflict while other nations are urging Ukraine to fight. (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

Continuing, and quoted by The Guardian, Lavrov said: “If the west doesn’t want talks to take place but wishes for Ukraine to defeat Russia on the battlefield – because both views have been expressed – then perhaps there is nothing to talk about with the west.”

Indonesian Marriage Laws

marriage laws indonesiaIndonesian culture has an almost overwhelming desire to see every single adult married. Accordingly, the law states that people should be married to a person of the opposite sex who shares their religious belief in a ceremony performed before a government registrar (catatan sipil) and, ideally, also by a religious-traditional celebrant.

People unfamiliar with Indonesian culture may find it hard to understand a situation in which a toothless, 86-year-old spinster, when asked if she’s married, can only respond by saying “not yet” (“belum”). (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

Culturally, the woman to answer by saying the equivalent of “I am NOT married” would sound so strange to local ears that all communication would come to a screaming halt.

Legal matrimony remains a central theme of Indonesian society, a fact reflected in the final draft of the current revision of the Indonesian criminal code threatening imprisonment and fines for anyone found to be cohabitating with another adult outside the bonds of marriage. If ratified, this law may have far-reaching consequences on tourism in Bali and the rest of Indonesia.

Article 416 of the draft law prohibits cohabitation and consensual sex by unmarried couples, threatening large fines and six months imprisonment for being convicted of sex outside marriage.

One mitigating stipulation of the new law states that prosecutions can only proceed against an illicit non-marital-sex offense following a complaint made by a third party. The charge can be withdrawn or nullified at any time before going to trial. (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

marriage laws indonesiaAt the current time, even before the new law goes into effect, law enforcement officials in remote regions of Bali and across the rest of the Republic show little mercy to those caught engaging in extra-marital sex.

Local media reports frequently tell of unmarried couples, government officials, students, and unfaithful husbands and wives being apprehended in flagrante delicto or “in the act” of committing extra-marital sex in local hotels and villas.

It is unclear how the proposed new law against extra-marital sex will contradict Article 28 of the Indonesian Constitution, which protects individual rights and freedom. Also of concern is how this law might backfire and inflict significant damage on Bali’s recovering tourism industry. (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

For instance, just how the law will be applied in Bali’s large hotel and villa sector is troubling, with some insisting Bali police would close a “blind eye” as regards unmarried couples sharing rooms in Bali. But, the “law is the law,” and many travelers might suddenly find Bali and the rest of Indonesia an unattractive destination against even the faintest possibility that a prison term and a fine could follow the next knock on your hotel room door.

It is, of course, Indonesia’s right to establish and rigorously enforce its system of laws. However, at the same time, there would almost certainly be consequences on Indonesia’s efforts to develop international tourism resulting from the strict application of the new law. (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

Common-law marriage has many names and labels: de facto, cohabitation, samenliven, domestic partnership, conjugal union, and kumpul kebo.

The new Indonesian law seems to ignore trends in modern society. By whatever name, common-law partnerships or non-ceremonial marriages appear to be undergoing an upward trend globally. This includes Indonesia and Bali, where many young Indonesian couples share accommodation when traveling to major tourism areas.

Leading source markets for foreign visitors to Bali include large segments of people in long-term unions without the benefit of formal marriage certificates. Data from The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show that growing numbers of people live in unregistered domestic partnerships, averaging from 10% to 30% in nearly all developed countries. What’s more, the average rate of unmarried couples living in non-registered unions grows higher among older couples and those with higher levels of education.

Australia is a leading source of tourists to Bali, where OECD data shows as many as 17% of couples over age 30 cohabitate in de facto relationships. By extension, it is logical to assume that many within this segment travel on holiday to Bali and book accommodation at the Island’s hotels. (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

If Article 416 of the revised criminal law prohibiting cohabitation by unmarried adults is rigorously enforced in Indonesia, questions arise about the impact on Bali’s beleaguered tourism sector? Will domestic and international guests be required to present “proof of marriage” at check-in? Will guests unable to present an acceptable marriage license be refused service?

Will supervision measures now be implemented to monitor Bali’s large wedding planning industry to ensure that the bride and groom sleep in separate rooms until formally married, as seeming required by the new law? Will Bali law enforcement officials in the Island’s main tourist areas duplicate enforcement measures already in place elsewhere in Indonesia by conducting “surprise” raids of guest rooms to apprehend and arrest those involved in illicit conjugal relations? (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

But the most important question still to be answered is what effect Article 416 KUHP will have on Bali tourism arrivals and the Island’s standing as the world’s most romantic Island?

Denpasar Hotels Struggle to Recover

hotels denpasar baliNusaBali.com quotes the chairman of the Denpasar branch of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Denpasar), Ida Bagus Gede Sidharta Putra (“Gusde”), saying average hotel occupancy rates in Denpasar had reached 40% – with “almost all” PHRI-Denpasar members now open and operating.

Some Denpasar hotels, however, remain closed. Gusde said some hotels remain closed because their rooms suffered damage and deteriorated during the pandemic and are yet fit to be occupied by guests. (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

According to Gusde, occupancy rates at Denpasar hotels average around 40%. Despite the large number of events taking place in Bali, occupancy at Bali hotels remains between 40-50%.

Gusde said hotels in Denpasar offer discounts of between 35-40 percent.

Gusde, who manages the Griya Santrian on Sanur Beach, optimistically noted that his property is bow achieving an occupancy of 65-70%. Adding: “This is good. Although the price is not yet normal, rates are still rising slowly with the international borders now reopened. Many hotels are not ready (to reopen). Two years (of closure), they are damaged.” (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

The PHRI-Denpasar chairman said that in normal times there are around 8,000 hotel rooms in Denpasar, and the current number (of saleable rooms) is about half this number. He admitted there had been no formal confirmation or survey regarding how many hotels remain open, how many are bankrupt, or how many are under repair following a two-year pandemic crisis.

Continuing, Gusde explained: “For instance, from the 138 rooms at the Griya Santrian, 80 are not saleable. The paint on the walls has peeled, and some air conditioners are broken. We don’t have the funds to repair these items, and we must gradually accumulate the funds, and then we will repair these rooms.” (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

Australian visitors dominate guests in the Sanur Beach area of Denpasar. Domestic travelers dominate guests in Denpasar city hotels.

bali denpasar hotelGusde explained the problems now encountered by hotels heavily dependent on domestic travelers. He said hotels serving only the domestic market enjoy either “feast or famine” – high occupancy during school, public holidays, and major events sponsored by State ministries.

When these holidays or events pass, the hotels don’t know where to look for new guests. Hotels with a mix of domestic and international guests enjoy a less “up and down” trend in occupancies. (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

The PHRI-Denpasar chairman is hopeful that The Sanur Village Festival scheduled for 17-21 August will stimulate visitors and hotel occupancies in both Denpasar and Sanur. Gusde thinks the Festival may provide a 10-15% improvement in hotel occupancies based on its past success in attracting domestic and international visitors.

