Hotel and Restaurant Owners in Bali are Giving Up

12 October 2020

Things haven’t got better in Bali until today. Indonesia and Local government have tried many things to revive the economic condition, but unfortunately, the impact is not that significant for hospitality businesses on the island. Even big chains restaurants like Mc Donald in Kuta Beach is unable to survive during this global pandemic; smaller companies are struggling to get help from governments and giving up big discounts to attract visitors.

The occupancy rate of hotels in Bali is still below four percent until August 2020. “Hotel occupancy per August is only 3.68 percent compared to last year’s 67 percent,” said the Executive Director of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) Bali, Ida Bagus Purwa Sideman. The updates were delivered through an online seminar discussing Tourism Destination Readiness in the Era of New Normal on Friday, 9 October 2020.

Furthermore, Mr Sideman also mentioned that international tourists pretty much dominate the tourism industry in Bali; when there are many countries imposing travel restrictions, automatically the sector will be severely impacted. Within two months, from August to September 2020, at least 3,327 people were losing their jobs

due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Head of Bali Manpower and ESDM Office Ida Bagus Ngurah Arda informed, by the end of August the number of workers who had been sent home was 76,940, and this number will certainly continue to increase until everything back to normal. Restaurant and hotel owners are struggling with the current situation, while on the other hand, they couldn’t afford more financial losses any longer.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Panjaitan said Bali suffered a loss of Rp. 9 trillion (more than USD 600 million) due to the corona outbreak. “Visits of foreign tourists have decreased by 99 percent. As a result, Bali has suffered a loss of Rp. 9 trillion per month. It is a big problem that must be faced. Formal workers are laid off as well as tour guides, labourers, fishermen, and others,” said Luhut during the inauguration of the Coral Reef Restoration (Indonesia Coral Reef Garden / ICRG) 2020 online, Wednesday. 7 October 2020. To prevent Bali deteriorating any further, Luhut has instructed local governments not to only rely on the tourism sector as the main source of income. There must be other good alternative sectors so that people can still earn income during difficult times like now.

Per 11 October 2020, Indonesia reported 4,497 new coronavirus infections, which pushed the total number to 333,449, with 11,844 of fatalities and 66.578 active cases. While in Bali, there are 107 new coronavirus infections, 10.135 in total, with 321 deaths and 1118 active cases. 

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