March 25th 2020
I hope that this email finds you well and that you are managing to stay safe during these uncertain times in Australia and across the globe.
I am writing to you today to provide an update on our position regarding Covid-19 (Corona Virus), our organisation and any plans to travel abroad you may have. There is a lot of information flying around the internet and the papers and we hope to provide an update for you based on factual information.
Here are the facts as they stand today, Wednesday March 25th 2020:
The Australian Government has updated their worldwide travel warnings on march 18th to Level 4. Whilst this was a serious and strong recommendation, advising that Australians do not travel internationally at this time, it is important to note that this was not technically a travel ban. This distinction is important as it means that we could see this warning lifted as quickly as it was issued. As of March 25th the Morrison Government has applied a travel ban for all Australians. Australians are not permitted to leave the country unless under specific circumstances. Full details can be found on the DFAT website here – https://www.pm.gov.au/media/update-coronavirus-measures-24-March-2020
It is important to note the distinction as we expect and hope that once the “curve has been flattened” we will see an immediate lift of the ban and progressive reversal of warnings to particular regions.
The descriptions of travel warnings can be found here – https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/consular-services/travel-advice-explained#level4
Jetstar Australia have suspended all international flights from March 22nd until May 31st at this time.
Full details here – https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/travel-alerts
Qantas have suspended all international flights from the end of March until at least May 31st (sic). Full details can be found here – https://www.qantas.com/id/en/travel-info/travel-updates/coronavirus.html
Virgin announced a temporary suspension of all international services and further cuts to their domestic network until 14 June 2020 (sic). Full details can be found here – https://www.virginaustralia.com/au/en/bookings/flight-status/travel-alerts/
On Tuesday 17th March the Indonesian Government suspended its Visa On Arrival (VOA) Program for all countries. This is for a period of one month at time of writing. This includes Australians travelling to Bali. You are still permitted to apply for a VISA in the Indonesian Mission (consulate) in Canberra prior to departure.
The full details can be found on the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website – https://kemlu.go.id/portal/en/read/1135/siaran_pers/additional-measures-of-the-indonesian-government-in-relation-to-covid-19-response
The Company’s Position
Last Hurrah’s primary concern is for the wellbeing of its guests, staff and partners. To this end Last Hurrah have temporarily suspended its commercial operations for all non-essential events (tastings and site inspections) and postponed all paid events until August 2020 with a review to be made in July. At this point in time, we expect that our offices will reopen July 15th. During this time our staff will work remotely and will remain contactable through our normal communication channels. If there is a need for this timing to change due to external factors, we will let you know as soon as a decision has been handed down through our standard communication channels.
As an organisation, we have thought long and hard about what is important to us and our company, its values and mission. We have also considered how we intend to continue to uphold our goals and our mission and how we are going to take action:
- The health and wellbeing of all our guests, staff and industry partners
- The integrity of your event
- Continuing to provide value and support
How are we doing this
- Providing clear, factual and concise information to all prospects and guests;
- Providing a concise action plan to all our current guests and prospects with as much clarity as possible during this dynamic time
- Providing as much flexibility as possible to ensure events can proceed at a later point in time
- Providing clear communication to our guests, staff and partners through our communication channels, website, Email and WhatsApp services
- Removing red tape to ensure that we can remain agile and adapt
What we hope for
Right now everything is in a state of flux, with changes occurring daily. What we do expect is that the tourism industry will take a significant downturn globally for a period of time. How long that is, remains to be seen. We also are aware that Indonesian tourism data indicates that China, Australia and India are the top three countries of origin for travellers to Bali. With bans on Chinese entering Indonesia and restrictions on Australians with respect to Visas and travel warnings, this is going to curtail the Bali and broader Indonesian tourism sector for many months to come.
But Bali has been through challenges before.
What we ask of any potential guests at this time is to consider the health and safety of you and your guests when making a decision on events in Bali as paramount. Then we invite you to consider the thousands of Australian and Balinese small businesses in Bali and how this global crisis has already impacted on their livelihoods as well as the local Bali economy that they contribute to. When it is safe to do so, we encourage and invite you all back to Bali to celebrate together.
At Last Hurrah we are anticipating that travel warnings will be lifted systematically. Whilst the warnings were put in place swiftly and globally, we expect particular countries in South East Asia and Europe to have travel warnings lifted later than other countries.
Until it becomes clear that Australia and the rest of the world has reached its peak infection and the number of reported cases show rapid decline, we are not expecting flights or warnings to be lifted. We are hopeful that Australia will reach peak infection before the end of May. As the three major Australian Airlines are anticipating a resumption of services by June we expect that business shall return to normal for the second half of the year.
At time of writing, all of Last Hurrah’s current bookings post July remain in place and are expected to proceed as scheduled.
To this end, we encourage all those who are considering Bali for their event for 2021 and beyond to continue to work with their desired partners in Bali to continue with your event planning and help support the industry through this time.
We are excited to get back to work and we look forward to a safe and successful second half of 2020 and beyond. Please keep an eye on our Instagram, website and in your inbox for updated information from us on promotions for 2021 events and bookings in the coming days.
Thank you all for your time. Please take care of yourself and your loved ones and we can’t wait to welcome you back to Bali very soon.
PT Last Hurrah Group