Bali tourism stakeholders are being encouraged to take proactive action to attract domestic travellers while international travel remains largely restricted amid the threat of Covid-19.
Speaking at the seventh edition of the Bali and Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) held last week, Sutrisno, head of Bank Indonesia (BI) Bali Provincial Representative Office, cited BI statistics showing that the Indonesian outbound traffic pre-pandemic reached 11 million trips, with a total spend of US$11 billion.
In the meantime, the national third-party funds in 1Q2021 rose by 9.3 per cent, and in April alone, the growth was 12 per cent compared to the same period in 2020. Meanwhile, Bali’s third-party funds declined by 3.8 per cent in 1Q2021 as people withdraw their savings and sold their assets due to declining businesses.
Sutrisno said: “This means that people are saving. Those people (living in big cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, and Medan), who usually travel overseas, are saving on travel expenditure because of the closed borders. This domestic market presents a big potential for Bali (tourism players) to tap.”
Rizki Handayani, deputy of tourism products and MICE, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (MoTCE), urged Bali tourism stakeholders to take proactive steps to attract domestic visitors by conducting sales and marketing activities in major cities like Jakarta, promoting health and wellness tourism.
“Sustainable, health and wellness tourism are trending and they are priority programmes (for the MOTCE) to develop,” she said, adding that Bali has what it takes to tap this booming trend, with its spa and wellness offerings, natural and cultural attractions, and myriad of healthy food options.
“On the medical tourism side, we have lost markets to (neighbouring and overseas) destinations,” she said, adding that Indonesians have been going abroad to seek not just treatments for illnesses, but also aesthetic procedures.
Bali, with its clinics and nature-filled environment, has the capacity to meet that demand, Rizki stressed.
“International markets remain important, but instead of just waiting for these markets to come back, let’s work this huge domestic potential,” she said, adding that Jakarta is a market that presents big opportunities.
Rizki encouraged the trade to create new thematic wellness programmes, as well as tap the youth with voluntourism, related to environment and social development.
After being canned in 2020, BBTF 2021 was held from June 10-11, connecting 145 sellers from 14 provinces in Indonesia with 132 Indonesian buyers offline and 57 international buyers from 20 countries online.