Bali Sun-Seekers makes way for digital nomads and spiritual tourists

(Bloomberg) – Bali’s bars and beaches may have to step back as Indonesia seeks to promote its spiritual getaways and booming tech scene to lure longer, spendthrift travelers to its islands .

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Eco-tourism, sporting events and a special five-year visa for remote workers are expected to bring 3.6 million foreign travelers back to the archipelago now that borders have reopened, Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno said Monday in a statement. interview. This is expected to help create more than a million jobs for Indonesians, he added.

“In the past, the three S’s were: sun, sea and sand. We move it towards serenity, spirituality and sustainability. That way we get better quality and better impact on the local economy,” Uno told Bloomberg Television’s Yvonne Man and Rishaad Salamat.

Southeast Asia’s biggest economy has lifted most of its travel restrictions, allowing fully vaccinated visitors to come without testing or quarantine requirements as Covid-19 cases remain low and booster doses are deployed. Tourist arrivals jumped 500% to 111,000 in April, its highest monthly tally since the pandemic.

Digital nomads

Simplified visa processing and more frequent flights should help the country attract employees from global companies like Airbnb Inc. and Twitter Inc. that allow their employees to work from anywhere. About 95% of “digital nomads” surveyed said Indonesia – particularly Bali – is their “priority” destination for remote work and that they are willing to travel, Uno said.

The ministry has been considering issuing a special visa for remote workers and business and leisure travelers since early 2021, before the plan was derailed by resurgences of coronavirus, border controls strict and a lack of flights. The visa would allow its holders to stay for up to five years without paying taxes if they do not earn their income in Indonesia.

“Now that the pandemic is managed and all ministries are involved and cooperating on the health side of the immigration office, we believe it is an opportune time to revive this idea,” Uno said.

(Redesigned throughout Indonesia’s New Tourism Strategy)

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