In pre-pandemic times, the 5-day Sanur Village Festival managed to generate Rp. 44 billion in income, attracting 70,000 visitors to Sanur.

Bali Among Busiest Airports in June 2022

airport denpasar baliThe 15 Indonesian airports managed by PT Angkasa Pura I (API) handled 4.715 million inbound and outbound passengers traveling on 39,706 flight movements during June 2022.

As reported by Kompas.com, compared to one year before – June 2021, passenger traffic increased 37% while aircraft movements were up by 6%. In June 2021, a total of 3.44 million passengers on 42,324 flights were recorded by API.

The CEO of API, Faik Fahmi, noting the increase in passengers and flights, commented: “The continuing trend in passenger growth over this year is a positive sign of the recovery of the public’s faith in air travel.” (Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)

Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport

Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport recorded the highest number of passengers and flights in June 2022 among the 15 airports managed by API.

Flights and passenger numbers at API-managed air gateways in June ranked in order of the three leading busiest airports.

  •      Bali’s Ngurah Rai Internation Airport:1.1 million passengers comprising 754,188 domestic and 364,910 international passengers.
  •      Surabaya’s Juanda International Airport: 995,621 passengers comprising 855,345 domestic passengers, 74,334 international passengers, and 65,942 transit travelers.
  •      Makassar’s Sultan Hasanuddin Airport: 873,809 passengers comprising 658,087 domestic passengers, 9,584 international passengers, and 206,138 transit passengers.

(Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions) – Aircraft Movements

In terms of aircraft movement, the top three airports in terms of ranking:

  •      Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airportwas ranked first in June 2022 with 7,027 flights broken down into 5,105 domestic flights and 1,922 international flights.
  •      Surabaya’s Juanda International Airport ranked second with 6,839 flights broken down into 6,355 domestic and 484 international flights.
  •      Makassar’s Sultan Hasanuddin Airportranked third with 6,829 flights comprised of 6,768 domestic and 61 international flights.

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News Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions – New Domestic & Inter’l Travel Rules
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Bali Tourism Development

Bali Tourism Development – Equitable Approach Demanded

Bali Tourism Development – Equitable Approach

Bali Tourism DevelopmentThe State News Agency Antara quotes the Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, reminding Bali’s leaders that Bali Tourism Development must be distributed on a broader geographic basis and not be allowed to accumulate in limited areas.

Ensuring a more equitable spread of tourism development will prevent the adverse condition Sandiaga terms “overtourism” in Bali. “Overtourism” is a condition where certain, limited areas receive more tourists than they can reasonably handle and results in other problems that include traffic jams, increased crime, and public disorder. Bali Tourism Development

To avoid “over tourism” and its resulting adverse effects, Sandiaga’s Ministerial team is cooperating with the Provincial Government of Bali to enhance the tourism potential in Bali’s west, east, and north to lure tourists away from the popular tourist destinations in the Island’s south. Sandiaga said on Saturday, 02 July 2022: “I have been trading data with the Head of Tourism for the Province of Bali and the Deputy Governor of Bali on how to distribute proceeds of the development (of tourism) so it doesn’t all accumulate in Bali’s south. If this is not done, Bali will return to the pre-pandemic situation of overcrowding and ‘over tourism.’”

According to data compiled by the Central Statistic Bureau (BPI), the number of foreign tourists coming to Indonesia, including Bali, has increased 500% in April 2022 compared to April 2021. Meanwhile, an average of 15,000 domestic and 7,000 foreign tourists are visiting Bali daily in Bali.

The tourism minister is concerned with the revival of tourism in Bali, characterized by crowded road conditions. “Many roads are jammed. We need to promote a travel plan,” Sandiaga told the head of the Bali Tourism Service Tjok Bagus Pemayun. (Bali Tourism Development)

Accordingly, the Tourism Minister plans to travel the length and breadth of the Island to help develop tourist attractions in Bali’s east, west, and north. “Next week, we will travel to Bali’s west. Then, each week after that, we will circle the island to the west, north, and east because Bali’s south is beginning to suffer from ‘over tourism.’ We want to create events and tourism activities in these other areas,” said Sandiaga.

Sandiaga also said that plans focus on persuading foreign visitors to undertake sustainable quality tourism activities. “So let’s not just pursue numbers, but also quality and how to ensure they have a positive effect on the local community,” said Sandiaga. (Article: Bali Tourism Development)

Komodo Park to Charge US$260 Per Visitor

komodo park entree feeEffective 01 August 2022, the Provincial Government of East Nusa Tenggara and the Komodo National Conservation Park (TNK) will charge Rp. 3.75 million per person (approximately U$260) to enter the Park. The ticket will reportedly allow repeated visits to the Park over one year.

It is not clear if a lower tariff will be available to domestic visitors to the Park.

Carolina Noge, the Coordinator of the Task Force to Strengthen the function of The Komodo National Park, speaking in Jakarta on Monday, 27 June 2022, said an entrance ticket will cost Rp. 3.75 million per person with a validity of one year within a yearly maximum quota of only 200,000 visitors for the Park.

As reported by Kompas.com, groups of four visiting the Park will be required to pay Rp. 15 million for a pass valid for one year.

The decision for the enormous increase in the admission fee and quota limitations is defended based on the high cost of conservation efforts and the need to prevent degradation to the ecosystem caused by the growing number of visitors to Komodo National Park. Every Park visitor, according to the task force, brings a harmful impact on the wildlife, the biological diversity, and the overall ecosystem of the Park. Bali Tourism Development

Earlier, during discussions on the proper price levels for admission tickets, experts put the cost of conservation incurred by every Park visitor between Rp. 2,943,739 and Rp. 5,887,459.

In addition to limiting the maximum number of annual visitors to 200,000 – every visitor must register their visit online via a dedicated website. The 200,000 annual limit on visitors to the Park results from a review on carrying capacity done by a team of experts. No mention has been made of any maximum daily quota on Park visitors.

Future visitors to the Komodo National Park will also be required to present a health certificate from a recognized medical facility.

The head of the Komodo National Park, Likita Awang, said the new regulations are being implemented following six significant incidents occurring over the three years 2019-2022. Awang also emphasized that travel agencies bringing people to the Komodo National Park need to take responsibility for the physical condition of their clients while visiting the Park.

Bali Tourism Development – Russian Facing 7 Years for Motorcycle Theft

russian thiefA Russian tourist in Bali, Georgii Razhim (31), has been arrested after stealing a Honda Vario Motorcycle at the Ila Kitchen and Villa on Jalan Raya Katik Lantang in Singakerta, Ubud in the early hours of Friday, 17 June 2022.

As reported by NusaBali.com, Razhin jumped a metal fence at 2:23 a.m. in the Villa parking area, where he was apprehended by security guards (Satpam) when he tried to open a chain barrier to leave the parking area.

