Tag: Australians

Coronavirus: Bali hotel rooms on sale for as little as $14 a night as Australians look to holidays

Bali hotels have slashed prices on rooms in a desperate bid to revive tourism during the coronavirus pandemic, with some lucky Australians soon able to escape their home nation for a break.

The once bustling tourist mecca has become a deserted ghost town, forcing accommodation operators to rethink their survival strategy and send their prices plummeting. 

With the holiday island set to reopen to international visitors at the start of 2021 – just six weeks away – it means incredible bargains have become available to eager holidaymakers. 

Operators in the town of Ubud have slashed normal rates by up to 50 per cent, where a room costs as little as A$14 a night and meals as cheap as 48 cents.

As soon as Bali opens up, Australians can seek government approval to take advantage of the bargain deals if they’re willing to meet strict criteria.

Businesses in Ubud (pictured), popular with Australian tourists, are offering some huge discounts on hotels as they struggle to make ends meet during the pandemic

Businesses in Ubud (pictured), popular with Australian tourists, are offering some huge discounts on hotels as they struggle to make ends meet during the pandemic

Former Australian Bachelorette Anna Heinrich at Finns Beach club in Bali. More than a million Australians travel to Indonesia each year and make up more than a quarter of Bali tourists

Former Australian Bachelorette Anna Heinrich at Finns Beach club in Bali. More than a million Australians travel to Indonesia each year and make up more than a quarter of Bali tourists

Many Bali hotels now rent rooms on a weekly and monthly basis rather than per night, helpfully meeting Australia’s requirement that travellers leave for at least three months.

‘We’re targeting long stay guests, for monthly or even annual rent with a 50 per cent  discount than the normal rate,’ Ubud Homestay Association head Ida Bagus Wiryawan told the Bali Sun. 

A stay at Pillow Inn Ubud cost $58 per night pre-COVID but has since halved to $29, which includes breakfast.  

Luxury resort The Yoga Amertham Retreat & Resort has been forced to rely on Indonesian tourists during tough economic times, and are now offering a one-night stay that once cost $24 per night for just $14.  

‘The meals start from 35 cents per portion and for swimming in our pool we only charge $2 per person,’ Kadek Rudiantara said.

A search of Ubud hotels on booking.com reveals another ten venues with prices under $10 per night.

Flights in early January, when the country has flagged it is likely to open to international tourists, are on offer for as little as $774 return.

Many resorts in the town of Ubud have slashed prices on hotel rooms by 50 per cent (pictured, the Pillow Inn Ubud - which is offering room and breakfast for just $29 a night)

Many resorts in the town of Ubud have slashed prices on hotel rooms by 50 per cent (pictured, the Pillow Inn Ubud – which is offering room and breakfast for just $29 a night)

Travellers can still fly abroad if they prove to the Australian government that they plan to be away for three months or more (pictured, a family in  Melbourne on Monday flying to Sydney)

Travellers can still fly abroad if they prove to the Australian government that they plan to be away for three months or more (pictured, a family in  Melbourne on Monday flying to Sydney)

Indonesia closed its international borders in April which crippled the Balinese economy, normally almost entirely dependent on foreign tourism. 

Bali Governor Wayan Koster recently announced that the reopening of Bali for international tourism would be delayed until the start of next year.

It comes after he originally announced the island

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Stranded Australians face longer wait as PM declares hotel quarantine alternatives unsafe

About 36,500 Australians stranded overseas and international students will have to wait longer to come to Australia, after Scott Morrison declared alternatives to hotel quarantine unsafe.



Scott Morrison wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Three weeks after saying he wanted to develop “innovative” alternatives, including quarantine in-home, on-farm or on-campus, the prime minister revealed Australia’s top health advisers consider they are “not … options we can safely take on”.

After national cabinet on Friday, Morrison told reporters in Canberra that Australia cannot yet take international students back and would therefore take an “Australians first” approach as it rations places in its cap of 6,000 arrivals per week.



Scott Morrison wearing a suit and tie: Scott Morrison provides a Covid update after Friday’s national cabinet meeting. He says alternatives to hotel quarantine such as in-home, on-farm or on-campus quarantine are not safe.


© Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian
Scott Morrison provides a Covid update after Friday’s national cabinet meeting. He says alternatives to hotel quarantine such as in-home, on-farm or on-campus quarantine are not safe.

The continued restriction is a blow to Australia’s struggling university sector and the prospect of international business travel resuming before a widely available vaccine.

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Related: Scientist behind BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine says it can end pandemic

Morrison thanked Queensland for agreeing on Friday to boost its contribution by 150 places per week and signalled extra capacity in Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

But with Victoria’s hotel quarantine program still suspended, Morrison said Australia could expect to bring just 25,000 Australians home by the year’s end, while 36,500 were registered to return. Capacity would grow when Melbourne resumes arrivals, he said.

“The challenges are still greater than the capacity to receive people in quarantine,” he said. Morrison noted that numbers of Australians intending to return had grown from 26,000 in mid-September and likened it to “a cup that keeps filling up”.

“Australia will maintain its quarantine arrangements for people coming from overseas,” he said.

In October the Halton review canvassed alternate sites for quarantine and the possible use of smartphone apps and wearable surveillance devices to allow travellers to quarantine at home.

But the acting chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, said although there were some pilots of on-farm quarantine for seasonal workers from low-risk countries there were no “large-scale” alternatives to hotel quarantine.

Kelly noted “how dangerous the rest of the world is” – citing 157,000 new cases in the UK in the last week and 731,000 in the US – and credited hotel quarantine with Australia’s success excluding and containing the coronavirus.

Morrison said the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and the national cabinet had “taken a good look at [alternatives], and those options aren’t presenting”.

