Jakarta Private Tour Guide Travel Post
How's Bali?! Are you one of peoples who miss Bali during this pandemic crisis? White sandy beach with bubbly waves rolling in Seminyak, terraced rice fields in Ubud, meditating on the slopes of Tabanan, Kecak dance performance in middle of sunset at Uluwatu Temple, slow ticking clock hands in Jimbaran, or other wonders that restore your soul and body there.
If your answer is “Yes”, it means that you are part of millions of people around the world who long for and want to travel back to the Island of the Gods Bali. We believe in that and we are willing to bet if suddenly Covid-19 pandemic disappears now, there will be a massive exodus of tourists to Bali to restore dry souls. 😊
However, we will try to help you quench your thirst for news of life on the island of Bali nowadays. We will reveal a bit of news about current condition of Bali from a tourism actor there and hopefully we can recover a little bit of your thirst.
Yes, the latest report on Bali's current condition comes from our source; a woman who’s called Demi. A Balinese tourism entrepreneur who has lived for years, works and animate Balinese life.
This tough woman whose full name is Demi Indriyanti, currently Founder of Puritomato.com (Tabanan-Bali) which is engaged in farming fresh tomatoes, chilies, flowers and herbal plants. Puritomato was built amid the anxiety of pandemic storm in Bali which devastated tourism sector. In future, she hopes that Puritomato could supply needs for healthy and fresh food for community and tourism in Bali.
Let's take a look our interview... 😊
Questions & Answers:
“Hello Dem.., may I know where you from and real name?”
Place of birth Solo Central Java with my birth certificate being made when I was 6 years old in Jakarta Indonesia. Real name Demi Indriyanti.
"What happened when the pandemic started?"
I was working in the hospitality sector specifically as the General Manager of a villa complex performing duties including staff relations, budgeting, licensing, construction and maintenance, liaison with other hotels, management of other villas and restaurants, advisor to shareholders and guest relations
At the end of 2019 to early 2020, tourism was at its peak as it was the peak season in Bali in all market segments. I felt something was not quite right at that time looking at the trend of our guests extra bills in one of properties I managed. Guests were purchasing via our front office reception medical equipment such as surgical masks, oximeter from the larger pharmacies in the area and constant telephone conversations were made between the front office staff with either our ex guests and the pharmacies.
Boxes of those medical items were being accumulated at our office for the guest’s convenience.
During conversations with several of the guests I happened to ask what was going on and they responded vaguely as if it was just a souvenir from Bali ordered by their families and relatives.
The top management being our expatriate Research & Development Manager and myself researched the international news thoroughly regarding news of the spreading pandemic to get every update relating to our hotel’s business and guests safety.
During the Chinese New Year holiday in February as our occupancy was full, updated news from all over the world concerning the further spread of the pandemic was very concerning and we became fully alert to what was going on.
In March we decided to stop receiving guests and hold confirmed bookings, extra ordinary meetings were held with all our staff to make them aware and to educate them to what was actually happening.
The reason in mind for this as well as in coordination with top management was clearly for safety precautions for our guests and our staff.
The Government at that time had not put a stop to tourist entry to Bali until toward the end of March and at this time guest cancellations were coming via emails, telephone calls, social media post of panic and each inquiry was dealt with through our office through personal phone calls.
The First Lockdown from the government was finally in place. A new era began, Health protocols were now in full force and we were using new technology like zoom meetings, webinars, tele talks, WhatsApp groups from all sectors in order to get the correct updates regarding health protocols, government assistances via PHRI, HIPMI, PAJAK and many more. Bali governor decrees, minister decrees to President Decrees were stringently kept always up to date till now.
Donations were also coming from our valued guests whom had been like a family to our staff members even though these were rejected by the shareholder but I was able to find a way around it.
My portion personally as being a General Manager was to cut the cost of utilities, reducing electricity from the PLN, prolonging licenses required to be updated to a later stage, reducing our unnecessary consumable items but not limiting the staff income. I do believe the cost of living especially concerning the staff at the premises I worked for were essential. Yes, we reduced salary by cutting the work hours however I came up with other options for each of them to create extra income outside their work hours.
