As soon as travel restrictions due to the health crisis ended, tourists returned to Bali. Last April, Indonesia issued more than 100,000 tourist visas as vaccinated travelers escaped mandatory testing and quarantine for the first time in a long time. The country is now betting on 3.6 million annual visitors, while seeking to promote long stays likely to bring in more foreign currency and create more jobs. “Bali’s bars and beaches may have to take a back seat as Indonesia seeks to promote its booming culture and tech scene,” reports Bloomberg.
“In the past, the three S’s were: ‘sun, sea and sand’ [soleil, mer et sable]. We want to exchange them for ‘serenity, spirituality and sustainability’ [sérénité, spiritualité et durabilité]. We are aiming for better quality stays and a better impact on the local economy”, explains Sandiaga Uno, the Minister of Tourism.
Bali, a “priority” destination for digital nomads
To do this, the Indonesian government is about to relaunch a project already mentioned at the start of the pandemic. It consists of offering digital nomads and other remote workers a five-year visa with, as a result, total tax exemption for those who derive their income from abroad. “Simplified visa processing and more frequent flights should help the country attract employees from large companies like Airbnb or Twitter that allow their employees to work from anywhere.”
The authorities are counting on this type of long stay associated with ecological tourism and sports activities to create tens of thousands of jobs locally.
According to some surveys, 95% of “digital nomads” point to Indonesia – and in particular Bali – as their destination “priority” to work remotely, argues the Minister of Tourism. “Now that the pandemic is under control and that all administrations are involved and ready to cooperate, from the Ministry of Health to the immigration services, we believe that it is the right time to relaunch this idea” , says Sandiaga Uno.