Razhim saw a parked motorcycle with the key left in the ignition, causing him to drive the bike away from the scene. Quickly captured, the Russian was turned over to police in the Regency of Gianyar. Bali Tourism Development

The Russian tourist was transferred from the lockdown at the Gianyar Police Station to the Prison in the Regency of Gianyar because of the disruption he was causing at the police precinct lock-up. Officer AKBP Bayu Sutha Sartana told NusaBali.com that Razhim destroyed furniture, screamed, and urinated indiscriminately at the police station. The man was sent to the Mental Asylum in Bangli for examination, after which he was determined to be sane.

The police are charging the man with theft under Section 363, paragraphs 1 and 3 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) with grand theft with extenuating circumstances. The maximum penalty under this section of the law is seven years.

Bali Tourism Development – The Russians are Coming to Bali

russian bali toursimDuring his weekly online press briefing, the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy on Monday, 04 July 2022, announced plans to open soon direct flights connecting Moscow, Russia, and Denpasar Bali.

Quoted by Kompas.com, Sandiaga said: “We are coordinating directly with the Russian Embassy to confirm the opening of direct flights from Moscow to Denpasar. We hope this can concretely manifest President Jokowi’s visit to Russia.”

Continuing at his weekly briefing, Sandiaga said Bali remains a favorite destination for Russian tourists, with many travelers selecting high-quality luxury accommodations with an extended stay. “In this way, quality (of the tourist) is maintained, length of stay is quite long, and their spending is of high level. On average, they visit with their families,” commented the Tourism Minister (Bali Tourism Development).

Based on data compiled before the COVID-19 pandemic, Russian ranked as the fourth largest source of international tourists to Bali, achieving between 300,000 to 400,000 annually. Russian travelers also ranked among the “top-ten” source of foreign tourists to Bali during the COVID-19 pandemic period from 01 January until 31 May 2022.

Data from the World Travel Organization (UNWTO), the invasion of Ukraine by Russia has had a significant impact on global travel, mainly impacting the cost of aviation fuel which is increasing the price of air travel.

We will capitalize on the momentum to draw Russian travelers to Indonesia. We will also be pushing for accelerating the commencement of direct flights from Moscow to Denpasar. These flights have also received a ‘green light’ from the Ministry of Transportation,” said Sandiaga.

Sandiaga said he hoped the Russian carrier Rossiya Airlines would operate direct flights between Moscow and Denpasar with an initial frequency of three times weekly. Adding: “There is certainly a great deal of coordination and communication that we will undertake on government and business-to-business levels. This includes preparing regulations that will push the tourism industry to focus on the Russian market by promoting non-mainstream destinations that are new, exciting, unique, and authentic.”

Bali Tourism Development – Aviation Operators Seek Pricing Review

indonesia aviation industryFinance.detik.com reports that Indonesia’s largest aviation operator, Lion Air Group, is calling on the Indonesian government to revise the current regulations stipulating the minimum and maximum domestic airfare levels that airlines can charge the public.

Lion Air complains that current market conditions, including the increased price of aviation fuel and the strength of the U.S. dollar, have made it increasingly expensive to operate commercial aircraft. The President Director of Lion Air Group, Daniel Putut Kuncoro Adi, reports that many vendors supplying material to the airline have closed while those remaining in operation are increasing prices. The weak Indonesian Rupiah has also increased the cost of operating any commercial airline fleet.

Speaking before Commission V of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR-RI), Daniel said on Tuesday, 28 June 2022: “The materials, spare parts, transportation, logistics, and components are now costly because we must purchase these items in U.S. dollars. Bali Tourism Development

The Lion Air CEO said he hoped the Ministry of Transportation Regulation Number 20 of 2019 would be revised, relaxing the minimum and maximum air tariff for airline tickets as the stipulated ticket prices no longer reflect current business conditions.

Daniel explained: “Regulation Number 20 of 2019 was issued before the COVID-19 pandemic and now needs to be reviewed because operational costs cannot be reduced.” Continuing, he said that increased air traffic and changes in flight times result in higher costs. To make his point, Daniel points to changes in the air route between Jakarta and Tanjung Karang in Lampung, South Sumatra.

“Cengkareng (Jakarta) to Tanjung Karang that could once be flown in only 35 minutes now, due to increased traffic, can require 50 minutes or one hour,” said Daniel. This is also the case on the Bali-Lombok route, which also takes longer to fly, resulting in a higher cost. Using the current maximum tariffs set by the government, the Lion Air CEO says many air routes are no longer profitable to operate.

Daniel commented, “Bali-Lombok is also under threat because the flight time required is now longer. If airfares are not revised, air operators will not fly these routes because even with passenger loads of 100% profitable operations are not possible.” Bali Tourism Development

He also said that the diminishing armada of domestic aircraft is increasing the cost of air tickets. Bali Tourism Development

The Chairman of Commission V of the DPR-RI, Lasarus, says that increased airline ticket prices are also attributable to the national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia operating several planes that are not appropriate to the traveling public demands. Adding: “The high price of air tickets is also due to Garuda Indonesia’s lack of available aircraft seats with passenger demand exceeding available seats.”

Garuda’s current fleet of aircraft is down to 33 aircraft. This compares to Lion Air, which operates 255 aircraft.

Meanwhile, the Director of Human Capital for Garuda Indonesia, Arya Perwira Adileksana, told DPR-RI Commission V that his airline is working to escape the threat of bankruptcy and hopes to increase its armada to 70 aircraft by the end of 2023. The Garuda Indonesia subsidiary Citilink Indonesia is operating 34 aircraft, a number they plan to increase to 49 by the end of 2023.

 

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Bali Tourist Entry Visa

Bali Tourist Entry Visa Clarified for 2022

Bali Tourist Entry Visa Clarified for 2022

Bali Tourist Entry VisaThe Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a circular memorandum (SE/005/PK.04/2022/64) on 28 April 2022, addressed to all foreign legations of the Republic worldwide, detailing visa entry requirements.

The salient points of the memo follow.

 

 

Citizens of the following nine ASEAN member countries are traveling for “leisure purposes” are allowed to travel visa-free:

  1. Brunei Darussalam
  2. Philippines
  3. Cambodia
  4. Laos
  5. Malaysia
  6. Myanmar
  7. Singapore
  8. Thailand
  9. Vietnam

Bali Tourist Entry Visa – Citizens of the following 60 countries and administrative regions are entitled to receive a “Visa on Arrival for Leisure Purposes” after paying a visa fee of Rp. 500,000 (US$35):

