The Indonesian Minister of Tourism has relocated his office to the popular island of Bali with holidaymakers to promote it as a business travel destination. The province, which is dependent on tourism, suffered the most from the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The coronavirus pandemic is devastating the tourist industry in Bali, where 80% of the population lives off it," Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno said in a statement.
“I encourage entrepreneurs and (other) professionals to consider working in Bali for two reasons. Firstly, you can work efficiently here and at the same time enjoy the natural beauty of Bali, secondly, we will help the tourism and creative industries in this way, ”he added. The invitation is also addressed to foreigners, provided that they comply with health protocols.
On Thursday, the minister moved to the island with his office and employees. To encourage professionals and others to follow in his footsteps, the authorities are preparing travel packages with discounts for people planning to work and study in Bali.
Sandiaga informed that the government in Jakarta is also working on concessions for small and medium-sized enterprises in the province of fewer than 4.5 million inhabitants. He also said that people working in tourism-related companies will be given priority in vaccination against the coronavirus.
Bali authorities estimated in October that as a result of the pandemic 75,000 its inhabitants lost their jobs or were forced to take unpaid leaves. In order to support their families, many of these people started hiring jobs on construction sites, fields, or selling in the streets. According to the Jakarta Post daily, about 60% of the province's income came directly from tourism, and another 20%. was indirectly generated by it. The local economy suffered the biggest losses in the country in the past quarter.
According to the Jakarta Globe, the island can now count almost exclusively on Indonesian vacationers, and only 20% of hotels are occupied. places. The number of incoming foreigners has recently dropped below one hundred per month. According to government data, just before the pandemic - in January 2020 - there were 543,000 arrivals. people with foreign passports.
Tomasz Augustyniak (PAP)