The Bali provincial government is working on digital nomad tourism because of the lack of leisure tourists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Bali will seriously handle this digital nomad tourism. For that, we need a lot of information related to the activities of digital nomads in Bali,” said the Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office, Putu Astawa.
According to Astawa, the COVID-19 pandemic has offered many lessons in all sectors of life, one of which is tourism. So far, Bali’s tourism has primarily relied on leisure tourists, which then developed into tourism meetings, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions (MICE).
“Currently, these two potentials cannot work because the COVID-19 pandemic prohibits large crowds and prevents people from travelling. Therefore, one of the potential tourists that need attention is digital nomads,” he explained.
In order to source information to make policies regarding digital nomad tourism in Bali, Astawa explained that he had visited the Bali Coworking Dojo.
Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants (PHRI) in Badung Regency I Gusti Agung Ngurah Rai Suryawijaya has expressed support for the development of tourism in this sector. The existence of digital nomad tourists can provide opportunities for various community accommodations such as homestays, villas, and so on.
“Of course, this needs special attention from the government, therefore, a focus group discussion is needed to provide input to the government regarding policies that must be issued later,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the owner of the Bali Coworking Dojo, Michael Craig, said that digital nomads have good potential to be developed in Bali.
“Digital nomads are people from the upper-middle class, so they are rich people. They live in Bali for long periods of at least a year,” he explained.
This foreigner, originally from Australia who has been in Bali for almost 10 years, assessed that the long stay period of digital nomads will have an impact on the economy, particularly the people in Bali. This includes people working in accommodation, food and beverage, and other needs.
“During the pandemic, Bali was considered the safest place for digital nomads to live and work. With the development of digital nomad tourism, it will also have an impact on government revenue from the tax sector,” he explained.