Indonesia Wants To Set Up Travel Bubble With Australia
The coronavirus pandemic has caused international travel to be put on the backburner for a while.
While there are ongoing chats between Australia and New Zealand about opening up travel across the Tasman, there could be another holiday destination that is willing to partner with us.
Indonesia has flagged Australia, China, Japan and South Korea as countries it would like to have a travel bubble with.
Odo Manuhutu, deputy co-ordinating minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, said authorities are still devising the criteria they reckon will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Once that is sorted out, we could be allowed to holiday in Bali and blast those winter blues away.
Mr Manuhutu said: "After the criteria is made, negotiations will be held with those countries for two, three or four weeks. When agreements are reached, the travel bubbles will be opened.
"In addition to the high level of tourists, there are also business interests with these four countries as well."
Nearly 2,200 people have died in Indonesia from coronavirus and there have been more than 39,000 infections.
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The country has been gagging for tourists after the pandemic shut down nearly all travel routes around the world. Many parts of the country depend on a steady flow of travellers and the idea of a travel bubble with a few countries will be highly appealing.
Indonesian Hotel & Restaurant Association chairman Rai Suryawijaya told the Financial Review that some places are on the brink of collapse.
He hopes that travel will be allowed from some countries in the next few weeks, adding: "My prediction is July. Even if we could get 10 flights to land each day, with social distancing restrictions on-board, there may be only 150 people on board each flight so that's just 1500 arrivals each day. We know occupancy rates will remain low, at least until next year."
The big question is whether Australian authorities will go for it.
Currently, they're locked in discussions with key stakeholders in New Zealand, as the country is not only a massive ally with Australia but they also have very low coronavirus infections. New Zealand had just two new infections in the past three weeks and the latest were from two women who flew from the UK.
Travel outside of Australia is only permitted for extenuating circumstances, so it could be some time before we're able to head across to Indonesia.
Featured Image Credit: Piqsels