Bali has experienced a drastic drop in tourism during the pandemic. However, a slight increase in the numbers was spotted right before Christmas which then scaled up to an end-of-the-year travel boom.
Taufan Yudhistira, a stakeholder in the airport management company -Angkasa Pura I- observed that domestic travelers were keen on spending the winter holiday on the island.
According to Yudhistira, the peak day was December 23, when 16,789 passengers passed through Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport.
Set side by side, the total number of passengers recorded on Ngurah Rai for the period of December 18-27 was 137,505.
Compared to the Christmas holiday season last year, when 744,885 travelers arrived in or departed from Bali, there was an 82% decrease in passenger numbers at the airport this year.
The number of visitors could have been much higher if Bali’s provincial government had not implemented compulsory PCR testing for all incomers from December 19.
Nonetheless, the Christmas and New Year holidays have been the best period for the tourist industry on the island since the beginning of the pandemic.
Though Bali is not open for international travel yet it is getting ready step by step.
As the island’s authorities had claimed that the province was prepared to fully reopen, the new Indonesian Tourism Minister, Sandiaga Uno, visited Bali to verify the logistic and safety conditions.
International organizations, such as UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization), support Bali in their determination to open for international travel again.
Together with the Indonesian government they have developed the Cleanliness, Health, Safety and Environment Sustainability (CHCE) plan to encourage the reopening.
On the contrary, CDC (American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) still recommend avoiding Indonesia due to a large number of COVID-19 cases, even though not all the islands are under the 4-level warning.