Bali eyes October tourism restart

Bali eyes October tourism restart

Low number of cases on holiday island bodes well for revival, says tourism ministry

Hindu worshippers pray while observing social distancing at Ulun Danu Batur temple in Kintamani, Bali. (Reuters Photo)
Hindu worshippers pray while observing social distancing at Ulun Danu Batur temple in Kintamani, Bali. (Reuters Photo)

JAKARTA: The holiday island of Bali could reopen to tourists in October, thanks to its success in controlling the coronavirus outbreak, the Indonesian government said on Friday.

As of Friday, Bali had reported 343 coronavirus cases and four deaths, a much lower fatality rate compared with 16,496 cases and 1,076 deaths in the whole archipelago.

If the infection curve continues to improve, the tourism ministry is looking to revitalise destinations and do promotional work for some parts of the country, including Bali, between June and October, said Ni Wayan Giri Adnyani, secretary of the ministry.

Partial reopening of those areas, which also include the city of Yogyakarta and Riau islands province, may begin in October, she said.

Bali’s economy depends largely on visitors. Its gross domestic product contracted 1.1% year-on-year in January-March, compared with a 3% GDP expansion nationally.

Foreign tourist arrivals into Indonesia plunged more than 60% in March, compared with a year earlier, with Chinese arrivals sliding more than 97%.

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