Expert lauds plan to reopen international flights at Bali airport

Expert lauds plan to reopen international flights at Bali airport

Passengers at the domestic terminal of I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, Bali, on August 21, 2021. (ANTARA PHOTO/Fikri Yusuf/rwa)

More tourists visiting Bali means increasing occupancy rate in Bali hotels
Jakarta (ANTARA) - A transportation expert has described plans to reopen Bali's I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport for international travel as a right step, saying they could pave the way for the resumption of international flights at other airports.

"We should first observe the international protocol on airport safety during the international flight resumption, and the health protocol should be strictly observed. If the trial period is successful, other airports could follow suit and reopen for international flights," the Indonesia Transportation Society (MTI) Head for Advocacy and Social Affairs Djoko Setijowarno told ANTARA here on Thursday.

Despite the suspension of international arrivals at the I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport severely affecting the local tourism sector, reopening the airport for international flights should be done with caution, he said.

"Domestic tourists could easily use the mobile COVID-19 contact tracing application PeduliLindungi, and we should ensure foreign tourists have a similar contact tracing system during their stay in Bali. Even better if we integrate the international contact tracing system to Indonesia for easier access," the transportation expert said.

Facilities such as the waiting hall, quarantine room, and PCR test point at the airport's arrivals terminal should be made available and be improved to meet the health protocol standards, he added.

Domestic and international tourists and Bali residents have waited for the resumption of tourism activities on the island province, which is heavily reliant on the tourism sector, Setijowarno noted.

"More tourists visiting Bali means increasing occupancy rate in Bali hotels. This would surely be advantageous for restaurants, handicrafts, transportation, and other business sectors in the island province," he said.

Earlier, Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, had announced that I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport will resume international flights from October 14, 2021.

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