Rice fields of the island of Bali at sunrise, Indonesia

Like Madonna, or Adele, Bali needs no introduction. Known as the Island of Gods, Bali is the largest tourism draw to Indonesia, and that’s not without stiff domestic competition. After months of hardly any visitors whatsoever, tourism officials have laid out a course to reboot tourism, with a phased reopening that will see international visitors welcomed from September, and regional guests even sooner.

a building on a lake

Bali’s Three Phase Tourism Reopening

Bali operates with a level of autonomy beyond most of Indonesia, and Bali’s Governor I Wayan Koster has plans to reopen tourism in three phases: first to locals, second – domestic Indonesian visitors, and third – internationally. The plan would see a reopening of hotels, restaurants and attractions, including many world famous beaches from July 9th, but only for locals.

On July 31st, the plan would then allow travelers from elsewhere in Indonesia to visit, with an aim to have wider tourist related businesses open and ready for travelers, with safeguards in place for a new normal. This thinking falls in line with earlier tourism statements from Indonesia, which focused on highlighting the natural outdoor beauty of the country, which naturally cater to social distancing.

Indonesia hopes to use the reopening of tourism to shed additional spotlight onto lesser trafficked areas of the country which offer boutique accommodations and outdoor draws, such as Komodo.

On September 11th, Bali then plans to swing open its proverbial doors to international visitors. Initial indications seem to suggest Bali would drop entry restrictions to near pre-covid levels, in line with other key tourism focused destinations like The Maldives, which will drop all entry restrictions for international visitors on July 15th, 2020.

Basically, visitors from all over the world would likely be welcomed, unless plans change, so that probably means you too. Bali doesn’t require much of a sales pitch, but until more certainty exists around which visitors will be welcome, and what they’ll need to enter, it may be best to keep this one on the bucket list.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. While I’m happy that Bali is reopening, a couple of things about this seem a little off. There is exceedingly little tourism on Bali by Balinese, so I’m not sure what the purpose is for the first stage. The restaurants/warnings are easy enough to figure but the hotels are likely to be completely empty. For the big international reopening, couldn’t they come up with a more auspicious day than 9/11? “Come visit us on 9/11” just doesn’t have a good ring to it.

    1. Have to agree, it’s a historically awful date to make a banner opening. I think the initial openings are mainly just a gradual reopening to test the waters, and won’t be of much consequence, but will allow enough time to create actually useful measures.


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