Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA) – Three years since the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism sector of the province of Bali has witnessed several changes, including changes in the behavior of some tourists who have started violating regulations in the region during their visit.
To address these concerns, the provincial government then began taking steps to deal with foreign tourists who violated their residence permits and those who opened illegal small businesses that harmed local residents.
The Deputy Governor of Bali Tjok Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati said that Bali faces two serious challenges in the form of creating quality tourism with tourists willing to pay a higher price or give freedom.
“Shall we improve quality to make tourists docile or should we become docile to improve the quality of our tourism?” Our tourism participants have agreed to become obedient first,” he confirmed.
Citing the example of Singapore, Sukawati said quality tourism would be followed by price increases. However, if tourists are disappointed with the level of safety and comfort in Bali, then it will not be able to maintain its good image.
Consequently, the regional government issued Bali Provincial Ordinance No. 5 of 2020 and Bali Governor’s Ordinance No. 28 of 2020 as the basis.
Bali Provincial Tourism Office Head Tjok Bagus Pemayun called for focus on Bali Provincial Ordinance No. 5 of 2020 on Tourism Implementation Standards and Bali Governor’s Ordinance No. 28 of 2020 on Bali Tourism Management during the transition to the endemic phase.
In terms of tourism management, the Bali Governor’s Decree emphasizes that the region is looking for quality tourists.
“One lesson we have learned from the pandemic is that tourists are looking for healthy, safe and comfortable tourism. The regional government had actually prepared it,” Pemayun noted.
The regional government has also made several efforts to realize quality tourism in Bali, including the establishment of a tourism task force comprising the tourism office, Public Order Security Agency (Satpol PP), immigration, tourism association and related stakeholders to deal with tourists violating laws and regulations.
Through these efforts, the regional government was able to filter tourists visiting the region. They were able to detect various violations such as traffic violations in the form of driving vehicles with illegal number plates, not wearing helmets or wearing inappropriate clothing.
In addition, several foreign tourists also forged their Indonesian identity cards, started illegal businesses and violated the use of visas.
To realize quality tourism, Pemayun said the tourism task force will continue to take action against tourists violating the regulations, not just when the case goes viral.
“Prosecution should be done routinely because it is the result of our coordination with related agencies. But one thing we must stress is that we have never obstructed foreign tourists,” he said.
In the transition to the endemic phase, the local government is also seeking the commitment of tourism stakeholders by continuing to fulfill the promise made during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the readiness to conduct source-based waste management, including hotel waste sorting. rooms, enforcing the use of the Balinese script and enforcing cleanliness, health, safety and environmental sustainability (CHSE).
“Also, we are developing cultural tourism because we have no natural resources. To become sustainable, our local culture must be preserved, as well as the quality tourists who come to protect the environment,” he noted.
In addition to the development of quality tourism during the momentum presented by the pandemic, the province of Bali has also been actively involved in helping the community for three years.
This started with donating masks to all regions through traditional villages, conducting mutual cooperation markets, to reducing wages by 10 percent for every month used to shop at the mutual cooperation market at that time.
“Also in terms of budget reallocation, in addition to dealing with COVID-19, we are providing relaxation to those affected. We are all diverting as well as asking the ministries to help us at this time,” he noted.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism, as a supporting sector in Bali, saw a decline with no foreign tourists visiting the island.
In 2020, Bali’s economy saw a decline with a contraction of -9.31 percent and -2.47 percent in 2021. In 2022, Bali’s economy began to recover with an economic growth of 1.43 percent in the first quarter, followed by 3.05 percent in the second quarter and 8.09 percent (year-on-year) in the third quarter.
The reopening of the border to foreign tourists on March 22 managed to generate a total of 2.3 million tourist visits by the end of 2022.
The recovery of Bali’s tourism and economy is evident from the steady flow of tourists. Consequently, Bali Governor Wayan Koster has targeted foreign tourist arrivals to reach 4.5 million by the end of this year.
Based on the latest data announced by the Indonesia Statistics (BPS) at the Bali Office on April 3, at least 323,623 foreign tourist visits were recorded in February 2023.
This number decreased by 2.50 percent compared to January 2023, but the average length of stay of foreign and domestic guests at star hotels in Bali in February 2023 increased by 0.06 percent compared to January, which is 2.42 days, from the previous 2.36 days.
The situation that arose during the pandemic really became an impetus to improve Bali by designing quality tourism during the transition to the endemic phase.
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