Indonesia Tries Out Work-From-Bali Program to Prepare for Tourists

Empty seating for tourists on Batubolong beach in Bali, Indonesia. (Photographer: Putu Sayoga/Bloomberg)

Indonesia Tries Out Work-From-Bali Program to Prepare for Tourists

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An Indonesian ministry will introduce a “Work From Bali” program for civil servants aimed at helping to revive the island’s battered economy.

The Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs will start with a pilot project in Nusa Dua, once a prime location for major conferences including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2013, to encourage more meetings and outbound activities on the island.

“We hope that with the arrival of government and state-owned company employees, the gears of Bali’s economy will start moving,” Hermin Esti Setyowati, an assistant deputy at the ministry, said in a statement on Saturday.

Indonesia Tries Out Work-From-Bali Program to Prepare for Tourists

Tourism-reliant Bali has been among the country’s hardest-hit provinces as borders remain shut, leaving its hotels and beaches empty. Its GDP shrank 9.9% in the first quarter from a year ago, following a 9.3% contraction for all of 2020. The island welcomed just 25 foreigners from January to March, compared with 1.1 million in the same period last year.

The local government plans to accelerate its vaccination program with a goal of reaching herd immunity against Covid-19 by July, which could allow the island to reopen to international tourists.

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