Domestic tourism picking up in Bali

bali tourism

Domestic tourists are trickling back to Bali with authorities recording a gradual increase in arrivals at Ngurah Rai International Airport as the island reopens its doors to domestic tourism.

In a ceremony to mark the official reopening, 84 passengers flying Garuda Indonesia from Jakarta received garlands from Bali’s Vice-Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, popularly known as Cok Ace, on Friday morning. They were the first of approximately 4,000 domestic tourists to arrive on the island that day, reports.

Airport management firm Angkasa Pura I spokesman Rahmat Adil Indrawan said on Saturday that there was a gradual increase of passengers during the Eid al-Adha long weekend compared to previous weeks.

Arrivals have also been increasing in the lead up to the reopening. From July 26-30, officials said Ngurah Rai Airport served 17,757 domestic passengers on 278 flights. This represents a 17% increase from the week of July 19-23, when 15,153 passengers on 256 flights were recorded to have arrived at Ngurah Rai.

There were 17,861 domestic arrivals for the whole month of June, says the report.

Indonesia closed its borders back in April, following global travel restrictions imposed to tackle the spread of the coronavirus. While the island has reopened for domestic tourists, officials said tentative plans are in place to reopen to foreign tourists on September 11. 

Despite brewing optimism from the Indonesian government to finally restart tourism on the island after months of relative inactivity, many hotel owners on the island appear to have mixed views about the plan.