A vacant space owned by Waterbom Bali might become the site of a drive-thru vaccination program for travelers, an official said, as the government mulls plans to develop vaccine-based tourism in the country. 

Yesterday, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno brought up the proposed program while visiting the Waterbom site, as part of his now-weekly “office hours” in Bali. The site is a 1-hectare land located within the Waterbom Bali complex in Badung regency. 

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“This is an incredible initiative and a form of real innovation. The vaccine drive-thru concept has been trialed in Disneyland California and Florida,” Sandiaga said, as quoted in a press release.

Disneyland in California has been using a section of its parking lot for an on-site vaccine distribution since last month, but Disney World in Florida has yet to follow suit. These types of efforts are examples of how the travel industry is trying to pitch in to help end the pandemic, though it should be noted that the vaccinations taking place in Disneyland California are not targeted only for tourists.

Sandiaga said the drive-thru program, if it were to be realized, will be designated for travelers visiting Bali, describing the program as vaccine-based tourism. 

“This started from an idea, but if we apply this idea in all tourist destinations, the idea will transform into hope. Hopefully with this initiative and collaboration, it could create a snowballing effect … And we hope that this will be realized in all tourism destinations in Indonesia,” Sandiaga said.

The minister also brought up plans to designate some areas in Bali as green or free COVID-19 zones, explaining that vaccines will be prioritized for popular areas like Nusa Dua, Ubud, Kuta, and Nusa Penida.

As hopeful as Sandiaga may be, it must be noted that Indonesia’s fully-subsidized mass vaccination program currently does not take into account the procurement of vaccines for non-Indonesian citizens.

Indonesia began its second phase of a nationwide mass vaccination program earlier this month, targeting more than 17.8 million people, the majority of which consist of educators and market vendors. 

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