The World Tourism Organisation has concluded its first in-person visit to Bali since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The delegation met with key figures from the Government of the Republic of Indonesia to advance collaboration as the country gets ready to reopen its borders to international visitors and restart tourism.
In partnership with Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, UNWTO hosted a special Capacity Building Workshop on Restarting International Tourism in Bali.
The workshop counted on the participation of more than 30 leaders from across the tourism sector, with a further 150 experts and leaders joining virtually. Discussions focused on the government’s strategy to restart tourism, including the formulation of policies, procedures, health infrastructure and immigration protocols adapted to reflect the new reality.
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mahendra Siregar welcomed participants and thanked UNWTO for its leadership throughout the crisis. The Vice Minister also underlined the importance of collaboration as both the public and private sectors work together to restart tourism for the benefit of not only visitors to Bali but for all stakeholders, including tourism workers and service providers.
Outlining the steps being taken to adapt and make tourism safe, Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism & Creative Economy Giri Adnyani announced that the Ministry has issued Cleanliness, Health, Safety and Environment Sustainability (CHSE) protocols and certification programmes. These are based on protocols established by the Indonesian Ministry of Health, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ministry of Transportation as well as by UNWTO and ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organisation).
Also addressing the workshop, the Vice Governor of Bali, Tjokorda Oka Artha noted that tourism arrivals to Bali fell by 12% in the third quarter when compared to 2019 levels. However, since re-opening to domestic tourists at the end of July, numbers have started to rise again. Now, the government plans to open Bali to international tourists again before 31 March 2021.
Alongside the workshop, the UNWTO delegation conducted visits to the airport and several tourist destinations. Here they saw first-hand the implementation of new health and safety protocols developed by the government of Indonesia to prepare the reopening of Bali to international tourists. UNWTO also took part in 13th Bali Democracy Forum.