Bali’s Tourism Board (BTB) has officially requested the government to cut hotel quarantine requirements from three days to only one.
On Nov. 2 the COVID-19 Task Force cut quarantine from 5 to 3 days. However, nearly a week later, the shortened time hasn’t resulted in the rise in bookings as the island had anticipated.
Representatives from the aviation and hotel sectors have started to be fed up with the matter. On Oct. 14, the day Bali reopened for tourism, the governor declared that the island had already received over 20,000 bookings from November onwards.
Now, the Head of BTB, Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana told news outlets that these reservations never existed.
“Our hotels haven’t received any bookings from international tourists, so I don’t have any idea how the governor could make such a statement, his data was not from me,” said Adnyana.
This serious affirmation could be the reason why no international airlines have agreed to return to Bali after 3 weeks into the reopening.
“Apart from that, I also think that so far we’ve been targeting the wrong markets for Bali’s tourism reopening.”
The hotelier is referring to the 19 cherry-picked rich countries Bali is willing to reopen to.
“We appreciate the recent quarantine policy adjustment, but our tourism [point of reference] is Thailand’s Phuket Sandbox policy, so I hope it can be reduced to one day,” Adnyana said on Thursday.
His claims are now backed up by data. Let’s do a quick benchmark.
On Nov. 1 Thailand expanded its Sandbox program to accept visitors from 60 countries with just a few restrictions.
Just one week later, about 16,000 foreign travelers have arrived in the country. Bali, on the other hand, has seen no one.
Traveling Lifestyle has been reporting about some talks between the Indonesian government and Qantas looking to allow Australian visitors to return with a reduced or no quarantine.
Although CEO Alan Joyce said he expected to resume operations before Christmas, at press time, Qantas, Virgin Australia, and Jetstar have scheduled flights their first flights to Bali only until March 2022.