AFTER the official opening of the tourism sector by the Bali Provincial Government on (31/7), domestic tourists began to visit marine tourism which is located in Tanjung Benoa, Badung Regency, Bali.

According to the owner of water sports in Tanjung Benoa, Bali, Putu Agus Sanjaya, in Badung, Bali, he said that it has been officially opened since July 31, 2020, there have been visitors but only domestic tourists with a percentage of only two percent. Usually accepts guests in one car containing four people. Even then it is still said to be rare, so the income is still minimal.

“Previously on (9/7) trials were conducted in the marine tourism area to prepare health protocols, starting from the speed boat trials, hand washing stations, hand sanitizers and spraying disinfectants regularly,” he said.

He added that during this pandemic, some marine tourism equipment could not function properly. This is due to a lack of care and is rarely used since the closing of tourist visits to Bali, due to COVID-19.

“Before this pandemic, the turnover reached IDR100-150 million, whereas now after this pandemic it was IDR50 million per month. That has been diverted to maintenance of speed boats and other equipment. Because whatever our goods are dealing with the sea, it will definitely fall out, if not fast- treated quickly,” he noted.

Agus Sanjaya explained, when before COVID-19, tourists both domestic and foreign often enjoyed marine tourism in Tanjung Benoa, Badung Regency, Bali. Usually in January to March 2020, it is full of Chinese tourists, then March to May is dominated by European, Indian and Arab tourists. However, during school holidays, it is dominated by domestic tourists from Jakarta, Bandung, Medan, Surabaya and Banyuwangi.

“The decline in revenue from marine tourism has reached more than 100%. This has not only resulted in a decrease in tourist visits but also on the number of workers who have been laid off. During operation, more than 70 people are employed. However, because of COVID-19, and tourist visits were closed, 70% of employees were sent home. In the Tanjung Benoa area, there are 23 water sports that have been affected by the same impact due to this pandemic,” he pointed out.

In the future, Agus Sanjaya targets domestic and foreign tourist visits to increase again, especially for marine tourism. We welcome all tourists here and never compare foreign and domestic tourists. We must ensure that tourists can travel to Bali safely and follow health protocols.

He concluded that some of the problems found from travel agencies were the consideration of tourists with the requirements for the COVID-19 rapid test. They are actually not afraid of the rapid test, but are afraid to pay for the rapid test. [antaranews/photo special]