The Jakarta Post
Passengers wait to board a flight at the domestic departure terminal of I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali on March 18. (Antara/Fikri Yusuf)
Despite the pandemic continuing unabated, the tourism sector in Bali has been gradually picking up.
Bali Zoo in Gianyar, for instance, has seen an increased number of visitors.
“It’s around 200 to 300 guests per day on weekdays. On weekends, it can reach between 500 and 600 tourists, Bali Zoo head of public relations Emma Chandra told antaranews.com on Friday.
She explained that when the zoo first reopened on July 11, most of the visitors were residents of Bali. However, the zoo is now welcoming more domestic travelers from Jakarta or Surabaya.
State-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I has also recorded an increase in the number of flights and passengers arriving and departing from I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport.
In November, the airport served a total of 3,898 flights and 351,585 passengers, when compared with October, the number increased 27.5 percent and 51.8 percent, respectively.
I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport general manager Herry A. Y. Sikado said the airport had recorded continuous growth in the past six months and traffic had reached its highest level last month.
“If we look at the data, we saw significant growth in the past six months, from June to November,” he said, adding that the average growth for flights was 56.1 percent, meanwhile for passenger growth it was 101.4 percent.
Tourism is the beating heart of Bali’s economy as around 60 percent of the island’s gross regional product (PDRB) comes from the travel industry.
The pandemic has badly hit the province's local economy, 80 percent of which relies on tourism. Bali's economy contracted 10.98 percent in the second quarter of 2020. At least 2,667 people who work in the tourism sector have lost their job, and 73,631 people have been forced to take unpaid leave.
According to Indonesian Tourist Industry Association (GIPI) data, the number of foreign tourist arrivals in Bali dropped 93.24 percent in April.
The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has made several efforts to boost Bali tourism, including providing an educational program and cleanliness, health, safety and environment (CHSE) campaign for Bali’s residents, tourism stakeholders and creative economy entrepreneurs.
Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio said in October that the program was aimed at boosting the island’s travel and creative economy industries and, at the same time, giving Bali's tourism industry a positive image.
“The We Love Bali program is expected to educate the public about the implementation of health protocols based on CHSE,” said Wishnutama during the launch, explaining that the program would involve 409 participants from the tourism and creative economy industries, 8,421 employees and 4,800 individuals.
Wishnutama explained that the program would include 12 familiarization trips (fam trips), featuring three-day and two-night trips to various destinations in Bali.
The minister hoped that the campaign would help to develop safety awareness in the minds of tourism stakeholders and travelers. (jes)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.
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