In 2021 Bali only received 45 international tourists, mainly because of the strict border control measures and a closed airport. This number provided by the Central Bureau of Statistics of Bali, and later on was confirmed to CNN by Nyoman Gede Gunadika, head of the tourism section of Bali province.
After being accustomed to the arrival of millions of people who visit it annually, the tourism sector has suffered the side effects of the pandemic. Tourism represents a very important source of economic resources for many countries, such as Bali, the Indonesian island so beloved by travelers from all over the world. But with the pandemic, the sector of this popular tourist center has suffered severely.
This is the lowest number of foreign tourist visits we have ever recorded.Nyoman Gede Gunadika, head of the tourism section of Bali province
Destinations around the world have faced significant tourist reductions amid the coronavirus pandemic but in Bali it went from welcoming 6.2 million international visitors in 2019 and 1.05 million in 2020, to just 45 this year.
The 45 visitors were recorded between January and October 2021 and is a figure confirmed by the Bali Central Bureau of Statistics. These are tourists who have almost all arrived via private yachts, due to the fact that the island’s Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar has been closed to international flights almost all year.
The airport officially reopened to international flights on October 14, but to visit Bali, foreign tourists have to meet strict covid-19 related entry requirements. They must obtain a business visa at a cost of $300, as there are no tourist visas at the moment, and they must undergo multiple PCR tests and take out special medical insurance. In addition, airfare costs are higher than usual due to the lack of direct flights.
Tourists must also undergo a 10-day quarantine even if they are fully vaccinated. According to CNN, Bali’s Covid policies relating to foreign visitors are determined by the central government in Jakarta, not by local authorities on the island. Originally, the quarantines were shorter but were recently increased due to fears of the new Omicron variant.
“With all these barriers, it is difficult for us to expect foreign tourists to come to Bali,” said Ray Suryawijaya, director of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association of Badung district in Bali, to CNN. “On weekends, about 13,000 domestic tourists are visiting Bali.”
Although this is a small number of visitors, it is an encouraging note to end the year on, because many Balinese depend on tourism to support their families, the hotelier said.