Bali to Invite 4400 Influencers to 20 Billion IDR Safe Tourism Promotion

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The Government of Bali is to invite 4,400 social media influencers to the island to help promote safe tourism once Covid-19 travel restrictions are lifted.

The ‘We Love Bali’ programme will promote ‘CHSE (Cleanlienss, Health, Safety, Environment) Tourism’ and will take place between October and November 2020, according to head of the Bali Tourist Authority, I Putu Astawa. The invitees, which include teachers, students, civil servants, travel bloggers, photographers, travel agency and media representatives, will be split into groups of 40 to take a three-day tour of Bali, of which 12 different itineraries have been made available.

Within each tourist destination visited by the groups, ‘[Micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises] will be involved as providers of souvenirs that will be sold to the participants,’ said Astawa.

Each group will consist of participants between the ages of 18 and 50, who are active social media users on at least one platform out of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Tiktok. Priority will be given for those who have more than 2000 followers and ‘have a passion for outdoor activites such as swimming, snorkeling, trekking, hiking, cycling’ and also ‘taking a selfie.’

Participants will also be expected to understand and abide by ‘the new normal’ health and safety protocols and publish their activities on social media. They will be required to provide negative results of a Covid-19 PCR test prior to departure.

Indonesia has been closed to international tourism since March, although domestic tourism was allowed to resume in July. Bali’s semi-autonomous regional government had declared that the island would reopen to international tourism in September, but this was called off by the central Indonesian government just weeks before flights were about to resume.

‘We Love Bali’, however, comes with a price tag of 20 billion Indonesia Rupiah, approximately US$1.35million. While a portion of that money will be spent on tour operators over the three-day programme, only those who have obtained a ‘New Era Life Order Certification’ will be allowed to participate. Approximately 350 operators and 8,000 staff will be involved in the programme, according to Rizky Handayani, Events Organiser and Deputy Minister for Tourism.

While the authorities are keen to stress that the programme is designed to promote a resurgence in tourism under the new CHSE Protocols, the news will undoubtedly come as a slap in the face to many Indonesians who have lost their livelihood due to the suspension of international tourism. With no income, no furlough payments and no projected date for post-pandemic reopening, many workers are struggling to provide food and basic necessities for their families.

As of 1 October, Indonesia has counted 295,500 cases of Coronavirus with 10,972 fatalities in a population of 274.25 million people. The last statment on how long the shutdown will continue was simply that it would be at least ‘until the end of the year’. 


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