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Bali eyes wealthy tourists, while considering a ban on backpackers

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PHOTO: Flickr/Vicky Katrin Kuhlmann

Travellers visiting Bali on a budget may have to haul their backpacks elsewhere if one Indonesian government official gets his way. Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, who serves as the country’s Maritime and Investment Coordinator Minister, has put forward a controversial proposal to ban backpackers from Bali once the hugely popular tourist island re-opens.

His comments are captured in a Bali Sun report, in which the minister says the island will instead market itself to more affluent visitors. He was speaking during a recent visit to the island.

“We’ll aim for quality tourism in Bali, so we won’t allow backpackers to enter once the re-opening plan for international travellers is officially put in place in the near future.”

According to Luhut, the Indonesian government plans to re-open the island to low-risk countries once Bali moves to partial lockdown, or level 2, status. Visitors from countries with low Covid-19 infection rates will be permitted to enter Bali, although how immigration officials will distinguish between the wealthy and not so wealthy was not made clear.

“Our preparation stages to re-open the border will be implemented with some selected countries when the Covid-19 transmission is properly handled and when the partial lockdown in Bali reaches level 2.”

Luhut says all tourists will need to install the PeduliLindungi contact-tracing app and scan a barcode prior to entering shopping malls or tourist attractions. While infection rates on Bali are on the decline, he has urged all residents to continue adhering to disease prevention measures.

“We still need to be patient as well as be aware of this virus, even though the cases have significantly reduced.”

SOURCE: The Bali Sun

 

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