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Bali sees almost 100% drop in foreign tourists

/ 01:32 PM April 26, 2020

Tourists walk on a near empty beach in Kuta on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali on March 22. AFP/Sonny Tumbelaka via The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

JAKARTA — Bali has seen an almost 100 percent decrease in foreign tourist arrivals in April amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Sukawati said Bali was one the region’s hardest hit by the pandemic in Indonesia, as around 60 percent of its gross regional product (PDRB) comes from tourism.

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“Other sectors have also been affected [by the decrease in tourists]” said Tjokorda during an online industry roundtable on Friday as quoted by kompas.com.

The agricultural sector in Bali has also been impacted, Tjokorda said, as farmers’ harvests usually supplied the island’s many hotels, which have up to 140,000 rooms. “This is no longer the case and farmers now have an oversupply.”

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Comparing the pandemic to the aftermath of the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005, Tjokorda said the decreasing number of visits was the same but that in 2002 and 2005 the economy was still able to run as big businesses bore the brunt of the losses. “The informal sectors were still running. Now it’s different.”

According to Indonesian Tourist Industry Association (GIPI) data, Bali had recorded an 11 percent increase in foreign tourist arrivals in January. However, the number dropped 18 percent in February after flights from China were cancelled. The number then dropped 42.32 percent in March, as countries in Europe as well the United Kingdom and South Korea restricted flights to Bali. In April, the decrease was even more drastic, with foreign tourist arrivals down 93.24 percent.

All in all, the potential losses experienced by the tourism and meeting, incentives, conferencing and exhibition (MICE) sectors in Bali are estimated to be more than Rp 9 billion (US$628,367).

However, GIPI Bali chairman Ida Bagus Okanentru Agung Partha said that the low number of COVID-19 cases in Bali compared to other regions would help the sector rebound once the pandemic was over. “The well-run mitigation system in Bali is a [positive thing] to be promoted.”

As of Friday, 177 confirmed COVID-19 cases had been recorded on the resort island with four deaths. Nationwide, 8,211 cases have been recorded with 689 fatalities.

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TAGS: Bali, Coronavirus, coronavirus outbreak, coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, Indonesia, Tourism
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