The Bali provincial government has moved swiftly in response to the international outbreak of the novel coronavirus and its subsequent impact on the global tourism industry, with the recent launch of the “We Love Bali” movement aiming to lessen the blow on the local economy.
“We have made sure that up until this point, there are no COVID-19 [cases] in Bali. With our increasingly improving experience and support system, we can guarantee that Bali remains a safe, comfortable and most interesting destination to visit,” Koster said on Friday, as quoted by state news agency Antara.
The administration’s We Love Bali movement comprises several programs, including tour packages and plans for a variety of festivals ranging from culinary and music to a surfing competition and even a marathon.
In addition, the provincial government will be supporting familiarization trips, in which travel writers, YouTube personalities, bloggers, and so-called influencers will be invited to further campaign the We Love Bali movement, according to the Antara report.
Yesterday, Head of the Bali Tourism Agency Putu Astawa narrated a video further promoting this “movement,” featuring scenes from the Sanur Harbor, where tourists take fast boats to cross over to either Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan island, to showcase that tourists are still visiting the islands.
“It appears that they are not worried of the spread of the coronavirus, [tourism] is still going on as normal, and they seem to understand about existing cases, efforts to anticipate, mitigate and prevent [infection] and so they are feeling more at ease,” Astawa said in the video.
“We hope that tourists from around the world will still come visit Bali, there’s no need for excessive worrying, the most important thing is that we keep our stamina so that we’re always fit and the virus will not easily infect us,” he continued.
The government said it is prepared to handle potential cases of COVID-19, with a special team assigned in accordance with standards laid out by the World Health Organization (WHO), Koster said.
“For the Bali that we all love, we invite Indonesian and world citizens to come and visit Bali and see the beauty of its nature, culture and enjoy Balinese culinary. With joy and pride, we await the arrival of all those who love Bali here in the Island of the Gods,” Koster said.
As of Monday morning, Indonesia has confirmed six domestic cases of COVID-19, all of whom are reportedly being treated at the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Disease Hospital in North Jakarta. Meanwhile in Bali, the government last week designated three hospitals to handle possible cases of coronavirus infections.
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!