Top News Bali pitches vaccine vacations to boost visitation By Kurniawan Ulung / Posted on 2 July, 2021 15:31 In a bid to inject some vitality back into Indonesia’s languishing tourism industry, the government has teamed up with travel companies on vaccine tour packages to lure domestic travellers, with Bali picked for the pilot project. Sandiaga Uno, minister of tourism and creative economy, explained that the initiative is aimed at not only speeding up the country’s inoculation programme, but also, reviving Bali tourism as the vaccine programme would require travellers to stay for up to 15 days. Travel companies now offering vaccine packages in Bali to boost domestic tourism; residents in Denpasar, Bali taking part in a mass vaccination programme in June 2021 pictured “We are targeting domestic tourists because according to our observation, Indonesians are attracted to vaccine tour packages offered in other countries, including the US,” he said, adding that the programme is run by appointed travel companies, which at this initial stage, are ATS Vacations, TX Travel and BMW Tours. Tourist destinations that the customers will be visiting, he said, have already been issued CHSE (cleanliness, health, safety and environment) certificates. Covid-19 vaccines offered in the packages range from Sinovac and AstraZeneca to Pfizer and Novavax, depending on availability. TX Travel has launched six types of vaccine tour packages, all of which include a 14-day hotel stay, two-shot vaccine and travel insurance. Prices range from 4.1 million rupiah (US$281) to 14.7 million rupiah, depending on the type and location of the accommodation. Anton Thedy, CEO of TX Travel, told TTG Asia that the agency’s vaccine tours have received positive feedback from the domestic market, with interest coming in from various regions, including Bangka Island and Cianjur in West Java. “We get a lot of inquiries from small cities, where the distribution of vaccines remains uneven. In Jakarta, vaccines are available (in various places), but in small cities, people are still confused about how to get a vaccine. So, they are keen to go to Bali not only for vaccination, but also for a vacation,” he said. Jeffry Budiman, managing director of BMW Tours, said that with the government backing the vaccine programme, the agency can benefit from not just promotional support, but also a guarantee on vaccine availability. The agency’s clients also enjoy priority for booking a vaccination slot, and can skip the queue to get jabbed first upon arrival at the vaccination site. He expects greater uptake of the vaccine programme among domestic travellers, who would no longer need to travel abroad to countries like the US but could opt for a domestic trip to Bali to get inoculated instead.