Bali is among the hardest hit by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has put global travels to a halt since March.
Indonesia’s most popular tourism destination, globally famous for its preserved culture and home to beautiful beaches and ancient temples amid a myriad of hype night clubs, is ranked in the bottom of 34 provinces after its economy shrank by 10.8 percent in the second quarter.
The tourism sector accounts for around 80 percent of the province’s revenue sources and almost all of its labor force work in the business. The impact of the pandemic is more devastating in Bali than in any other area in the archipelago.
Since April, foreign tourists have left Bali. Hotel occupancy rate in August hit a new low at only 3.68%, in comparison to 67% in the same month last year. The economic impact is felt not only by hotel owners or resort managers, but also their employees and those working in supply chains of the business.
They all must quickly adapt to the new condition and fight together to survive. World-class surf spots like Kuta, Seminyak and Jimbaran — where many of the island’s finest hotels and villas are located — also look deserted without visitors. Muaya Beach, famous for seafood and barbeque parties, is barely empty with just a grilled corn trader around.
Prawira, the tour guide, speculated that Bali is now reincarnating into another level according to his religious belief. “We want tourism business in Bali to reincarnate, or be reborn as in the principle in Hinduism,” he said. The current condition prompted the provincial government to adopt new tourism regulations more related to health protocols, while tour operators duly follow the guidelines.
But they need support from investors to invest in Bali for post-pandemic economic activities. “Even now, the Pecalang (Balinese traditional guards who usually maintain village security during religious and customary ceremonies) also maintains the implementation of health protocols in tourism destination such as beaches and temples,” Prawira added.
The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry is helping dive and water sports operators in implementing health protocols in this specific sector and providing them with certificate of compliance after an audit. The certification is an effort to regain confidence of international divers when global restrictions are lifted. If you are really curious on the current situation in Bali after the pandemic hit Bali hard, here are some pictures that captured after one year of pandemic.
A man puts his bag on a compartment during a flight with Garuda Indonesia heading for Bali on Oct. 21, 2020. From the picture we can see that the seat is almost empty.
A woman wearing a face shield stands outside Luhur Uluwatu Temple in Bali. In Bali, we now always put the health protocol everywhere so you can feel safe here.
This is one of beach that always crowd, now it is just left with empty beach and empty bed
Melasti beach is never sleep before pandemic starts, but from the picture we can tell that it is empty and the flamingo is lonely.
If you’re currently in Indonesia or have an upcoming holiday planned to Bali, you’re no doubt wondering, “is Bali safe“, or “can I enter Indonesia?“. Well, the simple answer is that Bali is still safe for those who are fit, healthy and following correct hygiene and social distancing procedures. But to help minimise the spread of the virus, you should consider rescheduling any upcoming trips until the pandemic is under control.
Furthermore, Indonesia has suspended all Visas on Arrival, and visitors have been encouraged to return to their home countries. All domestic air and sea travel within Indonesia also requires a negative test (either PCR or Rapid Antigen) as well as other documentation.
We get it – travelling internationally right now is a no-no, with many countries currently on lockdown. But it’s not all doom and gloom. If you’re healthy and you’re already in Indonesia and planning on staying (or can’t make it home), then there are plenty of positives to keep in mind. Here’s a few to consider:
A ray of hope (& sunshine). It’s been suggested that warmer climates may ward off the virus better than countries with cold weather, so if this is true, then there’s no better place to be than right here in sunny Bali. You can go to Bali’s quiet beaches, or self-isolate in the sunshine at your sun-soaked villa or hillside hotel.
GO-JEK is a godsend. Thanks to Indonesia’s app-based delivery service, self-isolation has never been easier. Download this app and you’ll have access to food from your favourite cafes and restaurants, and you can even shop remotely at your local supermarket or pharmacy thanks to the Go-Jek superheroes. Need to buy groceries, clothes or household goods? Try these online retailers.
Isolation by design. Compared to most western countries with their densely populated cities and close-living quarters, Bali’s wide-open spaces and often palatial accommodation makes social distancing a tropical breeze. If there’s anywhere in the world to avoid coming into contact with the masses, it’s here…
Affordable travel. Right now, there’s plenty of insane deals and discounts on hotels if you’re planning on self-isolating on the island, including awesome stays surrounded by nature. And while you’re there, we recommend supporting small local businesses who’ll be struggling through the economic downturn. Eat local food, shop Bali-born brands, and choose a humble guesthouse or independent hotel over an international chain.
Wherever you are in the world, it goes without saying that monitoring your health is essential – especially if you’ve recently travelled. Much like the flu, the virus can transfer via close contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It can also spread when you touch your mouth, nose or eyes after touching infected surfaces or objects, as well as by faecal contamination.
The symptoms of Coronavirus are similar to regular pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses. That includes a sore throat, cough, fever and even shortness of breath for severe cases. If you do feel unwell or experience any of these symptoms, then contact your doctor immediately. In Bali, it’s recommended to call 112 to speak to emergency services first, before visiting clinic or hospital in Bali.
There are several things you need to consider while staying in Bali. One, please Avoid crowded places and contact with people who are unwell. Yup, unfortunately it’s not the best time to rub shoulders with the masses at one of Bali’s biggest nightclubs – but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of Bali’s secluded destinations and off-the-beaten path adventures. Two, Boost your immunity. A good one to practice not only during an outbreak but in everyday life too: boost your health and look after your immune system. Slurp on juices and coconuts (or even try one of Bali’s best juice cleanses), clock in enough exercise with an online class from one of Bali’s best gyms or yoga studios, and treat yourself to some stress-melting pampering with an at-home massage from one of Bali’s best spas.
Top tip: try Indonesia’s age-old elixir of Jamu – a potent mixture of turmeric, tamarind, and sometimes ginger, lime and honey too. It’s an immunity-boosting traditional medicine that Indonesians swear by! You need a vitamin shot? Try to visit us at Hydro Medical Clinic to get the shot that you needed. Just google it, and you can find every single information about us.
Honestly? It’s relatively straightforward. Outbreak or not, observing basic personal hygiene is key and being socially responsible is pretty obvious. With a little initiative and awareness, we can kick the Novel Coronavirus in the butt and continue enjoying life in paradise… Let’s do this, people!