Indonesia is launching the ‘Work From Bali’ program to revive the Island’s battered economy – but will it go far enough?
The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has announced their upcoming ‘Work From Bali’ scheme, which will allow public servants to live and work in Nusa Dua. The program will send 25 per cent of Indonesian public servants from seven different Indonesian ministries to live and work from hotels in Nusa Dua. This comes in an effort to boost tourism on the island.
As Bali suffers, does ‘Work From Bali’ go far enough?
The COVID pandemic hasn’t been easy for any of us, but it’s been tougher on Bali than most. International travel bans brought tourism in Bali to a jarring halt.
Official figures released by the Indonesian government suggest over 80% of Balinese locals have been impacted as a result of the island’s COVID tourism slump.
The tourism industry is crucial to Bali’s economy, with many locals relying on international guests for income. In 2019, 6.3 million international tourists visited the island. In 2020, that number dropped to about 1 million.
This year, the island welcomed just 25 foreigners from January to March. Last year 1.1 million tourists visited the island in the same period. The pandemic has seen more than 4.3 million Balinese people out of work.
Will the scheme help the people who need it?
Australian expat Amanda runs the ‘Let’s Help Bali’ Facebook group, which has almost 14,000 members. She explains that many Balinese locals leave their villages to get jobs in tourism, which are more often than not in the city.
“This means the impact doesn’t just affect that immediate person but the whole family who rely on that income,” she told Ticker NEWS.
Amanda says she thinks the scheme “will help very few people”, and the Indonesian government needs to reopen Bali’s borders to support locals in a meaningful way.
“Until the borders are open, I don’t see much changing here,” she said.
“Bali needs help from everywhere”
While support for the program isn’t universal, it appears as though everyone can agree that Bali is suffering. Ketut Ardana, Vice Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board, says the Work From Bali program is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t go far enough.
Health risks of COVID
Despite these efforts to reopen Bali to tourists, COVID remains an issue on the island with almost 2 million total cases, and over 500 active cases.
Nusa Dua is one of Indonesia’s three “green zones,” where the vaccination roll-out has been prioritised. Local newspapers have reported more than 8,000 staff in Nusa Dua, have received a second dose of the vaccine.
Ketut Ardana says he’s “not worried” about the potential health risks of opening borders for travel.
“We are ready and safe to receive tourists,” he said.
Peloton partners with Lululemon as stock surges
Peloton’s stock prices experienced a remarkable surge as the company unveiled an exciting collaboration with popular athletic apparel brand, Lululemon.
This strategic partnership is set to bring a fusion of digital fitness content and stylish workout apparel to fitness enthusiasts worldwide.
The partnership aims to leverage Peloton’s extensive library of on-demand and live fitness classes with Lululemon’s renowned activewear. Subscribers to Peloton’s digital fitness platform will soon have access to exclusive Lululemon workout collections, making it easier than ever for fitness enthusiasts to look and feel their best during their workouts.
Investors have responded positively to this news, driving Peloton’s stock prices to new heights. The synergy between the two companies is expected to create a win-win situation. Peloton can tap into Lululemon’s massive fan base, while Lululemon can expand its presence in the rapidly growing digital fitness market.
The partnership also includes collaborative marketing efforts, with joint promotions and events that will undoubtedly generate buzz and excitement among fitness enthusiasts. This move is seen as a bold step by both companies to stay competitive in the evolving fitness landscape.
As the fitness industry continues to evolve and adapt to changing consumer preferences, partnerships like this one highlight the importance of innovation and collaboration. Peloton and Lululemon’s joint venture promises to provide consumers with not only top-notch fitness content but also the trendiest workout attire.
Kraken to launch US stock trading, expanding offerings
Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is set to broaden its services by enabling users to trade US-listed stocks, according to reports from Bloomberg News.
This move marks a significant expansion for the platform, allowing customers to diversify their investment portfolios beyond cryptocurrencies.
Kraken’s foray into traditional stock trading will provide its users with access to a wide range of US-listed equities, including well-known companies from various industries. By offering this additional asset class, Kraken aims to cater to the growing demand for a holistic investment experience that combines both traditional and digital assets.
The move is seen as a strategic response to the evolving landscape of financial markets, where traditional and cryptocurrency investments are becoming increasingly intertwined. Kraken intends to streamline the trading process for its users, enabling them to manage both their cryptocurrency and stock portfolios within a single platform.
Kraken’s entry into the US stock market could potentially introduce new opportunities and challenges for the exchange, as it will need to navigate the regulatory requirements associated with stock trading. However, the exchange’s established track record and commitment to compliance should help ease this transition.
This development aligns with Kraken’s ongoing efforts to position itself as a comprehensive financial services provider, offering a wide array of investment options to its global user base.
Does remote work hamper diversity efforts?
UK finance executives express concerns that remote work is hindering diversity initiatives, signaling potential setbacks in the industry’s push for inclusivity.
As businesses continue to adapt to the changing work landscape brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has become a staple for many industries, including finance. While it has provided flexibility and continuity during uncertain times, some financial leaders are now questioning its impact on diversity and inclusion within their organizations.
In a recent survey of UK finance executives, a substantial portion voiced apprehensions about the ramifications of prolonged remote work. They argue that the lack of physical presence in the office can exacerbate disparities, making it harder to foster an inclusive work environment.
One of the primary concerns raised by these executives is the potential for remote work to perpetuate existing inequalities. They believe that employees from underrepresented groups may face more significant challenges in terms of career progression and networking when they are not physically present in the workplace. This could lead to a stagnation in efforts to diversify leadership teams and foster equal opportunities.
Furthermore, the executives highlight the difficulties in monitoring and addressing issues related to diversity when employees are dispersed geographically. Ensuring equitable access to resources, mentorship, and career development opportunities becomes a more complex task.
Despite these concerns, it’s important to note that remote work has also opened doors for talent from different locations and backgrounds, potentially contributing positively to diversity efforts. Striking a balance between the advantages of remote work and the imperative to promote diversity remains a pressing challenge for finance organizations.
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