Despite the dire situation in Bali, as well as the rest of the world, there is hope.
COVID-19 has made us reconsider all the areas in our destination that needed to be addressed to support tourism recovery. In the First Quarter Report for 2021, Bali Hotels Association (BHA) outlines the actions taken to assist its members and the island’s tourism recovery, including the latest social media campaigns, education and community support, environmental sustainability programs, verified news updates to government relations advocacies, supports and inputs related to the gradual reopening of international travel and the vaccination program of the island’s travel industry workers.
“For years, Bali Hotels Association has been committed to promoting Bali as a beautiful and quality destination to the world, with its charm and the renowned hospitality of Balinese people,” said BHA Chairman Jean Heliere.
“As we wait for the island to reopen for international tourism, we have adjusted our efforts, with a strong focus on supporting the community, the environment and the education of our fellow industry workers.”
The BHA isn’t waiting for a full reopening and perhaps disenchanted with some of the decisions by the National, especially with regards to closing Bali to domestic tourism for the upcoming Eid Al-Fitr holiday. Very serious economic impacts affecting businesses and employment rates can occur while Bali has begun to transform its products and services and utilise existing capabilities to capture the next chapter of traveller’s expectations.
Continuous support is given towards the Indonesian National and Provincial Governments with their endeavours to gradually reopen Bali for international tourism through green zones in Nusa Dua, Sanur and Ubud. BHA understands that the reopening of tourism requires meticulous planning and support from all stakeholders. This includes the lifting of travel restrictions for immunised people and for those that test negative for the COVID-19 virus.
With the accelerated vaccination program being rolled out in Bali, BHA joined forces with other tourism stakeholders to assist in vaccinating those working in the various tourism sectors. Over 90,000 tourism workers signed up for the first vaccination batch. Twenty-five BHA member hotels and resorts volunteered as vaccination sites and provide their facilities and manpower embodying the spirit of “We are in this together”.
BHA’s social media campaigns #SleeveUp and #MaskOn support both the vaccination plan in Bali and the green zones reopening. The latest data from the health authorities showed that almost 100 percent of people living in the green zones have received their first vaccine shot since the vaccination drive began in March 2021.
As part of BHA’s advocacy efforts, it wants to continue to inform government agencies on the extent of the impact that travel restrictions have had on the island’s economy since the start of the pandemic. A strategic plan for reopening needs to be mapped out and communicated. Steps must be taken, big or small, to give a positive sign to the industry.
Q1 2021 was one of the most challenging times in tourism. Any delays and restrictions will further affect the ability of the industry to bounce back. As such, the latest decision to not allow domestic travel during the Eid Holiday in May needs to be reviewed. BHA will continue to lobby the government on behalf of its member hotels and resorts.