I do believe our valued staff members are gems by the fact that most of them have been working for this particular company for nearly two decades. Staff termination has never been an option as far as I was concerned and I guess they appreciated it.
Institutions like banks or universities where the staff were concerned and also had their children studying at were becoming monetary problems to the staff, due to this I was giving them letters of their continued employment and references for them to either get loans restructured or having university tuitions prolonged. Somehow it worked out well.
Shareholders and people with money were advised, mostly they paused their projects, some returning back to their country or staying in Bali. I am doing the best I can with them in terms of keeping their businesses holding together whilst the pandemic is continuing. With local investors communications were in place to cut down the costs and it was a pity some local investors did not really care about what I’m trying to implement, I guess it they don’t know much about Bali and its cultures plus the family oriented basis of Indonesians.
Regarding my personal feelings about the Covid19 pandemic, I did feel quite worried for about a month since March 2020. I did believe it was going to be longer than the public assumed back then. I thought what would I do?? As an entrepreneur, I started to think about basic needs which are food, healthy food means I am not going to grab other people’s income as my new idea is genuine. I have 3300sqm up in the mountains of Bali 900 meters above sea level.
Fresh picked fruits and selling the plants of vegetables and herbs right to the consumers via outlets like supermarkets and direct orders. Demand has been great as I sell them at very affordable prices ranging from IDR10k to IDR50k for each plant. I have been growing this business till now by the help of few good friends as being sort of investors to grow bigger.
I am now doing another one hectare just to focus on fruit, being heirloom tomatoes.
Heirloom tomatoes are a rare thing to have now, with all the determination I have and the trust from friends whom are like my family, I am happy to be the one in Indonesia who will have the full right to do it. Food sustainability for Bali has been successful and we have a hope to going national and soon worldwide.
I believe in Karma as living in Bali for over two decades as well as living overseas for a period in between.
Using modern technology and understanding the current world economy plus getting ready for the time when all people can travel again and for when tourism gets back to new normal. Working with Travel agents and travel blogs that can promote Bali, I am ready to get certain interested tourists to come and see another side of Bali, which is modern farming. I have learnt from both local and international institutions in regards to my new agricultural business.
Also read: 14 Foods That Strengthen Your Immune System
"How’s the impact for pandemic in Bali?"
The impact has been extremely hard on everyone in Bali from not only families but all business as Bali is a tourist island, however, all of us that are living in Bali have became resilient and have been able to handle all the types of problems and issues that have occurred such as both the Bali Bombings, Chappelle Corby, Bali nine narcotic syndicate, earthquakes, Aceh tsunami, volcanic eruptions, cholera, rabies, dengue fever and many more that caused travel warning or bans, we believe as time passes people will still come back to Bali.
"What do you offers?"
I offer to keep calm as we are all in this together and I can also offer to those who need to know more about Bali to either contact me or contact their local reputable agents
"What has changed and what to expect?"
Respect where you are, each destination has their own value, no matter where you are coming from, when you are in holiday mode, live like a local at the place you’re visiting.
"How does you pursue a job during pandemic?"
Creating jobs and work experience in jobs to the local community, supporting local produce, waking up every day with a purpose and going to bed with an achievement
"We are also concerned about our friends in tourism industry in Bali. Hopefully this difficult time of pandemic will be going soon. What's other Tourism’s people doing now and your hopes next???"
A lot of tourism businesses have been closed and boutique shops and restaurants have either closed or are suffering badly, my only hope is that people help each other and not bully their staff into termination or unrealistic reduced wages.
"What can you offer for tourism?"
Be well and healthy and when tourists are able to return to having holidays in Bali to be respectful to the culture as there will be changes due to the New Normal way of life.
"What do you wish for tourism?"
For everyone to use common sense and logical practices so that the industry can return to normal here in Bali.
“If available, what promos and special offers are currently being offered to tourists? and where can it be seen?”
What I can currently offer is to support Bali local products from Puri Tomato by offering affordable fruits and vegetables wherever possible.
"Is there anything else you'd like to say or add???"
I hope that everyone can absorb what is said above and that everyone can do their best to support where they can until this horrible pandemic is over. I am happy to be contacted at anytime should I be able to assist.
"Thank you so much Demi for your valuable time" 😊
(Founder of Puritomato.com, Tabanan-Bali)