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Asia Minute

Asia Minute: Indonesia Cautiously Makes Tourism Plans

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The tourist trade is picking up a bit, and not just in Hawaii. This week, the Hawaii Tourism Authority has reported more than 20,000 arrivals a day, about three-quarters of them coming for vacation. Elsewhere around the Pacific, other tourist destinations are getting ready for business, such as Indonesia.

Bali plans to welcome overseas tourists sometime this summer.

Bloomberg reported an earlier target was June. Turkey’s national news agency quotes a government official as saying the new goal is July.

But before visitors arrive, the locals need vaccines, enough for at least 3 million people to get to herd immunity.

That’s according to Bali’s governor—who told reporters that as of about a week and a half ago that around 300,000 local residents had been vaccinated.

Elsewhere in Indonesia, attitudes towards foreign visitors are a little more cautious.

The country has had the highest number of coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia—and vaccines are a challenge for the archipelago that stretches over some 6,000 inhabited islands.

The central government is planning a special visa that would restrict visitors to certain tourism zones.

Indonesia’s Tourism Minister says the process would involve testing before and after arrival, contact tracing, and tracking by way of a computer app.

The policy is still in the planning stages and there is no timetable on when it might take effect to start to help the visitor industry--which the government says usually brings in some $20 billion a year.

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