Indonesian gov’t mulls sending civil servants to work from Bali to boost tourism

Visitors at Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Tabanan regency, Bali, before the pandemic. Photo: Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy
Visitors at Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Tabanan regency, Bali, before the pandemic. Photo: Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy

Indonesian tourism officials appear to be focusing on prepping their Work From Bali initiative, with the latest plan to revive Bali’s tourism industry possibly requiring a quarter of civil servants from seven ministries to participate. 

Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno is hoping the initiative can help support the tourism-dependent economy in Bali, which has been struggling due to the pandemic’s impact on global travel. 

“There is no special budget allocation for Work From Bali, we are still using the old budget so that it can be managed efficiently,” Sandiaga said, adding that the initiative is still being mapped out at this point. 

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Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with hotels in the Nusa Dua complex just last week, which will see them host employees from seven ministries under Luhut’s supervision for stays and events. 

Vinsensius Jemadu, a spokesman from the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, previously said that officials are considering sending a quarter of all civil servants working at the ministries involved to participate in the Work From Bali initiative. 

“Our proposal is based on how currently about half of them are working from the office. We can divide that into two, 25 percent to work from the office, and 25 percent to work from Bali, by maximizing the existing budget,” Vinsensius said. 

Officials are reportedly aiming to realize the plan by the third quarter of this year. 

During a press briefing yesterday, Sandiaga also said that this initiative is part of preparations for a travel corridor arrangement to welcome foreign tourists. Though there were previously plans to reopen by mid-2021, the minister’s statement suggests that a delay on that timeline may be expected. Though as with most tourism-related plans in the country throughout the pandemic, we can conclusively say nothing is set in stone just yet.

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