After reducing the price of PCR testing for domestic travel, Bali expects to be receiving over 12,000 daily domestic and international travelers by Christmas.
“We are hoping that [during Christmas and New Year] Bali will receive over 10,000 or 12,000 thousand domestic daily tourists. Hopefully, the number of foreign tourists will also increase,” said Bali’s Vice Governor on Thursday.
As of today, the island receives an average of 6,500 domestic travelers per day for both tourist and work purposes.
But how did we get here again? Let us recapitulate.
Less than a week ago, authorities came up with the idea of replacing antigen (rapid) COVID-19 tests with PCR tests for domestic travel to and from the Island.
Following the announcement, the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) reported that the new restriction had resulted in the cancelation of hundreds of reservations.
However, this time international and local tourists would not stay quiet. Nobody was willing to pay several times more for a different type of test.
More than 40,000 Balinese people took to social media to urge the government to rescind the new regulation or, at the very least, drastically reduce its cost.
And believe it or not, it worked.
As per the Deputy Governor of Bali, the PCR test to travel from Java to Bali had a cost of “Rp. 490,000 (US $34.43). The price has now dropped to Rp. 275,000 (US $19.33)”.
“In terms of price, I think it has given a breath of fresh air to Bali… in addition, it is now valid for up to 72 hours,” said Deputy on Thursday.
However, the price is still high for Bali people, since their monthly salary for 2021 is IDR 2,494,000 (US $175.34).
Bali continues struggling to attract airlines to resume operations to the island. So far, Qantas is the only major airline “in talks” to bring back Australians to the island. The date is yet to be confirmed.