Bali officials are estimating a surge in tourists for the year-end holiday this year, after the Indonesian government this week lowered prices for PCR swab tests.
The gold standard COVID-19 diagnostic tool was made mandatory on all domestic flights, and is set to become standard requirement on all modes of public transportation in Indonesia. When it was first announced, the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) said that the requirement has led to some bookings being canceled.
Now that the government has made PCR tests slightly more accessible to Indonesians with the price lowered to IDR275K (US$19), officials in Bali are quite optimistic that the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays will bring more tourists to the island.
“We are hoping that [during Christmas and New Year] it will be above 10 and 12 thousand for domestic tourists, hopefully the number of foreign tourists will also increase,” Vice Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, or Cok Ace, said.
The official said that on average, around 6,500 domestic tourists are visiting Bali daily.
Holiday stress was pretty real for many Indonesians toward the end of 2020, especially those who had planned on visiting Bali for Christmas and the New Year. Officials imposed last-minute changes to travel requirements, which included a negative result from a PCR swab test for air travelers. On top of that, PCR tests then were a lot more expensive compared to now, when it cost about IDR900K (US$63.53).
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