“We’ll keep looking. But I’m not going to raise an expectation that you could expect to see them.”

Morrison argued that hotel spots were not the only limit on arrivals, citing the use of police and health officials to maintain safe quarantine.

“The challenges we have in getting Australians home means the ability to … take international students back at this time through quarantine arrangements does not present itself.

“It’s Australians coming home first – that is the commonwealth policy.”

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Labor asks why Tony Abbott granted second travel ban exemption while 30,000 Australians stranded overseas

Labor is demanding answers on why former prime minister Tony Abbott appears to have been granted a second travel ban exemption to leave Australia just weeks after completing hotel quarantine in Sydney, while close to 30,000 Australians wait in the queue to return home.



Tony Abbott wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/AAP


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/AAP

Local news agencies in Rome reported on the weekend that Abbott was one of 45 in attendance at a mass conducted by Cardinal George Pell at the chapel of Domus Australia to mark the 10th anniversary of the canonisation of Mother Mary MacKillop, Australia’s first saint.

It was Pell’s first mass since 2017, and the first since he returned to Rome after the Australian high court overturned his conviction for child sexual abuse.

Related: Cost of scrapping Tony Abbott’s knights and dames totals $135K

According to America Magazine, Abbott was already in Rome “on other business”, but Abbott’s reported trip overseas is only a month after he returned to Sydney and spent two weeks in hotel quarantine, after a short trip to the United Kingdom.

Since a ban was put in place preventing Australians leaving the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Australians seeking to go overseas need to apply for an exception on “compelling and compassionate” grounds.

At least 20% of applications have been rejected, and it can take at least two weeks for applications to be approved.

Abbott was granted an exemption to visit the UK in August, when he was appointed a trade envoy to the Boris Johnson government.

The Australian reported on 14 September Abbott had paid for his own $3,000 stay in hotel quarantine on his return to Australia.

The former prime minister’s first exemption sparked anger because exemptions have been limited, including for those attempting to go overseas for family funerals or to see dying relatives.

Those who go overseas for a short time add to the queue of close to 30,000 Australians currently waiting to return from overseas, who have been unable to get back due to the caps on the number of returned travellers in hotel quarantine in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

Labor’s home affairs spokeswoman, Kristina Keneally, indicated Labor would raise the questions on Tuesday afternoon with Department of Home Affairs officials in Senate estimates around Abbott’s second trip, and whether the former prime minister would get a second spot in hotel quarantine.



Tony Abbott wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Labor is angry that former prime minister Tony Abbott appears to have been granted two travel ban exemptions. His latest overseas trip in Rome is only a month after he returned to Sydney and spent two weeks in hotel quarantine, after a short trip to the United Kingdom.


© Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/AAP
Labor is angry that former prime minister Tony Abbott appears to have been granted two travel ban exemptions. His latest overseas trip in Rome is only a month after he returned to Sydney and spent two weeks in hotel quarantine, after a short trip to the United Kingdom.

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Travel trends – how Australians travel

The number of Australian residents travelling internationally on holiday, business or other reasons has been growing at a rapid pace in recent years, and 2012 was no different. In 2012, a record-breaking 8.2 million residents left Australia’s borders. That’s 31 out of 100 Australian residents travelling overseas! This shows considerable growth from 7.8 million residents travelling abroad in 2011, and from only 3.5 million residents travelling abroad in 2002.

There are a number of factors influencing this rise in international travel; from a strong Australian dollar to competitive airline rates. Perhaps this rising trend also reflects globalisation and the increased ease of international travel.

Of all 29.8 million border crossings in Australia, about half of those were departures with 8.2 million residents leaving to travel abroad. Since 2008 residents departing for international travel now exceed visitors to Australia.

Australians go abroad for short-term (less than 1 year) and long-term (permanent or more than 1 year) travel. The number of residents departing for short-term travel abroad was 6.1 million in 2012, while the number of residents departing for permanent or long-term stay abroad was only 372,000.

Travel destinations

While on holiday to foreign countries, the majority of Australians travelled to the 10 destinations listed below:

  • New Zealand (13.4%)
  • Indonesia (11.1%)
  • United States (10.5%)
  • Thailand (7.6%)
  • United Kingdom, Channel Islands and/or Isle of Man (6%)
  • China (4.6%)
  • Fiji (4%)
  • Singapore (3.7%)
  • Malaysia (3.2%)
  • Hong Kong (2.8%)

In 2012, the median length of holiday was 15 days. The length of time abroad tends to depend largely on the type of travel and the countries of destination. Trips to nearby countries such as Indonesia and New Zealand, for example, tended to be only 7 days for business and 14 days for holiday, while trips to Europe and the United States tended to last 11-16 days for business and a month or more for holidays.

Reasons for travel

Using airline passenger cards to determine reasons for international travel in 2012, the ABC determined that Australian residents depart the country for a wide range of reasons including:

  • 57% travelled on holiday
  • 23% travelled to visit friends and family
  • 10% travelled on business

Age of travellers

The average age of travelling residents has slowly risen over the past decade. In 2002, the peak age group for international travel was those aged 45-49. In 2012, however, the peak age group has changed to those aged 50-54.

The top 3 travelling age-groups are:

  • Ages 50-54 (9.4%)
  • Ages 45-49 (9.3%)
  • Ages 25-29 (9.3%)

Although the proportion of Australian residents travelling abroad continues to decline for those aged 25-49 years of age, including young families with children, the number of these residents choosing to holiday overseas continues to rise. In fact, Tourism Australia has recently launched a campaign targeting the 30-54 age demographic, encouraging them and their families to vacation domestically in order to keep the local tourism economy strong.

International travel by Australian residents continues to grow, and the trend is expected to rise over the next few years. As

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