Bali visits plummet to historic lows.
The Indonesian island of Bali reopened its borders for fully vaccinated foreign tourists nearly two months ago, however, the normally popular destination reportedly saw only two foreign visitors in that time.
Due to strict border control measures and a closed airport earlier in the year, Bali welcomed just 45 foreign tourists in 2021.
“That is the lowest number of foreign tourist visits we’ve ever recorded,” Nyoman Gede Gunadika, section head of tourism for Bali Province, told CNN.
With the Omicron variant continuing to spread around the world, Bali’s visitor numbers are expected to remain shockingly low for the foreseeable future.
The recent poor turnout has been blamed on the very strict entry requirements to the island.
Foreign tourists first need to apply for a visa that requires a local sponsor, then they must hold an international health insurance. In addition, a 10-day quarantine is also mandatory.
Airfare prices have also been significantly higher than normal due to the lack of flights to the island.
Other South-East Asian islands like Thailand’s Phuket and Vietnam’s Phu Quoc have seen many more visitors, as fully vaccinated travellers are permitted to enter without a local sponsor or quarantine.
“With all those barriers, it’s difficult for us to expect foreign tourists to come to Bali,” Ray Suryawijaya, head of the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association of Bali’s Badung District, said.