After a year without any sign of the pandemic being over soon, there is no wonder that the tourism sector has been in its worst situation ever. All across the globe, areas that have been solely depending on tourism for their main source of income have suffer a terrible impact due to the travel bans across the borders.
Bali is just the same. With 95% of the island’s income coming from the tourism sector, the pandemic has really taken a toll on the islanders’ lifelihood. A small talk with some policemen in Ubud a while ago has revealed that more and more suicide cases are occuring within the jurisdiction. Might seem exagerrated, but when we think about it, the people living in Bali are exactly they who has been preparing to work in the tourism world for all their life; and when they can’t do it anymore, some will eventually feel lost and desperate enough to end their life.
President Jokowi through the Ministry of Tourism has planned to re-open some of Bali tourism spots this coming June, just in time for the National School Holiday season, particularly in the Ubud, Nusa Dua, and Sanur area.
The previous conversation mentioned above happened during a mass vaccination event held in Ubud as a preparation for said plan to be conducted in June 2021. We saw the designated vaccination posts were neatly filled with the village people, enthusiastically coming to get their vaccines done and start the old, happy, tourist-y life once again.
The Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, revealed that vaccination for tourism and creative economy actors is a colossal step for the awakening of tourism and the creative economy.
“This step starts in Bali on February 27-28. This is a form of fast movement and collaboration between the government, the business world and the community, “Sandi said in a virtual discussion, Monday (1/3).
Sandi said that currently being prepared to open a tourist destination called the free covid corridor program, where destinations in the green zone are starting to open. This policy is based on the level of covid-19 transmission in a region.
Sandi said, the implementation of the free covid corridor is planned to start in Bali, then gradually to other tourist destinations. He said that the implementation of this policy would later coordinate with related ministries / agencies, the Covid-19 Task Force and regional heads.
“[We’re going to] Focus on the domestic segment first. Adapt with the discipline of 3M’s health protocol by encouraging CHSE-certified destinations (clean, health, safety, and environmental sustainability),” Sandi further stated.
Furthermore, Sandi assessed that the pandemic has changed the trend of tourism from mass tourism to sustainable tourism. Travel preferences are customized, personalized, localized, and smaller in size to reduce transit and contactless.
“Now what is much sought after is culture-based tourism based on open nature. Nature and culture. “From just seeing the sea of white sand, the sun is now looking for silence, sustainability, spirituality from his visits to tourism spots,” Sandi explained.
Governor of Bali I Wayan Koster said, the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic was very much felt on tourism and the economy.
He said the hotel was empty and the restaurant quiet. Then, for the first time in history, economic growth in Bali experienced the deepest contraction, reaching 12%. “The worst record so far is in Bali and the lowest nationally in 2020,” said Koster.
Therefore, Koster welcomes the Covid-19 vaccination program for tourism actors. This is to revive Bali tourism. Koster said, Bali has prepared two areas for the application of the free covid corridor, namely in Nusa Dua and Ubud.
However, at least 120,000 doses of vaccine are needed to implement the free covid corridor in these two areas. The vaccine will be used for tourism actors and local residents. “There is no choice but to control the pandemic first and make it a green zone area,” Koster said lastly.
Well, this plan has surely given hope to the locals, as well as the foreign nationalities living in Bali; that we can finally go back to how it was before, of course with health protocols kept being practised over the year. Let’s just all hope for the best.