For the first time after assuming the position of Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy in 2020, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno went for a working visit to Australia on 6th – 10th April 2022. The working visit’s agenda consisted of the restoration of tourism industry between both countries and development of education, training, and curriculum in tourism, as well as formally inviting Australian tourists to visit Indonesia, specifically to their long-missed second home Bali.
As of 5 April 2022, the Indonesian government has lifted several primary COVID-19 travel restrictions for international travelers, including the removal of entry PCR-test and quarantine under certain criteria, as well as reinstatement of visas on arrival. By implementing this relaxation measure, Indonesia expects an influx of foreign tourists this year to exceed 3 million.
“At least in the next few periods, we are targeting 1.4 million tourist visits from Australia, and this is to ensure that we are ready, hence we need to accelerate promotion effort in the market. The procedure to enter Bali now is easier than ever. It is a golden period to realize the dream of basking in the warmth of Bali’s sun paired pleasantly with the warm hospitality of its people,” said Sandiaga.
Returning home, the Minister flew aboard the fully booked Jetstar Australia from Sydney to Denpasar consisting of 335 passengers, showing high enthusiasm from Australian tourists nearing the Easter holiday.
Eased Travel Restrictions
Several major Indonesian international travel restrictions have now been deregulated. Firstly, mandatory PCR-test upon arrival is no longer a requirement if foreign tourists show no COVID-19 symptoms. Secondly, quarantine obligation is now eliminated for those who have received their second and third COVID-19 vaccine shots.
Thirdly, visas on arrival are now reinstalled for 43 countries, including Australia. As for international entry points, there are 10 airports available to cater international flights, including I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali.
Due to high demand for direct flight from Australia to Bali, the direct flight route from Sydney to Denpasar via Jetstar Australia Boeing 787-8 aircraft now has resumed after two years of hiatus with three scheduled flights available weekly. Additionally, there are also four scheduled direct flights from Melbourne to Denpasar available weekly, and a scheduled direct flight from Perth to Denpasar available daily.
Acting Deputy for Marketing of Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Ni Wayan Giri Adnyani, added, “We have been actively cooperating with various partners, such as Jetstar, to provide better connectivity to bring Australians back to Bali. On 14th March, we welcomed 26 high-profile Australian media to amplify the message that Indonesia, especially Bali, is now open and excited to welcome visitors from Australia.”
As additional pulling factor, the Indonesian government focuses on revamping Bali’s tourism concept by exploring adventure travel, ecotourism, or ethno-tourism. “Post-pandemic, Indonesia’s tourism, especially Bali, will undergo several significant improvements, emphasizing more on a quickly emerging market of small, specialized group tours which offer a more sustainable, social, affordable, and ultimately transformative experiences for travelers,” added Sandiaga.
The Minister hoped that this quality tourism will be effective in limiting potential environmental degradation while simultaneously facilitating opportunities for travelers to enjoy eco-conscious stays and activities in Bali. Moreover, this environmentally sound tourism strategy is in line with the Indonesia’s vision as the host and presidency holder of G20 meetings this year that envisions the realization of sustainable development.