Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA) - Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati is optimistic that Indonesian ambassadors, serving in ASEAN member nations, would promote Bali Island's tourism since the community in the resort island is ready to welcome foreign tourists.

"In the past few days, the number of (COVID-19) active cases in Bali has started to decrease, and the recovery rate is always above the daily count of active cases. Even now, the community restriction (PPKM) in Bali has been lowered to level 3," he noted in a written statement here on Friday.

The deputy governor, usually referred to as Cok Ace, had earlier made this statement at the Brainstorming Forum of Indonesia's Head of Representative in Southeast Asia related to "Bali's Readiness for Foreign Tourists and Exploring the Formation of a Travel Bubble with ASEAN Countries" held virtually on September 23.

Sukawati later noted that Bali no longer had a red zone. Five districts are designated as yellow zones, while four districts are marked as orange zones.

The Bali provincial government has prepared a grand design for accepting foreign tourists, starting from arrival to quarantine, and their travel itinerary while in Bali, until their departure to the origin country.

"We also collaborated with the TNI-Polri and the Public Order Security Agency (Satpol PP) to strictly guard Bali's entry points," he remarked while being accompanied by Head of the Bank Indonesia representative for Bali Province, Trisno Nugroho, and Head of the Bali Tourism Board Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana.

The Bali government has designated 62 COVID-19 referral hospitals spread throughout Bali to offer medical services.

"The number of our health workers is sufficient to serve in the worst-case scenarios. The availability of health facilities, such as oxygen supply, is adequate at every hospital," he noted.

In terms of the tourism sector, he admitted that around 1,871 places in Bali -- hotels, restaurants, tourism destinations, malls and public places -- had received the Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental Sustainability (CHSE) certification from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.

"Currently, the Bali provincial government is also encouraging the use of the PeduliLindungi application as one of the requirements to enter public places. All these efforts are also supported by the good vaccination achievements in Bali," Cok Ace noted.

He expressed hope that Bali tourism would soon be opened for foreign tourists. He also expects that the cooperation of ASEAN countries, with the support of the ambassadors, can be applied in the tourism sector.

Cok Ace also praised the travel bubble offered by Indonesian Ambassador to Laos, Pratito Soeharyo. However, he revealed that for various terms and conditions, he was awaiting directions from the central government.

In addition to tourism, Cok Ace offers cooperation with ASEAN countries in the agricultural sector.

"If there are companies from ASEAN countries interested to invest in processing agricultural products that we can export, then we really appreciate it," he remarked.

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Translator: Ni Luh R, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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