The latest answer to the increasingly pesky question "when will foreign tourists return to Bali in droves?" seems to be "still not anytime soon," as not a single commercial international flight has touched down on the island since October's tourism reopening.
"So far there have been no regular international flights scheduled to arrive in Bali. So no passengers on direct commercial international flights have entered [the province]," Jamaruli Manihuruk, who heads the Bali office of the Justice and Human Rights Ministry, which oversees immigration matters, said yesterday.
That's not to say that there are no foreign tourists at all in Bali, Jamaruli noted, as the vast majority of them have arrived via Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport. There have also been chartered flights arriving from abroad in Bali.
Bali reopened to international tourists in mid-October 2021, limited to fully-vaxxed travelers from 19 eligible countries. Prior to the reopening, the island only saw 45 international tourists arriving in the first 10 months of 2021.
Tourism operators have lamented Indonesia's strict travel restrictions and have called for exceptions to be made for Bali's tourists.
Bali welcomed 6 million tourists in 2019. The island, which is almost entirely reliant on the tourism industry, came to a standstill when the pandemic hit.
Things began looking up towards the end of 2021, with domestic tourists arriving in large numbers to give the island's economy a lifeline.