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The island of Bali is dependent on tourists to keep the economy going. With most of the island’s population working in the tourism industry, the economy has taken a big hit this year.

CNN Travel reports that in 2019 Bali welcomed 6.2 million international tourists and in 2020 it welcomed 1.05 million tourists. But in 2021 it only welcomed 45 international tourists.

It’s reported that most of the 45 international tourists that visited the island arrived on private yachts as the island’s only airport, Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar was closed to international flights for almost the entire year.

While domestic flights from Jakarta have been arriving, international flights haven’t. The answer to this problem is easy: Strict COVID-19 restrictions.

In order to come to Bali, foreign tourists have to deal with strict Covid-related entry requirements. They must obtain a business visa at a cost of $300 (there are no tourist visas at present), take multiple PCR tests and buy special health insurance. In addition, airfare costs are higher than usual due to the lack of direct flights, reports CNN Travel.

Local authorities are hoping that they would be able to be waiver the strict entry requirements and that the tourism industry will be able to thrive again.

Image credit: The Jakarta Post

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