  1. South Africa
  2. United States of America
  3. Saudi Arabia
  4. Argentina
  5. Australia
  6. Austria
  7. Netherlands
  8. Belgium
  9. Brazil
  10. Brunei Darussalam
  11. Bulgaria
  12. Czech Republic
  13. Denmark
  14. Estonia
  15. Philippines
  16. Finland
  17. Hong Kong
  18. Hungary
  19. India
  20. United Kingdom
  21. Ireland
  22. Italy
  23. Japan
  24. Germany
  25. Cambodia
  26. Canada
  27. Republic of Korea
  28. Croatia
  29. Laos
  30. Latvia
  31. Lithuania
  32. Luxembourg
  33. Malaysia
  34. Malta
  35. Mexico
  36. Myanmar
  37. Norway
  38. France
  39. Poland
  40. Portugal
  41. Qatar
  42. Romania
  43. New Zealand
  44. Seychelles
  45. Singapore
  46. Cyprus
  47. Slovakia
  48. Slovenia
  49. Spain
  50. Sweden
  51. Switzerland
  52. Chinese Taipei
  53. Thailand
  54. Timor-Leste
  55. People’s Republic of China
  56. Tunisia
  57. Turkey
  58. United Arab Emirates
  59. Vietnam
  60. Greece

Bali Tourist Entry Visa – Visit Visa Exemptions or Visa on Arrival for Leisure Purposes are granted for foreign nationals are available at the following Immigration Checkpoints:

  1. AIRPORTS:
    1. Soekarno Hatta, Banten/Jakarta
    2. Ngurah Rai, Bali
    3. Kualanamu, North Sumatra
    4. Juanda, Surabaya, East Java
    5. Sultan Hasanuddin, Makassar, South Sulawesi
    6. Sam Ratulangi, Manado, North Sulawesi
    7. Yogyakarta, Special Administrative District of Yogyakarta
    8. Hang Nadim, Riau Islands
    9. Zainuddin Abdul Majid, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara
  2. SEAPORTS
    1. Nongsa Terminal Bahari, Riau Islands
    2. Batam Center, Riau Islands
    3. Sekupang, Riau Islands
    4. Citra Tri Tunas, Riau Islands
    5. Marina Teluk Senimba, Riau Islands
    6. Bandar Bentan Telani Lagoi, Riau Islands
    7. Bandar Seri Utama Lobam, Riau Islands
    8. Sri Bintan Pura, Riau Islands
    9. Tanjung Balai Karimun, Riau Islands
  3. CROSS-BORDER POSTS:
    1. Aruk, West Kalimantan
    2. Entikong, West Kalimantan
    3. Mota’ain, East Nusa Tenggara
    4. Turon Taka, North Kalimantan

 Bali Tourist Entry VISA REQUIREMENTS

Visit Visa Exemptions or Visa on Arrival for Leisure Purposes can be issued following the following requirements;

  1. A diplomatic/official/ordinary passport valid for at least 6 months.
  2. A return ticket or passing ticket for continuing travel to another country.
  3. Proof of payment for Visa on Arrival of Rp. 500,000 when applying for a Visa on Arrival for Leisure Purpose
  4. Proof of insurance coverage from an insurance company incorporated as a legal entity in Indonesia that covers health costs during the traveler’s stay in Indonesia.

ENTRY STAMP

Bali Tourist Entry VisaThe entry stamp given to foreign travelers when entering Indonesia utilizing a Visit Visa Exemption or Visa on Arrival for Leisure Purposes  will serve as a Visit Stay Permit that is valid for:

  1. Visit Visa Exemption: Valid for a maximum of 30 days and non-extendible.
  2. Visa on Arrival: Valid for a maximum of 30 days and extendable for an additional 30 days at the Immigration Office in the area where the foreign national resides.

Visit Visa Exemption or Visa on Arrival for Leisure Purposes can also be granted to foreign nationals on an official visit or governmental duties to attend international events. This exemption requires presenting an invitation letter issued by the Indonesian government to attend an international conference/trial/meeting.

The facilitation of a Visit Visa Exemption or Visa on Arrivals for Leisure Purpose stipulated above applies to holders of diplomatic passports, service passports, service passports, or ordinary/regular passports.

 

 

 Bali Tourist Entry Visa – Indonesia Unmasks, Gradually

bali mask regulationsIndonesia President Joko Widodo has announced that his government is relaxing the rules and guidelines of wearing medical masks in open areas, saying that the COVID-19 pandemic is now under control.

As quoted on NusaBali.com, President Widod said: “In light of current conditions, COVID-19 in Indonesia is increasingly under control. The government has decided to relax rules on the use of face masks.” The President’s remarks were made at the Bogor Palace in West Java on Tuesday, 17 May 2022, and uploaded to the National Secretariat YouTube Channel.

The relaxation of the masking rules applies only in open areas and does not apply to enclosed spaces or for people traveling on public transportation.

Elaborating, the Indonesian President said, “If the public is involved in activities in uncrowded outside areas, they can choose not to wear a mask. However, for activities in enclosed rooms and on public transportation, a face mask is still required.”

For members of the public at risk, senior citizens, or those suffering from comorbidities, the President recommends that masks be worn during all activities. (Bali Tourist Entry Visa)

“Similarly, members of the public experiencing symptoms of coughs and colds should wear a mask when undertaking activities,” added the President.

The President also said that domestic and international travelers who have received complete vaccinations (against COVID-19) no longer need to undergo PCR or Rapid Antigen testing.

On 16 May 2022, the National COVID-19 Task Force said that Indonesia added 182 new cases bringing the cumulative total to 6.050,958 cases. Meanwhile, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Indonesia on 16 May 2022 stood at 4,697.

Also, on 16 May, 263 people in Indonesia were declared cured of COVID-19 or 5.889.797 on a cumulative basis since March 2020. Fatalities linked to COVID-19 on 16 May 2022 equaled six deaths nationally, representing part of a cumulative total of 154,646 deaths caused by the virus in Indonesia since March 2022.

In terms of injections, Indonesia calculates it has given:

  • The first dosage against COVID-19 to 199.625,406 people.
  • The second dosage against COVID-19 to 165,273,179 people.
  • The third dosage against COVID-19 to 42,709,756 people

 

 Bali Tourist Entry Visa – Tourist Arrivals Reclaim Lost Ground

bali tourist arrivalsThe Nation Statistics Board (BPS) reports that international visitors coming to Indonesia via the Country’s main gateways in March 2020 reached 40,790, representing a 206.25% increase compared to March 2021.

Quoted by NusaBali.com, the BPS Chief Margo Yuwono told a press conference in Jakarta on Monday, 16 May 2022: “The number of foreign tourists in March 2022 increased significantly compared with March 2021. If March 2022 is compared to February, the increase was 121.02%

March international arrivals comprised 39,060 arrivals by air, 1,409 by sea, and overland 319. In March 2022, the number of air arrivals increased 203.94% compared to March 2021.

In Bali, observers say an even more dramatic increase in foreign arrivals is being curtailed somewhat by the rising cost of air travel and limited flight frequency. Based on the Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board (GIPI) calculations, Bali has 12,000 – 15,000 visitors arriving each day by inter-island ferry. The number of air passengers landing each day at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport is around 10,000 passengers. (Bali Tourist Entry Visa)

The large number of domestic visitors bringing their vehicles to Bali during the recent Idul Fitri Holidays resulted in almost unprecedented traffic jams in many parts of the Island. This has evoked a recommendation from a senior official at GIPI that domestic tourists who rent vehicles in Bali would help reduce traffic congestion and provide added income to the Island’s economy.

