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World Indonesia gives free Bali staycations to test tourism readiness

13:21  24 september  2020
13:21  24 september  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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Bali 's Kuta Beach. The Indonesia island is relaxing its visa controls and border restrictions to fire up tourism again. "Employers here appreciate the fact they are spending money, while tourists tell us that, compared to their home country, prices in Bali are very good - especially now, when the tourism

Bali authorities hope to reopen the Indonesian island to international tourism from September 11. But before travelers can return in significant numbers, a tricky game of health diplomacy awaits. Bali plans to reopen to international tourists in September. A number of obstacles stand in its way.

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia is offering free tours and staycations to 4,440 residents of its resort island of Bali, in a seven-week tourism dry-run to promote the international holiday hotspot and test its coronavirus health protocols.

a group of people standing on a lush green field: Travellers are seen at the Eka Karya Bali Botanical Garden amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Tabanan © Reuters/ANTARA FOTO Travellers are seen at the Eka Karya Bali Botanical Garden amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Tabanan

Authorities halted tourism in Indonesia's prime attraction in April to prevent the spread of the virus, devastating its economy.

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Bali is a part of Indonesia ; for this reason, the official (and dominant) language is Indonesian . However, you'll still hear Balinese (a Malayo-Polynesian language) being spoken by some locals. Because international tourism plays a key role in Bali 's economy, English is widely spoken in larger

The Mount Agung eruption that caused the abrupt closure of Ngurah Rai International Airport last Friday was a litmus test for the Balinese travel trade’s readiness in crisis management, as the incident took place as the island was hosting the annual Bali and Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) 2018.

Though it reopened for local visitors in July, it is struggling to get back on track and has also seen infection numbers climb.

I Putu Astawa, chief of Bali's tourism agency, told Reuters that 4,440 participants would be separated into 12 groups and given two-night stays at resorts between Oct. 7 and Nov. 27 to test out measures designed to keep visitors safe.

The trips will include local tours and participants are expected to promote "New Normal Bali" on social media.

Bali last year had more than 10 million visitors, 6.3 million of which were foreigners, Astawa said.

The staycation plan was announced on a day when Indonesia reported 4,634 new coronavirus cases, a record for new daily infections, bringing the total number to 262,022. Its death toll of 10,105 is Southeast Asia's biggest.

On average, Bali recorded 48 cases per day from Aug. 1 to August 23. It recorded 127 on average cases per day in all of September.

Bali had initially weathered the health crisis better than other parts of Indonesia, but coronavirus cases spiked after it reopened to domestic tourism.

"Lots of people gather and throw parties at the beach," said I Gusti Agung Ngurah Anom, chairman of the Indonesian medical association in Bali.

(Reporting by Stanley Widianto; Editing by Martin Petty)

The destinations inviting remote workers .
A number of exotic destinations struggling due to a lack of tourism income are using the situation to their advantage by offering attractive visa packages to remote workers in order to inject money into their economy.While some have struggled to adapt to this new working mode, others have come to the welcome realization that their job requirements can be completed from anywhere and are beginning to explore their options.

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