The balance between financial stability and safety is tricky, but after a year of the pandemic, Bali officials are desperate for their citizens to return to a degree of normality. Although green zones may not wholly save Bali’s economy, the initiative will be an incredible step in potentially repairing what the COVID-19 pandemic has broken for the people of Bali. Here is some information about how Bali will open green zones for international tourists in an effort to boost its economy in a safe way.
About Green Zones for International Tourists
Bali intends to open allocated zones called ‘green zones.’ These will include increased COVID-19 health and safety measures to entice tourists to return to Bali. Green zones are the latest idea from the Bali government to help save its economy safely. Bali governor Wayan Koster announced that the arrival of green zones will be available once international borders open.
Green zones will include three different locations; Ubud, Nusa Dua and Sanur. These zones will host tourists and tourist activities as safely as possible while restricting tourists from entering areas that are not green zones. Bali created green zones to entice tourists to come back to Bali to help Indonesia’s economy as a whole as it is one of the most popular islands in Indonesia.
Bali’s three green zones will prioritize the vaccination program to welcome foreign tourists while trying to maintain COVID-19-free travel. These zones will be areas free from COVID-19 through a comprehensive vaccination program for people living and doing activities in the region or zone. These allocated areas in Bali will be under strict health protocols and guidelines to ensure the safety of locals and tourists; tourists may have to quarantine in these areas before traveling to other parts of the island. Denpasar city’s tourism office has started collecting information from restaurants and hotel workers in the Sanur area to ease the vaccination process.
Tourism in Bali
As many tourists travel to Bali for its beauty, tourism is also essential to its workers. The industry roughly makes up 80% of Bali’s economy. As a result, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Bali very hard. Between April and June 2020, the island’s economy shrunk by 11%. Bali’s provincial government has estimated that at least 75,000 workers lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
The vaccine rollout and a high compliance rate for COVID-19 protocols among residents are helping reduce COVID-19 cases. If COVID 19 cases continue to drop, as they have in recent months, domestic and international travelers will be able to travel within green zones. Although the country has not set a date to open international borders in Indonesia, Sandiaga Uno, the Indonesian Tourism Minister, has stated that Bali is ready to reinstate its borders.
The pandemic has impacted Indonesia’s tourism industry greatly. According to the Asian Development Bank, 9.4% of Indonesia’s population moved below the national poverty line as of 2020. Hopefully, green zones for international tourists will help Indonesia’s tourism get back on track, allowing Indonesian citizens to garner employment and rise out of poverty.
– Jessica Barile