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Giving Effort to Save Bali Tourism, Indonesian Student Association in Germany held Webinar with Bali Provincial Government.

Written by  Saddam Haikal Mubaraq and Hessel Juliust, edited by Zulfikar A. Nadzir, translated to english by Afriza Eirina

Educational Research and Strategic Studies Team Division of Indonesian Student Association in Germany and supported by Bali tourism activists has organized a webinar regarding Bali’s Tourism after the CoVID-19 pandemic with the title “Post Covid Tourism in Bali: Preparation and Regulations”. The webinar was held online through Zoom Meeting on Saturday (13.11.2021) on Afternoon Bali time with 50 participants from Germany and Indonesia.

The Webinar was started with a welcome speech by Reza Syihabuddin Khasbullah, an Electrical Engineering and Information Technology Master student from Technical University of Munich and also the head of Indonesian Student Association in Germany 2021/2022 period, who stated, “Bali Province, as one of the main tourism site in Indonesia, experienced a huge depression when facing the CoVID-19. As a form of support and information, and also an effort to help the government to rebuild the tourism industry, the Indonesian Student Association in Germany invited Bali Provincial Government, Gianyar District and Badung District in an attempt of preparation and prevention that has been done by these regions. Other than that, this webinar has the goal to understand the epidemiological terms and the strategic considerations, which were carried out in determining the regulation regarding CoVID-19 in the Bali Province by the “Satgas 19” or the Bali CoVID-19  Task Force.

Next, the second welcome speech was given by Mr. Yul Edison, as the representative of the Embassy of The Republic of Indonesia in Berlin that stated, “Bali tourism has become one of the popular tourism destinations of choice for Europeans, especially Germany. Before the CoVID-19 Pandemic, Germany placed 3rd place after England and the Netherlands. In 2019, about 300.000 german citizens visited Indonesia and about 80% tourists made Bali as one of the important destination sites. Therefore, it is important to understand the steps taken by the Bali Provincial Government, to save and rebuild Bali tourism so that it remains the main choice for the European citizens after the CoVID-19 Pandemic.

According to the research information from the Indonesian Embassy in Berlin, most German tourists are big spender tourists. They spend a lot of time on vacation, spend an average of 2,500 USD per person and spend about 20 days in Bali. This amount is more than tourists from China who spend 1,300 USD per person for an 8-day vacation and Australia with an expenditure of 1,800 USD per person for 9 days. In addition, in the next 6 months to 6 years, German youngsters have planned to visit tourist destinations other than europe. Mr Yul Edison also introduced the motto “Plan Now, Travel in 2022” with hope that the number of German tourists visiting Indonesia, especially Bali, will increase after the CoVID-19 Pandemic.

The first topic was given by Mr. Tjokorda Bagus Pemayun, who represented the Vice Governor of Bali Province. He explained that the efforts of the Bali provincial government in dealing with the pandemic were contained in the Bali Governor’s Circular Letter No. 3355 of 2020 regarding the Protocol for the New Era of Life Order for the Province of Bali by adding health facilities such as Labs, Hospitals and Medical Personnel. In addition, Governor Regulation No. 10 year 2021 concerning the Discipline Enforcement of Health Protocols in the New Era of Life Order is also enacted by implementing restrictions on community activities and Bali community vaccination ‘For Herd Immunity 70%’.

Key points for the recovery of Bali tourism are outlined as follows:

  1. Verification of Tourism facilities until the end of 2020, around 1137 objects.
  2. Reopening Bali Tourism for Domestic Tourist (31 July 2020)
  3. Work From Bali (May 2021 – June)
  4. Standard Operating Procedures to handle foreign tourists
  5. Vaccination of Tourism Workers who have reached 100%
  6. Prepared Standard Operating Procedures to handle tourists.

In addition, Mr. Tjokorda also said “The Bali Tourism System is oriented towards Culture-Based and Quality Tourism.” The Work Program designs comprehensive standards for the implementation of tourism. The Provincial Government together with the District/City Governments regulate tourism business that violate the regulations and take firm action against foreign tourists who do not respect Balinese culture which is able to damage the image of Bali tourism. Therefore, the cooperation of various parties is needed in an effort to save Bali tourism.

