Put your yoga mat back in the closet, Bali isn’t quite ready for you to eat, pray or love again. After ambitious plans set out by local governors to reopen in September, and then follow up pivots to potentially entice long term stays, Indonesia is throwing in the beach towel on reopening widely in 2020 at all.
Bali Delays Tourism Reopening
Bali reopened to domestic Indonesian visitors in July, and promised a September 11th reopening to international travel. That date won’t be happening.
With 95% of the vital tourist driven industry on the island in ruins, officials initially supported plans to push for an early reopening date, but wide plans have now been abandoned. If any hope still exists in 2020, it’s for limited travel corridors within Asia, but given current rates of infection in Indonesia, compared to key tourism partners, that’s rather unlikely.
Bali’s Governor, Wayan Koster, was the first to push plans for a September 11th reopening to international visitors from all over the world, in a move which would’ve broken from wider Indonesian policy, creating a “Bali bubble”. But a new statement from the governor suggests that won’t indeed be happening.
“The government is still prohibiting its citizens from traveling abroad at least until the end of 2020. In line with the policy, we also cannot open the gate to international travelers until the end of 2020 as the situation in Indonesia, including Bali, is not yet safe to welcome them”Wayan Koster, Governor, Bali
According to Koster, even if a reopening was potentially feasible, it might not be worth it right now anyway. Australia, which sends the vast majority of visitors to Bali won’t open for any international travel until well into 2021, and other Asia Pacific region countries are much the same.
Essentially, Bali would be opening for the sake of Europe, and the USA, and that appears to carry more risk than Indonesia is prepared to wager.
Whenever Bali reopens, it’s worth the trip. Side jaunts to nearby Gili Islands and Nusa Lembongan bringing fewer crowds and better beaches, and all throughout the main island, guests can find everything from stunning volcanoes and jungle hangs to pristine coast. Of course, the food, the culture and the prices are heavenly too.