Denpasar (ANTARA) - Bali Governor Wayan Koster plans to hold a coordination meeting with district heads and mayors in Bali to deliberate on reviving tourism affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 -- a new type of coronavirus.

"The coordination meeting will also involve tourism stakeholders in Bali to formulate an action program that will be implemented in the short and medium term," Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office I Putu Astawa stated here on Wednesday.

Astawa pointed to the COVID-19 outbreak having significantly impacted Bali's tourism sector since the number of tourists visiting the island continues to decline, especially tourists from China.

"A decline in the number of Chinese tourists has affected tourism-related businesses in Bali, such as hotels, travel agents, tourist transportation, tour guides, and souvenir shops," he stated.

Some 1,186,057 Chinese tourists had visited Bali in 2019, the second-largest number of tourists after Australian visitors out of the total 6,275,210 tourists visiting Bali.

A decline in the number of tourists has also had a direct impact on Bali's tax revenue -- especially in Badung, Denpasar, Gianyar and Klungkung -- which is derived from hotels and restaurants.

"The decline in the number of foreign tourists will also impact the economic growth of Bali since the tourism sector contributes more than 50 percent to Bali's Gross Regional Domestic Product," he pointed out.

Speaking in connection with the negative impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the foreign tourist arrivals, Astawa highlighted that the central government had issued an important set of policies to help local tourism businesses survive in such a scenario.

Firstly, the government has offered an additional budget of Rp298.5 billion for airlines and travel agents’ incentives in a bid to bring in more foreign tourists into the country.

Secondly, the government will provide incentives totaling Rp443.39 billion to domestic tourists in the form of a 30-percent discounted price for 25 percent seats in each flight for 10 tourism destinations.

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Thirdly, all hotels and restaurants operating in the 10 tourism destinations spread across 33 districts and cities will receive a 10-percent tax cut for six months.

Those 10 tourism destinations are Toba Lake, Yogyakarta, Malang, Manado, Bali, Mandalika, Labuan Bajo, Bangka Belitung, Batam, and Bintan.

Moreover, the central government will provide grant funds reaching Rp3.3 trillion for the 10 tourism destinations.

Fourthly, a special allocation fund of Rp147 billion set aside in the state budget will be converted into grant funds to be channeled to revive local tourism sectors.
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Reporter: Ni Luh Rhismawati, Yuni Arisan
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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