The second topic was given by a doctor, Mr Ketut Suarjaya as the Head of the Bali Provincial Health Office. He explained about the implementation of healthy and safe tourism in Bali Province. The current situation in Bali as per 11/11/2021, with daily confirmed cases of about 4 people, cumulative confirmation of around 114 people, and the number of people recovering and dying around 109 people and 4 people. The number of people being treated is around 219 people, so the positive rate is only around 0.1% with Case Fatality around 3.54%. According to Mr Suarjaya, this number is relatively small, because the majority of Balinese or around 3.4 million people have been vaccinated with the first dose, followed by the second dose of about 2.9 million people, and the third around 38 thousand people. The majority of these vaccines are intended for Health Workers, the public service sector, the Elderly, the General and Vulnerable Society and Adolescents.

According to the Addendum to Circular Letter No. 20 of 2021 regarding the International Travel Health Protocols during the CoVID-19 Pandemic, international travelers are required to retest PCR and are required to undergo quarantine as follows:

  1. 5 x 24 hours for international travelers who have just received the first dose of vaccine or
  2. 3 x 24 hours for international travelers who have received the full dose of vaccine,

Mr. Ketut Suarjaya also explained about the Standard Operating Procedures for the Admission of Foreign Tourists. Every international traveler is required to use the ‘Peduli Lindungi’ Application at every visit to tourist attractions, such as malls, temples, and tourist markets. This application is intended as an effort to control the spread of CoVID-19 (Tracing and Tracking) which is managed in an integrated manner by the Indonesian Ministry of Health.

Monitoring healthy and safe tourism involves the team by overseeing the implementation of the 5M health protocol, that is in Indonesian Memakai Masker, Mencuci Tangan, Menjaga Jarak, Menjauhi Kerumunan, Mengurangi Mobilitas or in English, Wearing Masks, Washing Hands, Keeping Distance, Staying Away from Crowds, Reducing Mobility. This team consists of elements of the Indonesian National Army, Police of the Republic of Indonesia, Municipal Police Units, Local Security Officers, and the National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure. In addition, the health protocol education team involved the Health Office, MDA, and Universities. As well as the monitoring team for Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environment or abbreviated as CHSE by the Tourism Office and the Tourism Association.

The current condition of Bali Tourism requires all forms of business to have a CHSE certificate. All tourism workers have received the 2nd dose of vaccination and tourist destinations are required to use the ‘Peduli Lindungi’ Application.

Regarding the preparation of tourism regulations and programs during the CoVID-19 Pandemic in Gianyar District, it is certain that various steps have been prepared to open or welcome tourists both foreign countries and domestic tourists. Gianyar District is one of the Districts in the province of Bali with an area of 368km2 with a population of approximately 500,000. Gianyar District has a very high dependence on the tourism sector.

In terms of tourism development in Gianyar District, it has been divided into five development zones, each of which makes a different contribution to the Gianyar District government.

Gianyar District with a population of 500,000 people relies heavily on the tourism sector. This pandemic condition has reduced income from the tourism sector drastically.

Gianyar District has tourism objects spread over seven sub-districts, all of which also contribute to Gianyar District’s income. The authority of the District Government in taxes and levies, namely hotel and restaurant taxes, is the ‘prima donna’, including entertainment taxes and of course, tourist attraction levies.

Gianyar District has developed Resort Villa accommodation with a unique concept, which is in contact with nature. In addition, there are also quite a number of star hotels and small hotels.

Visits to Gianyar District in 2019 reached four million for foreign tourists and around 700 thousand for domestic tourists. However, in 2020 there was a very drastic decline. Foreign tourists to 634 thousand and domestic tourists to 225 thousand. That is what also reduces the realization of retribution for entertainment venues.

In this case, behavioral changes and changes in tourism governance have been made. Especially in terms of following regulations issued by the central government and local (provincial) governments. Steps have been taken, especially the application of CHSE activities to all accommodation and tourist attractions in Gianyar District. In carrying out CHSE activities with health protocols and Standard Operating Procedures that have been set in each place, 425 certifications have been obtained from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, this data continues to move up.

