The temples, beaches and markets of Indonesia's backpacker paradise Bali are set to soon become easier to access for millions of travelers as part of plans to set up a travel corridor between Indonesia and Malaysia next year.
The two countries have agreed to establish a travel corridor allowing people flying to or from these countries to bypass coronavirus restrictions next year, according to a report in the Jakarta Post newspaper on Thursday.
Indonesia, the world's largest island state, has been welcoming vaccinated tourists from 19 countries on holiday in Bali and the Riau Islands since mid-October, including New Zealand, Italy, France and Spain. But countries in Southeast Asia are not on the list.
For those lucky enough to access Bali already, the reported plans means that more tourists may soon be returning to the island's famous landscapes and beaches, which were largely emptied during the pandemic.
To start, travel between the capitals of Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur will be possible again, as well as from Malaysia to the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, as the situation during the pandemic improves in Southeast Asia.
The news comes after a meeting between Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Java. However, it was still unclear when exactly the two countries plan to open up.
Widodo had only recently called on countries in the region to set up travel corridors to revive the economy in Southeast Asia.
Beyond being known for its picturesque beaches, the island of Bali has become known as a spot for adventure holidays, notably along the active volcano Mount Agung, which gained international attention when it sent huge clouds of smoke into the sky in 2017.