While there remains ample room for a good rebound in Indonesia’s economic growth in the second quarter of the year, there is growing concern about the economy in the third quarter now the Indonesian government has tightened social and business restrictions in urban centres on Java and Bali at the start of July 2021.
And, indeed, Indonesia’s manufacturing activity collapsed, again, last month but we hope it can rebound as soon as possible. This island, the biggest tourist destination of Indonesia, is quite dependent on the tourism sector. Hence, the COVID-19 crisis has had (and still has) an unprecedented and catastrophic impact on the economy and society of Bali.
In line with national economic conditions, the economic growth of the province of Bali in the first quarter of 2021 grew by -9.85 (yoy), an increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, which was -12.21% (yoy). From these data, it can be seen that economic growth has shown progress towards a better direction, although not too significant. For this reason, with various kinds of policies currently being made by the Government such as Work From Bali, encouraging small and medium industries, encouraging the agricultural industry and others, it is hoped that tourism will continue to grow well.
This was conveyed by the Deputy Governor of Bali, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati when he was a resource person in the weekend discussion of the Regional Banking Consultative Body (BMPD) with the theme “Building Bali’s Economic Resilience” at Kebon Vintage, on Friday (18/6). “Although the state of our tourism is still not optimal because international flights are still closed, I hope the public remains optimistic, especially for entrepreneurs not to sell assets, because I believe that when our tourism returns to normal, the tourism climate in Bali will be much better than before. Before that, let’s stay optimistic,” said Deputy Governor Cok Ace, who is also a professor at ISI Denpasar.
Furthermore, Deputy Governor Cok Ace said that the characteristics of the Balinese economy, which is very dominantly influenced by the tourism industry sector, are very vulnerable to being affected by local/regional and international issues like today. So that in the future Bali must transform following the development of a digital-based creative economy and recognize the economic potential in their respective regions.
In addition, Deputy Governor Cok Ace also said that the direction of developing a digital-based creative economy in the midst of a pandemic is the key to transformation to build Bali’s economy. The development of information, communication and digital technology due to the pandemic has changed people’s lives.
Innovation and digitalization are the keys and the biggest challenges as a transformation strategy to increase Bali’s economic resilience. And in the long term, as the main priority for the economic recovery of the Province of Bali in the future is the field of food, clothing and housing based on the New Era of Balinese Life Order, so as to encourage sources of economic growth other than tourism. “I hope this weekend discussion attended by banks in Bali can trigger enthusiasm to generate innovative ideas or ideas to improve Bali’s economic resilience development in the future,” concluded Deputy Governor Cok Ace. In the weekend discussion, the Head of the Bali Province Bank Indonesia Representative Office, Trisno Nugroho, was also a resource person, the event was also attended by the Head of the Ombudsman for the Province of Bali, as well as several related Heads of Banking in the Province of Bali.
The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia also preparing for the implementation of a recovery plan in the tourism industry, and Bali will be the first destination assigned as the locomotive for the whole country. Preparations are being undertaken extremely carefully, in order to make sure that everything will run smoothly for prospective tourists when they return to Bali.
One of the most important highlights of the preparation is the strict implementation of health protocols in Bali. As of 18th January 2021, approximately 994 tourism stakeholders in Bali (516 hotels and 478 non-hotels, including restaurants, homestay villas, nature tourism sites, shopping centers, transportation services, and diving tours) have been granted InDOnesia CARE certification by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. This means that they have met the required standard for health protocol implementation.
While visiting the Sanur Beach area in Denpasar on Saturday, 10 April 2021, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno stated that the COVID-19 prevention health protocols will be strictly implemented in the Bali region. “We have to extensively monitor people’s compliance with health protocols.” said Sandiaga Uno.
He said that the ministry will also intensify socialization and education to all people, especially those in the green zone, to continue to comply with health protocols in order to continue to suppress the Covid-19 infection rate. “There will be sanctions for those who commit violations. Regarding international travelers, we won’t hesitate to deport them if they refuse to comply with health protocols,” he said.
Since August 2020, 15 airports in Indonesia have been granted the Safe Travels Stamp by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). This stamp was obtained after Angkasa Pura I, the state-owned company managing the airports in Indonesia, sent airport health protocol procedure to the agency for complete assessment. According to the Director of Angkasa Pura I, Fahmi Faik, the Safe Travels Stamp shows the public and tourism stakeholders that Angkasa Pura I has consistently implemented health protocols related to preventing the spread of COVID-19, in accordance with Safe Travels WTTC and ICAO Takeoff Guidelines for Aviation protocol.
The protocols that are implemented in the airports include the application of social/physical distancing, checking body temperature, and checking health documentation. Cleanliness in airport areas has been ensured through periodic use of disinfectants in public areas and facilities, such as check-in counters, trollies, self-check-in machines, SCP (tray & x-ray), toilets, boarding pass scanners, handrails, armchairs, and more.
All operational staff on duty in airports are also equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including safety goggles, masks, and gloves. The airport also provides hand sanitizers in terminal areas. In addition to the implementation of physical distancing, airports have arranged a minimum queue distance of 1,5 meters in areas such as: Check In, Security Checkpoint, Immigration, Boarding Lounge, Garbarata (jet bridges), Baggage Claim areas and public transportation waiting areas.
The government will ensure that on leaving the airport to the hotel, visitors will receive extensive protection, due to strict implementation of health protocols by hotel management. At the entrance, visitors will be provided with a hand sanitizing facility, disinfectant for baggage and belongings, and an exclusive driver’s waiting room.
Visitors will be subject to obligatory face mask-wearing in all hotel areas, body temperature checking, and a social distancing rule of 1-meter distance in the entrance queue and in front of the concierge/receptionist desk. Furthermore, hotel employees will also be required to wear face masks, implement social distancing, and collect data on visitor’s travel history and health conditions for the previous 14 days, using the Covid-19 risk self-assessment form (form 1) upon check-in.
Health protocols are being strictly enforced in restaurants in order to ensure safety to all visitors. Visitors will be provided with hand-sanitizing facilities on entrance, and will be subject to a social distancing rule of 1-meter at the cashier queue, a no-handshake rule, obligatory face mask-wearing, and inter-customer partition on the dining table.
Restaurants are required to serve food family style or a la carte. Restaurants serving buffet will need to apply rules such as:
- Staff assigned to the buffet stalls must be equipped with face masks and gloves
- Visitors taking food must be assisted by staff and comply with the social distancing rule of 1-meter distance between people while queuing.
- All dining utensils must be cleaned and disinfected safely and appropriately before reuse
- Equipment should be replaced, washed, and sanitized as often as possible
- Staff in-charge must wash hands with soap and running water frequently
- Staff in-charge must change gloves frequently, especially after touching objects other than eating/drinking utensils
Tourist attractions, as key players in the tourism recovery plan, are also implementing health protocols. All personnel, visitors, and other parties are required to wear a face mask and are subject to body temperature checking in the entrance and a social distancing rule of 1-meter distance per person in all areas, including the front desk queue. Hand sanitizing facilities will be provided at the entrance and within tourist attractions.
To further prevent risk, the government has encouraged tourist attractions to provide online ticket purchasing and reservation, as well as non-cash payment. Tourist attractions have also established visiting regulations, such as setting the length of visiting time and the number of people allowed according to the capacity and characteristics of the tourist attraction. This applies especially in areas that are favorable for visitors and other places that have the potential to generate crowds.
The safety and wellbeing of international travelers visiting Bali is key to tourism recovery preparation and will remain the number one priority. The strict measures being implemented are solid proof that InDOnesia CAREs for the comfortable return of visitors to Bali.