BI: Focus on Domestic MICE Market for Now

The Deputy-Chief of the Bali branch of Bank Indonesia, Rizki E. Wimanda, predicts that, based on the United Nations World Travel Organization (UNWTO) predictions, Bali’s tourism industry will not return until 2022 or possibly even 2024.

(L to R) Bank Indonesia’s Rizki Wimanda & Setywan Santoso

Taking a realistic view of tourism recovery in Bali, Wimanda was quoted by “Until now, there is no country that allows its citizens to visit Indonesia, mainly China and Australia have yet to reopen. Even if Bali decides to open for tourism, but other countries do not do the same, there’s no point.”

Because of the uncertainty of when international tourists will return to Bali, Wimanda recommends Bali focus on domestic tourism, even though domestic tourists spend less during a Bali holiday than foreign tourists. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates that globally 75% of tourists are domestic travelers.

To increase domestic tourist spending, the Bank Indonesia executive urges Bali to cultivate the higher-spending meeting, incentive, conference, and exhibition sector (MICE). Domestic MICE visitors to Bali are calculated to spend seven times more than domestic visitors.

Another Deputy for Bank Indonesia in Bali, M. Setywan Santoso, added that Bali tourism could not be separated from international tourism. To sustain Bali until foreign tourism returns, he suggests that Bali’s tourism operators seek new tourism economy sectors, such as culture and retirees.

In the long-term, Santoso said efforts to bring back foreign tourists are needed. However, in the short term, he said Bali must refocus on sectors of the economy not connected to tourism. These areas include agriculture, trade, processing industries, and home-based industries.

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