DENPASAR, Bali (BPN) – Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda “Cok Ace” Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati said that the government already prepares a Free Covid Corridor program to respond to requests from many parties to open international borders for foreign tourists.
Deputy Governor Cok Ace explained that the Free Covid Corridor program is to allow foreign tourists who have been vaccinated to come to Bali.
“The target is Chinese tourists. We know that the country has managed to handle the pandemic because of its successful vaccination program. So we can bring them in,” he explained in a webinar held by ASITA 71 Bali, Thursday.
However, Bali should also meet several requirements before implementing this program. “First, the vaccination (in Bali) has to reach 75 percent of the population, especially for tourism actors. Thus, I have asked the central government so that Bali can get priority vaccination,” he said.
Cok Ace added that another requirement is health facilities similar to the country of origin, namely China. “We also have to prepare this, at least our facilities must be the same. So there will be trust that the country will allow citizens to travel to Bali,” he explained.
Deputy Governor also emphasized that the discipline of health protocols is one of the important things that must be considered if Bali wants to open borders.
Bali currently in the second position in obedience to health protocols with a rate of 98.3 percent below West Kalimantan at 98.6 percent. “This is the main point to convince the international community that Bali is ready to welcome international tourists,” he added.
Cok Ace who also serves as the chairman of Bali’s PHRI (Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association) said that the government will not stop socializing the implementation of health protocols to the community. Because this is the first selling point of Bali’s tourism during this pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Indonesia Tour and Travel Agency Association (ASITA 71) Bali, Putu Winastra, stated that the webinar entitled SAKIRA was an initiative of the ASITA Bali to obtain and spread information on Bali’s tourism, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He hoped that the next webinar can be used as a discussion forum between tourism actors, the government, and related stakeholders regarding the development of tourism and the steps in developing Bali’s tourism.