TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Tourism observer Taufan Rahmadi suggested the government adopt New Zealand's strategies in reviving Bali tourism which was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to him, the first stage is to enforce a lockdown for 14 days.
“On level 1, I impose a lockdown in Bali for the next 14 days, ‘Nyepikan Bali’,” said Taufan in his statement on Monday, June 28.
At that stage, the government is asked to tighten the health protocols and encourage people to work from home. Schools and public areas must also be closed. After that, the government needs to undergo mass Covid-19 antigen tests for all residents.
Once the lockdown is over, the government can gradually reopen tourism starting from national flights to international ones. After these stages have been passed, Bali can then welcome tourists again.
Taufan argued that the government's plan to postpone the schedule for reopening Bali's international gates, which was scheduled to take place in July, due to the soaring Covid-19 cases, caused concerns. This uncertain policy may worsen the region’s economy, which mostly relies on the tourism sector.
“Making Bali in current uncertainties will further depress Bali’s economy and further keep it far from the expected recovery targets,” Taufan added.
According to Taufan, the delay in reopening Bali tourism for foreign tourists should be a momentum to improve. Establishing Bali as a Covid-19 green zone or areas with low or zero virus transmission, could be done in stages, starting from at the village level, subdistrict, regency, up to provincial level.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA