Amid reports of delay, hotel association still hopeful for Bali’s July reopening

File photo taken at Goa Gajah in Ubud, Bali. Photo: Coconuts Media
File photo taken at Goa Gajah in Ubud, Bali. Photo: Coconuts Media

Hope still lingers for Bali to reopen to foreign tourists next month, though the possibility looks increasingly unlikely with Indonesia battling a devastating second major wave in the COVID-19 crisis. 

The Ubud Hotel Association (UHA), which has at least 90 members located in the popular tourist spot, is eager to avoid any delays as its member hotels are not only equipped with the government-endorsed Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environment (CHSE) certificate, but that all their employees have been fully vaccinated. 

“We are still hoping that the international border [to enter] Bali will be opened this July,” UHA chairman Gede Paskara Karilo said yesterday

“We are not hoping for a sudden jump in visitors. At least with the opening of international tourism, the psychology of people in the tourism [industry] will be healed.” 

Gede said that about 10 percent of UHA’s members have had to temporarily close during the pandemic, explaining that the slight increase in domestic tourists in recent months has not been too significant.

A report from Reuters cited Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno as saying that plans to reopen Bali to foreign tourists will be delayed due to the recent COVID surge in Indonesia. According to Sandiaga, the government will wait for a significant fall in coronavirus cases before moving forward with the reopening plan. 

With businesses resigned to government decisions, UHA plans on focusing on the domestic market in the last quarter of this year should the borders remain closed.

After about a month of reporting less than 100 new cases daily, Bali’s daily infections count rose to the triple digits on June 19 and has been climbing up since. The province reported 221 new cases today, bringing the active cases to 1,707 and total cases over 50,000.

The surge in Bali comes as the rest of Indonesia also reports significant spikes. The archipelago nation passed its 2 million case mark last week, and recorded an all-time daily infection high of 21,807 cases today.

Read the latest news from Bali and eastern Indonesia here

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