Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio launched “We Love Bali”, an educational program and cleanliness, health, safety and environment (CHSE) campaign for Bali’s residents, tourism stakeholders and creative economy entrepreneurs, on Wednesday.
The program is aimed at boosting the island’s travel and creative economy industries and, at the same time, giving Bali’s tourism industry a positive image.
“The We Love Bali program is expected to educate the public about the implementation of health protocols based on CHSE,” said Wishnutama during the launch, explaining that the program would involve 409 participants from tourism and creative economy industries, 8,421 employees and 4,800 individuals.
Antaranews.com reported that Bali residents were invited to see for themselves how CHSE measures were implemented at various tourist attractions as well as hotels through the We Love Bali program.
Wishnutama explained that the program would include 12 familiarization trips (fam trips), featuring three-day and two-night trips to various destinations in Bali.
The minister hoped that the campaign would help to develop safety awareness in the minds of tourism stakeholders and travelers.
In addition to launching the We Love Bali program, the Tourism Ministry also plans to set aside Rp 119 billion (US$8 million) to provide free CHSE certification for businesses across Indonesia. The certificate is intended to help regain tourists’ trust in travel.
“Travel businesses, hotel managements and restaurant owners can immediately improve their preparations in cleanliness, health and safety protocol implementation in accordance with the government’s COVID-19 health protocols [through the program],” he said.
Tourism is the beating heart of Bali’s economy as around 60 percent of the island’s gross regional product comes from this sector.
Unfortunately, the tourism industry is also one of the sectors hardest-hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. According to Bali Tourism Agency, the island had lost an estimated Rp 48.5 trillion (US$3.33 billion) in tourism revenue between March and July.
Bali reopened to tourists in August, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cleanliness and safety are among the major concerns for travelers before deciding to go on a trip during a pandemic.
Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Asia Pacific territory director Paul Tosh Tanner said last month that while tourists had held back from visiting Indonesia’s diving spots, particularly in Bali, due to border closures, health and safety played a substantial role in their future travel intentions.
“People will come to Indonesia once they know they are safe. Before, people were looking for adventures and risk-taking, now, families and independent travelers are looking for something safe,” Tanner said during a broadcast event called Indonesia Dive Tourism Market Updates 2020. (jes)
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