Bali, Restarting Tourism

“Work together to build a tourism sector that works for everyone, where sustainability and innovation are part of everything we do”. – UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili

Millions of livelihoods are at stake within 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, and together we must ensure tourism comes back more vital than ever. We conveyed one clear message – to no longer postpone the Restart Tourism.

Bali has been closed to tourists since March 2020, focusing the issue to the international borders. This year was and is the most challenging year in a long time for everyone. Initially, many thought the closure could have gone within a quarter, but as time went on, we forecast the border closure would continue for many more months with a tentative date of opening in 2021. We live in uncertainty at present. Most employers tried to schedule their staff to some degree within the first six months of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak – it is now called COVID-19. Yet, gradually and very fast the financial difficulties affect the ecosystem;  all who live from tourism businesses, employees, and countless informal economies.

Through Work From Home (WFH), Unpaid Leave, Salary Cut and Lay-Off; Balinese within overnight developing solution creatively to survive and earn secure income for families. Until to date, we can witness Balinese entrepreneurs become small business owners,  a whole new wave in micro businesses set up on the island of Bali. They are selling food and other retail items from home, servicing those still isolating or just like the convenience of not going shopping and easily using ordering digital platforms.

In the service industry, we can acknowledge ex hotel engineers setting up handyman services. The fashion designers and tailors are making masks for others in need. The private cars park on the roadside, and they convert the vehicles into shops to sell directly to the public, include basic needs, ready-to-eat foods, fruits and vegetables. In some beach area, the resident is doing seaweed farming.

Bali has opened up for domestic tourism in the last three months. This act gives a glimmer of hope for employment to the island so heavily until 90% of business relies upon tourism. There have had to be some adaptions for their particular mixed and matched to attract the domestic market wants and holiday needs. We can see many collaborations of businesses during this time. It is mainly servicing and tap the domestic tourist and resident as the market. Some promotions through social media, we find a weekly plan of Chef Collaborations. They are from different speciality kitchens and perform in one venue—even Fashion Brands set-up pop-up shops at cafes and venues. Venues in Bali have heavy discount called covid price. It is carefully set the menus to attract the targetted domestic market and local people’s buying power.

Are you familiar with the word ‘Staycation’?

Yes, in Bali, hotels at any star rating, resorts and villas are now doing deals and day pass offers at affordable package rates ever. The various accommodation has the space to cater Bali resident at any budget. They can take a break either on the weekend and even weekday, too. More to offer to include child-minding services, co-working space, wellness activities. Bali experiences influx Jakartans were taking advantage of the offers and deals, especially those middle and upper-class with online schooling from home where possible.

Bali experienced several challenges and faced threats to its tourist economy in the past – and now plus the worst ever is COVID-19. We acknowledge the Balinese are incredibly resilient –  each time challenge passed the island has proven to come out stronger. We wish it would remain real post the pandemic this time. We return to an incoming more sustainable and busy mystical Bali. #RestartTourism

While Bali is waiting for the International tourists to return to visit the island, the legend Crazy Horse Band Bali newly launched a cheerful great song for everyone. The song title is “This Is Bali Always Happy”. The band uses simple English words. You do not need to open a dictionary. Don’t worry be happy. Let’s sing and dance!

This is Bali Always Happy

All we are here

Come look and see



This is Bali, Alway Happy

Lyric by Benny Sugiharto


This is Bali, fun and happy, Come look and see, Let’s go crazy

This is Bali, wet hot sunny,  Beer and lazy, So this is Bali

Welcome to Bali, Enjoy Local tasty,

Welcome to Bali, For you  and family

Welcome to Bali, Where sun always shinny,

Welcome to Bali, Don’t worry be happy

This is Bali Always Happy, All we are here, Come look and see


I thank Crazy Horse Band Bali – Vocal and Guitar – Benny; Bass – Gus Joni; Keyboard – Bardy; Drum – Gus Abi; Melody Guitar – Dewa Wijana.


Bali, 15 December 2020

Jeffrey Wibisono V. @namakubrandku

Hospitality Consultant Indonesia in Bali –  Telu Learning Consulting – Digimakz – Commercial Writer – Copywriter – Jasa Konsultan Hotel

The article is also published in


e-spotkania Poland  

Jeffrey Wibisono V.: „Bali, Restarting Tourism”

abc-biznes Poland

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