Indonesias Bali reopens to international tourists, but with no flights

Updated: October 14th, 2021 02:05 PM IST

Indonesia only confirmed 19 eligible countries, which include China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, and several countries from Western Europe and the Gulf

Indonesias Bali reopens to international tourists, but with no flights

Indonesias holiday island of Bali reopened to foreign tourists after 18 months of pandemic hiatus on Thursday, but the island is lacking one crucial ingredient: international flights.

Tourism-reliant Bali is scheduled to reopen on Thursday and though its Ngurah Rai international airport has carried out simulations preparing for tourists to return, it is not expecting much to happen soon.

The government is eager to revive Balis beleaguered tourism industry in response to a sharp fall in new coronavirus cases since July, when Indonesia was Asias Covid-19 epicentre.

Indonesia only confirmed the 19 eligible countries in a statement late on Wednesday, which include China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, and several countries from Western Europe and the Arabian Gulf.

The move follows Thailands calibrated reopening that began in July with much fanfare, with the islands of Samui and Phuket welcoming vaccinated tourists from multiple countries, with hundreds on the opening days.

As well as requiring Bali visitors to be vaccinated against Covid-19, Indonesia has stipulated they must spend their first five days in quarantine, a measure rival tourism markets are phasing out.

"We are ready to accept tourists who visit Bali, but certainly it does not mean all the guests suddenly visit Bali," said Ida Bagus Purwa Sidemen, executive director of the islands hotel and restaurant association.

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