INDONESIA welcomes the opening of the Chinese border since January 8, 2023, so that tourists from the bamboo curtain country can return to visit Indonesia, as stated by the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno. Although many countries impose special conditions due to the COVID-19 case, this does not apply in Indonesia, including when Chinese tourists enter through Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.

According to the General Manager of PT Angkasa Pura I I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport Bali, Handy Heryudhitiawan said that his party did not impose special screening or examination for airplane passengers from China who arrived on the Island of the Gods.

“We discussed directly with the ranks of the Port Health Office (KKP) here as soon as we got the information (the arrival of Chinese passengers to Bali). And here there is no special treatment. The first flight of Chinese tourists to Bali arrived on Sunday, January 22. A total of 210 passengers from China used a Lion Air charter flight with flight number JT2648,” he said, Monday, (10/23), 2023.

According to Handy, his office applies the same procedures in the health screening process for airplane passengers arriving in Bali from all countries, including China. All treatment, all treatment is the same from all international passengers entering Bali.

“The screening procedure carried out when passengers arrive at Ngurah Rai Airport is a body temperature check with a thermo scanner installed at the arrival terminal and supervised by KKP officers. If there are passengers whose body temperature is above 37.5 degrees Celsius, then the officer can direct an antigen test or PCR test according to the policies and considerations of the KKP Class I Denpasar,” he remarked.

In addition, all international passengers must have received a complete COVID-19 vaccine and be proven by a vaccination certificate. KKP health officers will also conduct profiling if they find passengers who look unfit and will be separated from other passengers for further examination.

“All of them can qualify to enter Indonesia because the condition of COVID-19 in several countries is also our concern. But by looking at the condition of herd immunity and vaccination achievements in Indonesia, God willing, we are strong,” Handy said.

Chinese tourists start traveling
The reopening of China’s borders by its government is not only welcomed by countries that expect economic recovery through the tourism sector. Because, after all, Chinese tourists are one of the largest contributors to foreign tourists, including for Indonesia.

For Bali, Chinese tourists are the second largest contributor to foreign tourist arrivals after Australia. In 2019, Chinese tourists who came to the Island of the Gods reached 1.2 million people.

In 2023, Deputy Governor of Bali Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati said that his party is targeting 700 thousand Chinese tourists to visit the Island of the Gods. “Before the pandemic, there could be up to 1.2 million Chinese tourists to Bali. If it is linear with our predictions, it is hoped that at least 70 percent of the original or at least 700 thousand can be fulfilled,” he noted.

On the other hand, Chinese tourists are also happy to be able to travel abroad again. A Chinese tourist visiting Thailand admitted that he was happy to be back traveling. “Because of the pandemic, we didn’t leave China for three years,” said tourist Kiki Hu. “Now we can leave and come here for vacation. I feel very happy and emotional.” [sources/photo special]