For Q1 of 2022 (January-March), foreign arrivals via Indonesia’s main gateways totaled 74,380 – an increase of 228.24% over Q1 2021. While the year-on-year increase in international arrivals in Q1 in Indonesia is impressive, the numbers still pale compared to arrivals for Q1 in the pre-COVID years when as many as 3 million visitors came to the Country.

 

Bali Tourist Entry Visa – You Can Run But Not Hide from Immigration

Russian Woman Deported for Nude Antics at a Balinese Temple.

Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster wasted no time in asking the Bali office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights to deport a 28-year-old Russian woman, Alina Fazleeva, and her 36-year-old husband Amdrei Fazleeva after the woman tourist uploaded nude images of herself modeling in front an ancient tree at the Babakan Temple, in Banjar Bayan, Desa Tua in Marga Tabanan Regency.

bali russian deportedAuthorities quickly tracked the couple down following their posting of the nude images. They subsequently apologized and were forgiven by the surrounding villagers – their contrition did little to assuage the Governor’s outrage, who summoned the Russian couple, law enforcement, immigration officials, and the press to his official residence on Friday, 06 May 2022, for a press conference and public shaming.

Speaking before the assembly, the Governor emphasized that tourism in Bali operates on the basis of safeguarding local culture and presently a quality product. These guideposts for conserving and protecting Bali’s culture are enshrined in Regional Law Perda Nomor 5 Tahun 2020 on standards for conducting cultural tourism and Bali Gubernatorial Law Nomor 28 Tahun 2020 on the management of Bali tourism.

“Bali tourism must be truly honored Bali traditions and culture by everyone, including both domestic and international tourists,” proclaimed Governor Koster. Continuing, the Governor said tourism in the new “post-pandemic era” must be transacted with “Nangun Sat Kerthi Loka Bali,” – which respects local culture based on quality and dignity. Koster exclaimed that Bali has no tolerance for tourists who commit acts that dishonor and insult Balinese culture. Adding, “We prioritize protecting culture and honoring the dignity of Bali instead of tolerating acts that fail to safeguard the Island and damage the image of Bali tourism.”

The mantra of “Nangun Sat Kerthi Loka Bali” also seeks to preserve the purity and natural harmony of nature in Bali. (Bali Tourist Entry Visa)

With the Russian perpetrators of the moral outrage sitting nearby, Koster told those in attendance that Bali presents an international tourism product that must be protected, ensuring it remains orderly and disciplined. He complained that Bali had recently suffered many unethical acts committed by visitors. These include tourists who have bathed at sacred water sources, others who have sat atop Padmansanas (temple), others who have sat irreverently in holy places, and, most recently, a woman who posed nude below a sacred tree. According to the Governor, such actions are humiliating and cannot be tolerated.

“Because of this, I have ordered the head of the Law and Human Rights office in Bali to deport the Russian tourist quickly. This incident must become an object lesson for tourist visitors. Please feel free to visit, but the culture of Bali must be safeguarded, the image of Bali’s tourism honored, and the people of Indonesia and their culture revered. For these reasons, I must take firm action, so such an incident does not reoccur in the future and (my actions) become a lesson for other tourists,” said Governor Koster.

Governor Koster acknowledged that while the Russian woman had apologized for her actions and was prepared to participate in a guru piduka purification ceremony, this alone would not rectify what she had done.  (Bali Tourist Entry Visa)

“Even though (she) has apologized. It is not enough to merely apologize and participate in a ceremony, and the further sanction of deportation must also be imposed. Because we strive to protect Bali’s cultural purity, a joint and firm response is needed,” said Koster.

Meanwhile, the head of the Law and Human Rights Ministry for the Province of Bali, Jamaruli Manihuruk, said that his department was coordinating the deportation with the Russian Embassy. The Russian couple has been detained by Immigration while awaiting a flight suitable for deportation purposes.

(Bali Tourist Entry Visa) The head of Immigration in Denpasar confirmed that the Russians were deported on Friday, 06 May 2022, for their activities deemed to break the law and disrupt public order (Section 75 of Immigration Law Number 6 of 2011). Manihuruk issued a stern warning: “To all foreigners visiting Bali (are reminded to) always act in an orderly fashion and obey the law and the cultural values of the Balinese people. Please enjoy the beauty of Bali, but if you break the rules, there will be nowhere you can hide, and every violation will be prosecuted following the prevailing law.”

The couple has also been placed on a blacklist preventing their return to Indonesia for at least one year.

The local and national press published news of Russian Alina Fazleeva uploading nude pictures posing under a sacred 700-year-old eucalyptus tree standing in the foreyard of the Babakan Temple in Tabanan Regency on 01 May 2022.

Alina Fazleeva and her husband Amdrei first came to Indonesia in 2020 and again in 2021 as investors to establish PT Art Planet Evolution – a company selling clothing and musical instruments.

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Bali Tourism Recovery – Recovery Uneven Across SE Asia

Tourism Recovery BaliTwo years after world tourism descended into suspended animation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the gradual removal of quarantine and travel restrictions across Southeast Asia is now precipitating the reawakening of tourism in the region.

As reported by Beritabali.com and Suara.com, while tourism is certainly on the rebound, the recovery process will not happen on a uniform basis across the region.

Data provided by the travel company ForwardKeys, says international air transportation bookings in Southeast Asia at the end of March 2022 were at a level of 38% of what they were in the pre-pandemic period. At the same time, a sharp increase in new bookings has taken place over the past three months, particularly in Singapore and the Philippines.

The Minister of Tourism for the Philippines, Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, says her country is leading the travel revival because “We were the first to cut all the bureaucracy.”

“Tourists enjoy this lack of bureaucracy because once they arrive in the country, they are free to go,” said Romulo-Puyat.

Meanwhile, many countries in Southeast Asia have opened their tourism borders for travelers who can prove they are fully vaccinated. Bali Tourism Recovery

Many Southeast Asian destinations, such as Indonesia, only require travelers to undertake a rapid antigen test before arrival and upon arrival.

A few countries continue to apply stricter entry restrictions, such as Thailand, a leading tourism destination in the region, before the pandemic. In Thailand, international visitors are still subjected to bureaucratic rules. ForwardKeys reports that flight bookings to Singapore and the Philippines are 72% and 65% of 2019 levels, respectively, while Thailand bookings are only 24% of what they were in 2019.

Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, president of the Thailand Hotel Association, says: “The PCR test (in Thailand) can cost 2,000 – 2,500 baht (around Rp. 850,000 to Rp. 1 million) and the bureaucracy can sometimes be complicated.”

Marisa said Thailand’s current rules and regulations are seen as obstacles to travel by many travelers. Adding: “If other countries do not impose complicated entry requirements, travelers prefer to go to those places that are more relaxed.” (Bali Tourism Recovery)

The Governor of Thailand’s Central Bank, Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput, said, speaking on Monday, 11 April 2022: “Thailand will need time until 2026 to recover fully.”

