Bali News March 2022 – Tourism & Visa
Bali Hotels & Restaurants on Shaky Grounds?
In Bali, traditional village officials often enter into written contracts with investors granting exemptions from the established law and allowing private investors’ occupation and use of public lands. Meanwhile, private investors faced with zoning restrictions and prohibitions on beachfront and riverside tracts of land will often offer the village officials inducements via employment guarantees to village residents and substantial rental payments for the right to use lands otherwise banned from private use.
Bali News March 2022 – Villagers and local officials view the beachfront lands as part of their ancestral legacy and within their right to use and dispose of as they please. In contrast, provincial, regency and municipal officials insist that any “public lands” are forever held by the people and that national, provincial, and regional laws take precedence – barring local officials from allocating these lands to private investors.
Bali News March 2022 – In the case in point, the Regent of Badung, Nyoman Giri Prasta, has filed a complaint with the Denpasar Police Precinct naming a group of seven investors and the traditional chief (Bendesa) of Ungasan, Wayan Disel Astawa, for the misappropriate of land used by the Karma Kandara Private Beach Club. This matter came to the forefront when Provincial and Regency officials investigated the site of the Beach Club after it was devastated by a fire on 14 November 2021. Preliminary findings by the team raised issues regarding the Club’s violation of the 100-meter setback rule from the highwater marker. They also questioned the lack of permits for a business built on a public right-of-way.
Reports in the local press pointed to a familiar pattern of development in Bali where local officials enter into a formal contract receiving a substantial sum of money from a group of private investors to use land located in the public right-of-way.
Bali News March 2022 – As reported by RadarBali.com, Prasta has refused requests from the Ungasan Village elders to withdraw his police report on behalf of Badung Regency. Prasta insists that he will not compromise and asks that the courts make a final determination on the lease of land by the Village, which was not their land to sell or rent in the first place.
Continuing, Giri Prasta proclaimed that Indonesia is a nation of laws. He says the role and the powers of the traditional village administrations (Desa Adat) must be made clear. “We are a nation of laws, especially when discussing traditional law. Traditional law cannot take precedence over vertical law. As the Regent, I fully support investors seeking to invest in the Badung Regency. But, first and foremost, don’t break the rules. Second, don’t seek to marginalize the local communities,” said Giri Prasta in a joint session of the Regional Parliament (DPRD-Badung) on Monday, 28 March 2022.
Bali News March 2022 – Giri Prasta told the press that the case in Ungasan reveals many mistakes. First, the land involved is national land, raising the question if local village authorities have any right to grant land-use rights to private investors. The Regent noted that the land in question and its lease to private investors include a formal notarial act and a payment of Rp. 28 billion.
Prasta added: “In the beginning, there were only two businesses; it then developed to become seven companies. I don’t accept this, and I see a notarial act for Rp. 28 billion or more. That’s what was placed on the table; we don’t know if anything was paid under the table.”
Giri Prasta said the violation occurred before he became Regent. Looking at these factors, he has asked the police to investigate, contending the country cannot suffer defeat in such matters.
“Before I assumed office, the violations had already occurred. When I became Regent, I was asked to give a recommendation, which I refused to give,” said Prasta.
Bali News March 2022 – Prasta says the matter is now before the police, the Ombudsmen, and the Anti-Corruption Agency (KPK). “Let’s discuss this before the courts,” said Pasta.
A Legal Can of Worms?
The final disposition, in this case, may have far-reaching effects in Bali, where many hotels, restaurants, and villas have broken right-of-way, setback rules, height restrictions, and building codes by seeking approval from the surrounding community.
Bali News March 2022 – Visa-on-Arrival Now Available to 42 Countries
Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, announced the number of nationalities entitled to obtain a visa-on-arrival (VOA) when landing at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport has been increased from 23 to 42 countries.
Professor Dr. Widodo Ekatjjahjana SH, the Director-General of Immigration, issued the authorizing circular memorandum on behalf of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, on Monday, 21 March, with effect the following day (Circular Memorandum Number IMI-0532.GR.01.01 of 2022).
Reacting to the announcement, the head of the Bali Office of the Ministry, Jamaruli Manihuruk, said the staffing and supervision of the immigration counters at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport would be augmented to handle an anticipated increase in international visitors.
Bali News March 2022 – The Visa-on-arrival (VOA) is available to citizens of the 42 selected countries who arrive with a passport with at least six months remaining validity and pass a COVID-19 screening test upon arrival. The cost of the VOA is Rp. 500,000 (US$35) and is valid for 30 days, and can be extended for an additional 30 days after arrival.
Sandiaga Uno said that Indonesia remains steadfast in attaining its goal of 1.8 million – 3.6 million international tourist visitors for 2022. Sandiaga believes that the steadily increasing relaxation of travel restrictions makes that goal still achievable.
Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investments, who also serves as the COVID-19 Czar, confirmed separately that the government would move forward with eliminating quarantine requirements providing arriving international travelers undergo a PCR test upon arrival in Indonesia.
Bali News March 2022 – The 42 countries that to be imminently included eligible for a visa-on-arrival in Indonesia are:
United Arab Emirates
People’s Republic of China
Bali News March 2022 – Quarantine Requirement Lifted Nationwide
Tempo.co – Indonesia’s leading newsweekly quotes the Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno (image shown) saying that quarantine is no longer required for all international travelers arriving in Indonesia.
During the Minister’s weekly press briefing on Monday, 21 March 2022, Sandiaga said: “[They are] only required to undergo an entry PCR test.”
The government removed the quarantine requirements for fully-vaccinated travelers testing negative for the coronavirus upon landing in Indonesia in response to the nation’s acceptance of pervasive and strict health protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.
Bali News March 2022 – Tempo.com said a circular memorandum from the COVID-19 Task Force confirming the quarantine-free entry policy would be issued on 22 March 2022. Minister Sandiaga also credited the success recorded in eliminating the quarantine requirements in the three trial entry ports of Bali, Batam, and Bintan. With the removal of quarantine requirements in these locations, virus positivity rates remain low and decline.
Sandiaga said: “To remind us all, testing and tracing must be strengthened again. The antigen test as a travel requirement is indeed removed, but this (testing and tracing) must be strengthened.”
Sandiaga expressed concern that the government anti-COVID online application PeduliLindungi was showing a downward trend in recent weeks, prompting the Tourism Minister to urge greater use of the tracking and monitoring device.
Bali News March 2022 – Qatar Resumes Regular Flights to Bali
The aircraft carried 222 passengers and embarked on its return to Hamad International Airport in Qatar at 1:00 am on Monday.
The resumption of flights to Bali by the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar represents an important strategic step forward in the Island’s recovery as an international tourism destination. Qatar Airways operated more than 200 aircraft flying to over 150 international destinations. Because of its reputation as a full-service premium carrier and its global network, the return of Qatar Airways will facilitate Bali-bound travelers originating from Europe, Africa, Eastern Europe, Europe, and the Middle East.
Initially, Qatar Airways will operate four flights each week to Bali on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, returning to Doha on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Quoted by NusaBali.com on Sunday, Herry AY Sikado, the general manager of PT Angkasa Pura I, said: “The Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport is now serving a regular schedule flown by Qatar Airways. This brings to six the number of international destinations now actively connected to Bali: Narita (Tokyo), Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, and Doha.”
Bali News March 2022 – The international flights now landing in Bali are operated by the following nine airlines: Garuda Indonesia, Singapore Airlines, Jetstar Asia, Scoot, KLM, Malaysia Airlines, Jetstar Airways, Qatar, and AirAsia.
To welcome the return of Qatar Airways to Bali, the Airport’s Fire Brigade positioned trucks on both sides of the taxiway to provide a ceremonial water salute.
Sikado said he was expecting more international flights to begin landing in Bali as the strong recovery in global travel continues.
The interim arrival statistics for March through the landing of Qatar on Sunday, 27 March 2022, recorded a total of 21,253 international passengers arriving and departing from Bali on 192 flight movements.
Bali News March 2022 – Hoteliers Urge Free Visas for ASEAN Nations
ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is a political and economic alliance comprised of 10 Southeast Asian Nations: Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao PDR, and The Philippines.
Bali News March 2022 – As reported by NusaBali.com, PHRI-Bali’s leadership says that granting a visa-free facility for the citizens of ASEAN nations would bolster average hotel occupancies on the island to 40%. The Deputy-chairman for Culture, Environment, and Public Relations for PHRI-Bali, I Gusti Ngurah Rai Suryawijaya, speaking on Tuesday, 29 March 2022, with CNNIndonesia.com, said: “We are suggesting visa-free status (for ASEAN citizens), as has existed in the past. In 2019 with a visa-free facility for ASEAN citizens, 14 million people came to Indonesia, including 6.3 million ASEAN travelers to Bali.”
Indonesia recently announced a list of 42 nations eligible to receive a visa-on-arrival in Indonesia. That list included the nine remaining ASEAN nations who can now receive a 30-day visa-on-arrival after paying a US$35 visa fee. PHRI-Bali wants these nations to be issued visas without charge.
Suryawijaya said the PHRI-Bali recommends free visas for citizens of ASEAN member countries. This recommendation will be handed to Moeldoko, who serves as Chief of Staff for President Joko Widodo.
Suryawijaya told the press: “Several days ago, Moeldoko suggested (during a trip to Bali) that ASEAN member nations should be granted free visas. His recommendation was made because other members of ASEAN have opened their borders, and we are doing the same.”
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Bali News March 2022