Bali’s vice governor said he was disappointed with the central government’s decision to exclude Ngurah Rai International Airport from serving international arrivals.
As laid out in a Transportation Ministry circular published early this week, only two airports — Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang and Sam Ratulangi International Airport in the North Sulawesi capital of Manado — have been designated as the two entry points for international arrivals via air travel. The decision came after the government relaxed its border closure last week.
Bali Vice Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, or Cok Ace, said Ngurah Rai should have been immediately considered as one of the country’s international gateways.
“Bali [should be] designated as an essential arrival [point], because [the Ngurah Rai airport] has adhered to the protocols,” Cok Ace said yesterday.
Talk has been rife in recent weeks about Bali reopening its doors to foreign tourists, with one plan under consideration being turning the island into a “tourist sandbox” emulating Thailand’s Phuket.
Cok Ace said he hopes that the central government would review the decision and set Bali as a quarantine destination for international arrivals, as it would boost the island’s ailing tourism industry.