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Asia Minute: Slow start for reopenings of regional resorts

Mariamichelle / Pixabay
Mariamichelle / Pixabay
/
Bali, Indonesia

International tourism is opening in more Asia Pacific locations — but so far, the response from travelers has not been overwhelming. That’s especially true in resort locations.

It’s been nearly two weeks since Indonesia’s government rather abruptly reopened Bali to fully-vaccinated travelers.

The island’s economy depends on tourism.

Trouble is, when it comes to international visitors, no one has really shown up.

International airlines have been slow to schedule flights — in part because foreign travelers still need to spend their first five days on Bali in quarantine.

In Thailand, the government made its own abrupt announcement late last week — greatly expanding the list of vaccinated travelers who can skip quarantine.

Nearly two weeks ago, there were 10 countries on that list — but as of next week, passengers from 46 countries and territories can go quarantine free — as long as they’re fully vaccinated, arrive by air and test negative for COVID upon arrival.

Businesses are urging that restrictions on alcohol sales in Thailand now be relaxed.

Bars were closed and restaurants barred from selling alcohol after a spike in cases this April.

The prime minister says the rules may be eased in early December.

In several Asian resort locations, one goal is to ramp up preparations so they’re ready to handle an influx of tourists that may or may not show up for holidays at the end of the year.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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