Bali holiday hopes dashed

The Federal Government has hosed down speculation of a 'travel bubble' between Australia and Bali.

The Federal Government has hosed down speculation of a 'travel bubble' between Australia and Bali.

Holiday hopefuls have been told to hold their horses if they want to return to Bali anytime soon.

Bali is one of the Northern Territory's favourite and closest overseas holiday destinations.

There has speculation this week, mainly coming from the Indonesian Government, of a "travel bubble" being negotiated with Australia so tourists could return.

But Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham hosed down that early speculation.

"People shouldn't get ahead of themselves. There is still a way to go in opening up travel with New Zealand, which remains more likely than other countries," he said.

New Zealand is now grappling with new cases of coronavirus and faces further lockdowns.

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner yesterday said Territorians should cancel their Christmas plans if they intended to travel to hotspot areas in Victoria and NSW.

Mr Gunner said the Territory's "hard borders" were likely to remain until 2021.

It was a senior Indonesian government minister who on Monday kicked off the speculation that Bali might be back on the travel radar for Australians.

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia's Minister for maritime affairs and investment, said Australia, along with Singapore, China and South Korea, would be among nations welcomed back by Indonesia as it reopens for tourists.

"Right now we engaged in discussions with Australia, with China, South Korea and Japan. So far. And Abu Dhabi as well. We will see what they need from us, what we need from them," Mr Luhut said.

But Mr Birmingham said Australia's international borders will remain closed "for the foreseeable future".

He said the national priority was getting Australians travelling to other parts of Australia, where it is safe to do so.

Bali was declared open for domestic visitors last month.

"The best thing that can happen for our tourism industry right now, is for people to make bookings and undertake trips within Australia, where it is safe to do so, because this will help save a small business or the job of a fellow Australian," Mr Birmingham said.

This story Bali holiday hopes dashed: travel bubbles a way off first appeared on Katherine Times.