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Though the pandemic isn’t over, and with more and more people subscribing to the wide belief that the virus will be endemic, governments across the world are scrambling to figure out how to save their economies, post-pandemic.
Lockdowns and strict travel restrictions have done everything but completely decimate tourism revenue across various hotspots in Southeast Asia. With the region slowly starting to open again (RE: Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus), there needs to be a solid plan to regain all the lost tourism bucks.
It looks like Bali, Indonesia will be home to the largest theme park in Southeast Asia, with a soft launch slated for 2025.
Paramount Pictures has reportedly signed a deal with Indonesian company PT Kios Ria Kreasi to start building a theme park in the Jembrana regency.
According to People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo, the new deal is set to help Bali boost its economy and international tourism standing, post-pandemic.
“The development of Paramount theme park will strengthen Bali’s position as a recreational and entertainment hub for world citizens,” said Bambang, who is also known as Bamsoet.
Bambang “Bamsoet” Soesatyo. IMAGE: MPR
“It will also improve Bali’s economy, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Apparently, the targeted location of the theme park (the Gilimanuk-Mengwi toll road development area) is strategic as well. Bamsoet says the entire road stretches 95 kilometers, connecting the Gilimanuk port to the cities of Denpasar, Badung, Gianyar, and Tabanan.
This means more people in the area can have easy access to the theme park. More people equates to more money, hopefully.
The park is estimated to hold a soft launch in 2025, and is expected to attract up to five million visitors every year.
“It will make Bali even more charming in the eyes of world tourists,” Bamsoet says.
Despite wide media coverage, as well as confirmation from local government officials, Paramount Pictures hasn’t said anything yet.
However, considering that we already have confirmation from Bali officials, it’s safe to say that this Paramount theme park will come to fruition.
When you look at it from a purely business standpoint, it actually does make sense to build a theme park backed by a world-renowned production company, especially at the supposed tail-end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yes, even when the local economy is in shambles due to the lack of foot traffic.
IMAGE: Dream Big Travel Far
This way, when the tourism industry fully reopens (eventually), Bali will be more prepared to rake in the $$$ when foreign and domestic tourists return to the holiday hotspot. The theme park itself will also create hundreds, if not thousands of new jobs when it becomes fully operational, allowing post-pandemic job seekers to make a living.
Of course, when it comes to execution, only time can tell if this deal will be a success.
IMAGE: Fikri Yusof / Go by Kompas
“Their presence in investing shows that Indonesia is very friendly to investors. It also shows that there are still many investment opportunities that investors can work on, especially in the tourism sector,” Bamsoet explained, alluding to the possibility of a trickle-down effect on other tourism hotspots in the country.
“Not only Bali, Indonesia also has many other favorite tourist destinations such as Lombok, Belitung, Lake Toba, to Labuan Bajo.”
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Cover image sourced from Taylor’s Tracks.