The Jakarta Post
All over the world, tourism has ground to a halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced countries and tourist destinations to close their borders and limit the number of visitors, respectively, to prevent overcrowding and implement physical distancing.
Indonesia has not been immune to this problem, especially Bali, the country’s world-famous tourist destination. From March to July, Bali recorded an economic loss amounting to Rp 48.6 trillion (US$3.4 billion) as a result of its tourist sector slowdown.
This marks the biggest economic loss that Bali has ever recorded, bigger even than the economic devastation that it faced in 1998, when it was hit by the Southeast Asian economic contraction. The pandemic’s economic effect on Bali is even greater than the financial contraction brought about by the Bali bombings in 2002.
The contraction of Bali’s economy has also impacted Indonesia’s financial situation adversely as well. For instance, in 2019, Bali contributed about Rp 75 trillion to the national foreign exchange reserves, accounting for about 28.9 percent of the total national foreign exchange reserves.
Therefore, as part of a collective effort to revive Bali’s economy, through the Bali Tourism Agency, the government has issued strict health and hygiene protocols for all tourism players in Bali to reopen their doors while protecting the health and safety of both locals and visitors alike.
To lend support to the Bali provincial administration’s tourism revival agenda, PT Multi Bintang Indonesia, through the iconic Indonesian beer brand Bir Bintang that it produces, has contributed some initiatives to provide more comfort and convenience to tourists who would like to visit Bali.
For instance, Bir Bintang has recently launched the Bintang Barcode platform, containing a list of tourist destinations that have been certified by the Bali Tourism Agency, making it easier for tourists to find tourist destinations that implement strong health and safety protocols.
The platform also provides an independent contact-tracing feature for its users, allowing the Bali administration to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus on the island. Tourists aged 21 and above have already been able to access the platform since November by visiting tetapbisa.id.
Furthermore, Bir Bintang has also helped restaurants, bars and its partner outlets across Bali to get the new-normal tourism protocols certification from the Bali Tourism Agency.
So far, Bir Bintang has coordinated well with the Bali Tourism Agency to help more than 50 outlets in Bali obtain cleanliness, health, safety and environmental sustainability (CHSE) protocol training.
Through the training program, Bir Bintang has helped these outlets prepare for the certification assessment, familiarizing them with the step-by-step procedures that they have to take to successfully get the certification.
Moreover, Bir Bintang is also conducting a promotional program to help partner outlets attract tourists to their premises.
Both Bir Bintang and the Bali provincial administration hope that with all the efforts that they have made, they can effectively attract tourists -- both domestic and international -- to visit Bali once again with greater convenience and safety.
The initiatives are also expected to help Bali’s economy to recover once again.
“For decades, Bir Bintang has grown and developed together with Bali and we would like to make some concrete contribution to the Bali administration in its attempt to revive the Bali tourist scene,” said the head of marketing of Multi Bintang Indonesia.
“We also hope that this initiative can also help our outlets in Bali so they will be ready to receive tourists once again,” she added.
At the same time, the Bali Tourism Agency is inviting all tourism players to support the implementation of the initiative.
“We truly appreciate Bir Bintang’s efforts in accelerating the implementation of the new-normal protocols in Bali and we hope other companies can soon follow Bir Bintang’s steps in helping Bali immediately revive its tourism sector,” said the head of the Bali Tourism Agency, I Putu Astawa.
The training and facilitation program by Bir Bintang is currently in its pilot project stage. For the next step of its Bali tourism recovery initiative, Bir Bintang plans to reach out to more outlet partners scattered throughout Bali to prepare the island to welcome more tourists once the government fully opens up tourism again.