In 2019, the tourism sector contributed 12% of Thailand’s Gross Domestic Product (PDB).

As Southeast Asia recovers, the once prominent Chinese traveler has largely disappeared in the current revival. Before the pandemic, travelers from the PRC represented the overwhelmingly dominant source market for Southeast Asian travel. However, at this time, China’s travel sector remains in an almost virtual shutdown.

In 2019, more than one-quarter of the 40 million international tourists traveling to Thailand came from the PRC. Meanwhile, Thailand is only targeting in 2022 a modest 5 to 10 million international visitors, mainly from Malaysia and other neighboring Southeast Asian countries. (Bali Tourism Recovery)

MarketKeys says that for Southeast Asia as a whole, 30% of foreign tourists in 2022 are anticipated to originate from Europe. If this market share is realized, it will be an increase from 2019, when 22% of all visitors to the regions came from Europe. Similarly, the American market segment of travelers to Southeast Asia is projected to hit 21% in 2022, up dramatically from the 9% American market share in 2019.

Showing the impact of the diminished PRC market, ForwardKeys predicts in 2022, only 24% of all travelers in Southeast Asia will be from Asia, a figure less than half of the 57% Asian market share experienced in 2019.

Figures from the World Travel & Tourism Council say the tourism sector contributed US$ 380.6 billion to the gross domestic product (PDB) of Southeast Asia in 2019, an amount roughly equal to 11.8% of the total PDB for the region.

 

Air Passengers to Bali Increase 148% in April 2022

Tourism Recovery Bali

Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster has revealed that 305 airplanes operated international flights to Bali during April 2022, an increase of 148% compared to the previous month of March when 123 aircraft came to Bali. “The total number of international tourists in April was 66,685 or an average of 2,222 passengers per day,” said Koster on Sunday, 01 May 2022. (Bali Tourism Recovery)

As reported by NusaBali.com, the number of international tourists to Bali increased 287% in April compared to March, when 17,250 people or 575 daily passengers passed through Bali’s airport.

Bali’s Governor links the increased arrivals to the lowering of COVID-19 cases and high vaccination rates, resulting in an overall safe and conducive atmosphere for tourism. “In this way, the number of domestic and international tourists visiting Bali increased. What’s more, the policy changes on 07 March 2022 eliminating quarantine and the visa-on-arrival facility for 43 countries helped further increase tourism,” said the Governor.

Domestic flight movements to Bali in March 2022 numbered 2,188 aircraft carrying 276,619 passengers, averaging 9.220 daily passengers. In April, however, domestic flights declined to 1,966 aircraft movements. In April, this decline of 11% compared to the 245,050 total domestic passengers in March averaged 8,168 passengers per day.

The Governor cites the fasting month as the cause for the decline in travelers in April compared to March. (Bali Tourism Recovery)

Governor Koster is confident that tourism numbers, both domestic and international, are on the rebound in Bali. The ending of quarantine requirements and visa-on-arrival facilities for 60 countries herald the recovery of the tourism sector.

Further evidence of Bali’s recovery abounds. The Island will host a major conference – The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction 23-28 May 2022 expected to attract 4,000 participants from 193 countries. (Bali Tourism Recovery)

In late October 2022, Bali will be the site for the G20 Summit, expected to draw world leaders from at least 39 countries and some 10,000 delegates and participants.

 

Bali Tourism Recovery – Traffic Surge at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport

Tourism Recovery BaliArrivals at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport hit a recent-record high on Thursday, 28 April 2022, with 23,625 passengers arriving and departing on both domestic and international flights. 15,748 arrived in Bali on this date, and 7,877 left the island.

The Stakeholder Manager for PT Angkasa Pura I, Taufan Yudhistira, said the airport managers had long predicted that Lebaran Holiday traffic would peak on the Thursday before Hari Idul Fitri.

Data recorded by the Ngurah Rai Command Post that coordinates holiday traffic shows passenger traffic growth starting from 25 April 2022:

At the time of the report published by NusaBali.com, more than 16,000 passengers were expected to pass through the airport on 29 April.

To handle the anticipated holiday rush of passengers, extra flight slots have been filled and approved granted for five airlines: AirAsia, Citilink, Batik Air, Garuda Indonesia, and Lion Air. 266 additional flight permits were requested via PT Angkasa Pura I for the Lebaran holiday period.

Extra holiday flights are operating primarily, in descending order, from Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta Airport, Surabaya’s Juanda International Airport, Solo’s Ado Sumarno International Airport, Yogyakarta’s International Airport, and Balikpapan’s Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Sepinggan Airport. Bali Tourism Recovery

G20: RI Neutral & Unaligned Position

G 20 BaliThe announcement of Indonesia confirming the invitations to the G20 Summit in Bali for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is being criticized in some circles, including the United States of America. The U.S. White House is threatening to boycott the proceedings if President Putin is allowed to attend.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, in his capacity as the head of the G20 and host of the Summit, has answered that criticism by reaffirming that Putin is welcome to attend and extended an additional invitation to the Ukraine President.

Earlier, the USA has suggested to Indonesia that if Russia attends the G20, Ukraine should also be invited to Bali. Should Ukraine attend, it would be accorded a “special guest” status in that they are not a member of the G20.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo insists Indonesia’s position on the Ukraine-Russian conflict remain neutral and unaligned.

“I have already invited President Zelenskyy to attend the G20 Summit,” said President Joko Widodo. President Widodo delivered his invitation by telephone to President Zelenskyy on Wednesday, 27 April 2022.

The President of Indonesia has publicly identified the resolution of the Ukraine-Russian conflict as critical to global economic development. Bali Tourism Recovery

 

RI Invites Ukraine & Russia to G20

G20 Summit Indonesia BaliBalipost.com reports that Indonesian President Joko Widodo has relayed the confirmation that Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the G20 Summit in Bali in November 2022. The Indonesian President also confirmed that the Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has been invited to join world leaders at the Bali Summit.

The State News Agency Antara reported the President’s comments from the Bogor Presidential Palace on Friday, 29 April 2022. Joko Widodo used the opportunity to express his thanks to G20 participants who have confirmed their attendance in Bali.

The Indonesian President and the Russian President spoke on Thursday, 28 April 2022.

During their telephone conversation, Putin reportedly updated Joko Widodo on the situation in Ukraine, including ongoing negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.

The Indonesian President used the opportunity to urge that peace in Ukraine be given priority and pledge that Indonesia stands ready to contribute to any peace process.

On Wednesday, 27 April 2022, President Joko Widodo called Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to invite him to attend the G20 Summit in Bali.

Although Ukraine is not a member of the G20, Indonesia, as the current chairman of the G20, is entitled to invite non-members to attend the Summit.

Many members of the G20 have criticized the Russian invasion of Ukraine, now in its ninth week. The conflict has sparked international geopolitical tension, threatened the global economy, and precipitated a massive humanitarian crisis. Bali Tourism Recovery

Many G20 members are calling for the ouster of Russia and Vladimir Putin from the participant list for the Bali Summit. As host and chair of the Summit, Indonesia has resisted these calls, saying it was too premature at this time to take such a decision.

