IndonesiaSoutheast Asia

Bali is open, but only 45 international tourists have visited this year

Tanah Lot temple in Bali, Indonesia | Photo by Harry Kessell for Unsplash

As Thailand’s most popular beach destination, Phuket, failed to draw in an influx of tourists throughout 2021 with the debut of its “Phuket Sandbox” program on July 1, it fared far better than its Indonesian neighbour. Only 45 international tourists have visited Bali in the last ten months as borders have been shut down and so has Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar, according to a CNN report.

Some of these tourists came to the islands on private yachts, whilst others flew in from October 14 once the airport had reopened. The tourism department’s head, Nyoman Gede Gunadika, claimed that the two-digit numbers were the lowest ever received by Bali.

Since there are no tourist visas available at the moment, international travellers must book a US$300 business visa in order to visit the island, along with multiple PCR tests and special health insurance.

Due to the lack of direct flights to the islands, visitors must fly to the capital Jarkata first, where they are destined to be quarantined for 10 days at high airfare rates. A UK woman who travelled to Bali with her husband says that “with all of those hurdles, Bali cannot expect international visitors.”

However, there is a tiny hope for Bali’s tourism as 13,000 local visitors flocked to the islands last weekend, filling the occupancy rates of 35% of the hotels, according to Ray Suryawijaya, head of the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association of Bali’s Badung District.