Ubud is a tourism area in Gianyar District which has been designated as a Green Zone(A term for CoVID-19 Safe Zone) and in this case, the implementation of the vaccine has been carried out on a large scale with the aim of realizing herd immunity. This is strongly supported by the tourism actors in the Ubud area and of course the community. Hotels, attractions and restaurants in the Ubud area have all implemented health protocols and have vaccinated their employees.

In terms of tracing methods, of course, in Gianyar District, ‘Peduli Lindungi’ application have been implemented which are installed both in accommodation, restaurants and in tourist attractions. In the entire province of Bali, 10,000 QR Codes for this Application have been applied. Therefore, a person’s travel history in accommodation, restaurants and tourist attractions can be tracked. The picture of tourism in the future will pay more attention to security, safety, and health.

This pandemic situation is a global condition, of course, which means tourists are more mature and experienced in preparing themselves if they want to make a visit. This is certainly our competition in the world of tourism to be able to create a sense of trust in potential tourists by following the standards set by both the WHO and the central government.

Another thing that will become a trend going forward is Health tourism, Medical tourism, and Wellness tourism. In Gianyar, there are various facilities for this. In Gianyar, there is an international festival, namely the Bali Spirit Festival, which is able to bring thousands of tourists to Bali and especially to Gianyar. In addition, there is also a tourist attraction called ‘Tirta Empul’ which gives a spiritual feel. Other than that, there are also many outdoor sports and adventures such as cycling, which are very numerous in Gianyar District.

Industry players have an interest in this matter to immediately get guests so that various activities are strongly supported by industrial players in Gianyar District. The role of the community in Gianyar District is also very large in realizing all of this so that the condition of the CoVID-19 pandemic in Bali is getting better. So that with the current conditions and the steps taken by the District and the Province, it will give confidence to potential tourists who will come and visit Bali and Gianyar District is ready to accept existing tourist visits with strict implementation of health protocols.

In general, active cases in Badung District have decreased, and the cure rate is even more than standard. In addition, the Case Fatality Rate or the CFR, to the Bed Occupation Rate or the BOR are also very low. However, tracing in Badung District is still a mission that is being improved. Vaccinations carried out in Badung District have also exceeded 100% of the population, the majority of whom are health human resources.

Badung District’s strategy to deal with CoVID-19 is to integrate 3T which is Tracing, Testing, and Treatment, Vaccination, and 3M(in Indonesian: Memakai Masker, Mencuci Tangan, dan Menjaga Jarak or in English : Wearing Mask, Washing Hands, and Keeping Distance). In addition, changes in community behavior were also carried out, namely by implementing strict health protocols and imposing restrictions on community activities.

Preparations for Badung District to face CoVID-19 :

  1. Conducting 3M socialization to the community,
  2. Prepare hospitals with adequate beds and medical personnel,
  3. Provide an adequate budget in the Badung District government annual financial plan.

In Badung District there are more than 1000 tourism industries that already have good standards of CHSE. Tourism must also have a thermogun and hand washing equipment. In addition, many quarantine hotels are also provided for tourists who want to visit. The quality of tourism resources in Badung District is also improved through the implementation of technical guidance, starting from the management of hygiene, security and safety facilities, innovation of culinary offerings hygiene to the training of tour guides. The use of ‘Peduli Lindungi’ Application in each place of business and public servants has also been implemented in Badung District. In order to stimulate tourism in Badung District, direct tourism business assistance has also been given to tourism business actors by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. Other than that, cash and basic necessities were also given to tourism workers who were laid off. Regarding tourism promotion in digital media, the existence of tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants that are ready to receive tourists is informed. This is done through a famous artist or youtuber. There are also discounts or promos given by accommodation businesses to potential tourists. International flights have also been opened to several countries, namely : Saudi Arabia, UAE, New Zealand, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, China, India, Japan, Liechtenstein, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, and Norway. The Badung District government also encourages the holding of events, both by government or private. The event in question is in the form of MICE or Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions or cultural arts exhibitions and sports performances.

In general, both in Bali Province and in Badung and Gianyar Districts, nearly all tourism workers have been fully vaccinated. In addition, all tourist attractions and other components in the tourism industry in Bali have met the CHSE standard. Other than that, the quarantine system that has been applied nationally has further ensured the health of tourists and Balinese themselves. So, fear not and start planning your holiday in Bali.

Screenshot of the webinar event