The Indonesian President explained that he has invited Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Bali Summit to help restore a troubled world economy.

“We understand that the G20 serves as a catalyst in global economic recovery. If we are discussing global economic recovery, two factors are critical at this time. The first is the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the second is the war in Ukraine,” said the Indonesian President speaking by video link from the Bogor Palace.

The G20 Summit will be held in Bali from 30-31 October 2022.

 

 

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Bali Island Tourism – Tourism Leaders Warn of Bali Protests

Tourism Leaders Warn of Bali Protests

RadarBali.com and Bali.tribune.com report that feelings of anger and resentment towards the continuing “depression” of the Island’s tourism industry is approaching a boiling point with tourism practitioners threatening to take to the streets if Bali is not reopened to international tourism.

Since March of 2020, Bali’s tourism sector has been in disarray and devoid of guests. Minor comebacks in the form of surges of domestic passenger arrivals or announcements of airport reopening to foreign visitors have, time and again, encountered setbacks. Hoped for peak season revivals in visitor numbers have been undercut by central government lockdowns and regulated travel restrictions. The symbolic announcement of a reopening of Bali’s airport to international flights on 14 October 2021 has, two months on, come to naught with tourists visitors dissuaded from visiting Bali by burdensome visas rules, sponsorship letters, expensive insurance premiums, and draconian quarantine requirements. Meanwhile, government grants to tourism businesses have remained out of the reach of many due to bureaucratic procedures and requirements. Moreover, aid intended for tourism workers made jobless by the pandemic has, in many cases, been given only to Balinese workers leaving some of the worst affected workers from outer islands without funds to return to their home villages.

Continuing hardships have morphed into palatable anger with tourism leaders responding cynically to a recent statement by Bali’s  Governor Wayan Koster urging members of the tourism sector to “remain patient.” Speaking before a conference of the Bali Federation of Tourism Union Workers (Federasi Serikat Perkerja Pariwisata Provinsi Bali) on 06 December 2021, the Governor said, “We all need to be patient.”  Governor Koster warned that if the borders were suddenly reopened and the rate of infections increased as a result, it will be very difficult to overcome the resulting situation.

The Governor’s call for patience in the current circumstance triggered a cynical response from the chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana, who said, “Maybe his (the Governor’s) saving account balance is still high.”

A Threat to Take to the Streets of Bali

Adnyana referred to an open letter sent on 19 October 2021 by the Bali Arise Forum (Forum Bangkit Bali) that has yet to be dignified with a formal response by the Central Government. Quoted by Bali.tribune.com, Adnyana said: “It’s been three weeks since we published the open letter and there has been no response from the Central Government. There has been some minor coordination; maybe the government is still thinking, while we are consistent in our support for the letter sent to Jakarta.”

Adnyana said he is coordinating with all tourism stakeholders in Bali.

Adnyana’s comments were made during a press conference held at the offices of the BTB in Central Denpasar on Wednesday, 08 December 2021.

Adding to the acrimony, a leading tourism stakeholder in Bali speaking at the press conference, I Wayan Puspa Negara, commented that the patience of the people of Bali was at an end. Adding: “The people’s lower classes have spent all their savings.”

Puspa Negara, who is chairman of the Alliance of Bali’s Marginal Workers in Tourism (APPMB)  said he hoped that December 2021 would bring a change in the fortunes of the Balinese public with the last month of the year usually representing a high season for Bali tourism.

Referring to the fact that 52% of the Regional Domestic Product in Bali is linked to tourism, Adnyana said the people are in desperate need of a tourism recovery to commence. Adding: “We have no more time to wait. With only domestic tourists, the average occupancy rate of hotels is only 10.97%.”

Puspa Negara then sounded an ominous warning of possible public unrest, saying: “If until December there is no change, then we will take to the streets.”

Bali Island Tourism – Quarantine Periods and Visa Requirements

Puspa Negara told the assembled press that a number of recent government policies regarding tourism have become problematic. First on his list were rules on lengthy quarantine periods and, secondly, the lack of visas on arrivals. He described how competing tourism destinations in the region were reducing or eliminating quarantine requirements. He said it was now time for the government to reintroduce the visa-on-arrival facility.

Continuing, Puspa Negara said: “Furthermore, countries such as Australia need to be reopened. (New) cases of COVID-19 in Bali are on the decline, vaccines have been given to more than (sic) one hundred percent. PCR testing is available, We have done everything we can.”

For these reasons, Puspa Negara urged the government to quickly adopt policies that are “pro-tourism” and also “pro-people” – helping the lower classes who work in Bali tourism.

Level 3 Nationwide Lockdown Revoked

Siti Nadia Tarmizi, a spokesperson for the Indonesian Ministry of Health,  has announced that the National Level 3 COVID-19 Shutdown (PPKM) over the Christmas and New Year period 2021/2022 has been revoked.

Despite the revocation of the nationwide lockdown, public mobility will still be restricted and health protocols implemented to prevent the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus.

Quoted by Beritabali.com, referring to COVID Czar Luhit Binsar Pandjaitan, Tarmizi said, “Bapak Luhut said there has been a revocation of the Level 3 PPKM, but there will still be limitations on public mobility over Christmas and New Year.” Tarmizi’s comments were made on Tuesday, 06 December 2021, during a dialogue on masking discipline and vaccinations to prevent the spread of the Omicron Variant.

Based on a formal explanation made the previous day by the Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment, Minister Luhut, one of the considerations prompting the national revocation of the PPKM Level 3 over the holidays is Indonesia’s proven ability to control the coronavirus. The Ministry of Health notes that new virus cases confirmed each day averages around 130. 

Continuing, Nadia Tarmizi said: “The other day there was lots of information that stated new cases of COVID-19 had reached around 400. But we are reporting around 130 new cases each day with a daily trend showing a reduction of 200-300 cases reported each day.”

Commenting further on deaths attributed to COVID-19, Siti Nadia Tarmizi said that there are between 8 and 10 fatalities every week. The positivity rate (i.e., the percentage of people testing positive for COVID from the total of all tests performed) has continued to decline to 0.13.

“We can see that the current rate of contagion is very low, but we still need to be on guard. This is especially the case with the Delta Variant, which is the most prevalent form of COVID in our country,” said Tarmizi. “This needs to be monitored. The Delta Variant has already mutated to the point that we have already identified 23 separate mutations.”

And while the government has revoked the PPKM Lockdown, the Health Ministry Spokesperson said the public must stay on guard and continue applying health protocols and limiting public mobility.

Reported separately by Detik.com, Jodi Mahardi, the spokesman for the Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, also confirmed the revocation of the National PPKM Level 3 Lockdown, explaining that all the regions of Indonesia are not equally affected.

