Tourism minister says encouraging people to work from Bali has already helped boost local economy

Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno while speaking at a press conference in Jakarta. Photo: Ministry handout
Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno while speaking at a press conference in Jakarta. Photo: Ministry handout

Indonesia’s Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno claims that the number of tourists visiting Bali have increased by about threefold since he began encouraging people to work from the island in January, as officials explore the possibility of formalizing the initiative to boost local tourism. 

“We began in January, and we see this is increasing our effectiveness in reviving tourism in Bali. From around 2,000 to 2,500 visitors per day [it has increased] to about 7,000 to 7,500 visitors, so about a threefold increase,” Sandiaga said. 

The government has recently been working on its Work From Bali initiative, the latest plan of which might involve requiring a quarter of civil servants from seven ministries to participate, starting from the third quarter of this year. 

The program has been met with criticism from various experts, some of whom pointed out the inefficiency aspect of allocating the state budget into this scheme. In response to those concerns, officials stressed that the initiative requires no extra budget. 

“This is what’s interesting, if we can be efficient without adding budget but simply reallocating existing budget. This is a form of adaptation amid the pandemic, a government policy that’s right on its target, benefits, and is timely,” Sandiaga said. 

The minister also said that at least 3,000 hotel rooms and accommodation in Bali were booked for the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Kadin) planned national conference, though some reports suggest that the event is now set to move to a different city.

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