“It is correct that the government will not apply level 3 restrictions during the Christmas and New Year period. But the PPKM policy during the Nataru period will be undertaken in a more balanced manner, accompanied by an intensified testing and tracing program,” said Jodi in a video released on Tuesday, 07 December.

Jody explained that the government is adopting a more balanced approach that will not be applied in a blanketed and uniform manner in every region of the country. This does not mean that the government is relaxing its strict health protocols and efforts to limit public mobility over the coming holiday period.

One of the underlining reasons that the central government has decided to relax the PPKM Level 3 during the holiday is achieving a high level of mass vaccination. In all regions of Java and Bali, 76% of all people have received the first injection, with 42% becoming fully vaccinated by receiving the second injection.

This compares very favorably to the Christmas and New Year last year when no one had been vaccinated. Jody said surveys now show that the Indonesian public now has an active antibody against COVID-19.

 

Bali Island Tourism – Advance Team for G20 Summit Visits Bali

An advance team for the G20 Summit to be held in Bali in late October 2022 arrived in Bali on Tuesday, 07 December 2021.

In Bali to inspect facilities and review preparations for the conference expected to attract 7,000 delegates and observers, a G20 group of 25 delegates from Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, USA, Holland, Spain, Turkey, Switzerland, and Indonesia came to Bali.

Special channels through Bali’s airport were established to expedite the group’s movement. The foreign participants were also apparently exempted from undergoing Indonesia’s otherwise mandatory 10 day quarantine period.

As reported by NusaBali.com, the general manager the Angkasa Pura I (PAP 1) that manages Bali’s Airport, Herry AY Sikado, confirmed the arrival of the 25-member G20 advance group at midnight on Tuesday of Garuda flight GA4180  following a short flight from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

PAP 1 prepared a special processing lane for the G20 advance team inside the international arrival hall at Bali’s Airport. This was done to keep the group separate from other passengers using the domestic terminal.

“Angkasa Pura 1 as the manager of the Ngurah Rai Airport fully supports the G20 Summit by preparing facilities such as the special channel for the delegates’ arrival to avoid them mixing with other passengers,” explained Sikado on Wednesday, 08 December 2021.

The advance team arriving on a domestic flight from Jakarta were led to the International Arrival Hall where they had their body temperatures checked before being sent to a separate lounge area while waiting for their checked luggage.

The G20 advance team that landed in Bali will depart the Island on 10-11 December 2021.

Bali Island Tourism – Bali Seeks MICE Despite Many Obstacles

The gradual re-emergence of strictly controlled international events signals a restart of Bali’s meeting, incentive, conference, and exhibition (MICE) sector.

These events also serve as dress rehearsals for the G20 Summit in late October 2022, when the world’s leaders are expected to gather in Bali with head-of=state delegations from 38 nations.

Indonesian Badminton Festival

During the first week of December 2021, Bali concluded the month-long Indonesian Badminton Festival 2021 that welcomed players and officials from 38 countries.

The Fourth Meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP4)

The Fourth Conference of Four on the Minamata Convention regarding mercury emissions will be held in Bali 21-25 March 2022 in Bali, with attendance expected by 135 countries.

Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

Participants from 193 countries are expected in Bali 23-28 May 2022 for the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

G20 Summit

Set to be held 30-31 October 2022, the G20 represents one of the world’s greatest annual conferences with over 7,000 delegates and press expected in Bali for the Summit.

Obstacles Ahead 

On 14 October 2021, Bali technically declared the Ngurah Rai Airport open again for international flights and put in place incentives in the form of discounted landing fees for foreign airlines. Despite these encouraging signs, two months later, no single airline has yet to request a flight slot to land in Bali.

The lack of flights only serves to underline a host of problems or “obstacles” that need to be addressed before Bali can reopen to international tourism. These obstacles include:

  • The constantly changing mandatory quarantine period for Indonesian and foreign travelers arriving in Indonesia remains the chief obstacle to Bali travel. Meanwhile, competing destinations in the region are reducing or eliminating quarantine periods for international travelers who are fully vaccinated, citing the lack of reliable evidence that fully-vaccinated visitors are vectors for the virus.
  • Lack of a visa-on-arrival facility combined with current requirements to apply for a visa before travel sponsored by an Indonesian national.
  • The recently introduced proof of health insurance requirement to gain entry to Indonesia is viewed as burdensome and deters travel to Bali.
  • The depressed tourism economy in Bali has diminished the attractiveness of the Island, rendering some tourism areas “ghost towns” due to a large number of closed shops, restaurants, bars, tourist attractions.

Meanwhile, the number of new cases of COVID-19 appear to be increasingly under control in Bali and many other parts of Indonesia due to the successful national vaccination program and widespread acceptance of masking, distancing, hygiene, and gathering protocols.

A smartphone application PeduliLindungi scanned at the entrance to public buildings to verify vaccination status and assist in tracking if needed is now widespread in Bali.

Bali Island Tourism – More than Just Nusa Dua

The government of Indonesia is urged to Include areas outside of Nusa Dua in conferences and exhibition bookings.

Tourism operators in Bali are calling on the government to make sure national and international events held in Bali are also held in areas outside of Nusa Dua, including Sanur, Kuta, and Ubud.

Tourist areas outside of Nusa Dua remain relatively quiet, lacking both visitors and events to drive the recovery of the local economy. 

By ensuring that events are hosted outside Nusa Dua, tourism leaders argue that any recovery of the Island’s tourism economy would be more fairly distributed across the tourism sector. “This is what we are hoping for,” said I Gede Paskara Karilo, chairman of The Ubud Hotel Association.

askara Karilo says hotel occupancy levels in Ubud remain very low. Despite some recorded improvements, occupancy is still at a minimum and less than an average of 10%. Those tourists visiting Ubud are all domestic travelers, adding, ” that’s because there are no foreign tourists.”

  • Sanur
  • Kuta
  • Ubud

For this reason, Karilo hopes the government can spread groups and conferences to Sanur, Kuta, Ubud, and other regions where tourism visitors remain few. He continued, saying these other regions of Bali, such as Ubud, were ready and able to handle event bookings. Hotels, restaurants, and businesses have implemented certification on CHSE Protocols (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental Sustainability) and are using the PeduliLindungi Online Application. He said the retail sector and supporting sectors should resume operation in a phased manner to permit a total reopening of tourism activities in each region.

Karilo said that while he hoped foreign tourists would soon return to Bali, there are still no international flights operating to Bali, which means the possibility of large-scale foreign tourist visits remains very small.

The Ubud Hotel Association (UHA) has 100 member properties representing 2,200 saleable rooms.

Separately, the Secretary of the Badung Chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), I Gede Sukarta, said he agreed with the partial lockdown (PPKM) and measures to prevent the spread of the omicron virus over the Christmas and New Year period. Adding: “There will certainly be an impact, and the enthusiasm of foreign visitors will probably decline.”

Sukarta urged that Bali confront the current situation with patience. Adding: “We are not faulting anyone. But the current condition of tourism in Bali is very burdensome.”

 

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