Even though the coronavirus COVID19 has not been highly active in Bali, many victims are suffering because of the economic situation, which has been almost completely stopped since April. More than 80% of the island’s income is linked to tourism, with Bali being the favorite touristic destination for many nationalities, especially Chinese and Australians.
To date approximately 90% of the hotels, restaurants and shops in the tourist areas are closed. Employees have either lost their jobs (unemployment insurance does not exist in Indonesia, so these people have no more income at all) or have been put on hold waiting for a recovery (with or without financial compensation). A small number of lucky people have kept their jobs and salaries, some of them working part-time.
Let us not forget all the small shops that have been closed, such as those located on beaches that have been inaccessible for 2 months (today some beaches are reopening). Self-employed workers such as drivers who usually drive back and forth between hotels/villas and the airport or on excursions. Guides and companies offering activities are on pause, all food related activities (markets, fishing, supermarkets etc…) are also running in slow motion. Almost a whole economy at a standstill.
With more than 4,000,000 inhabitants in Bali, there is indeed a local market but since its people do not have any more or just little income, they are spending very little. Expatriates and the few tourists who have decided to stay on the island during the crisis make some sectors work very lightly.
Even if Indonesians have not had to endure the confinement, their situation is very difficult, many of them can no longer afford to feed their families. Fortunately, in these difficult times solidarity takes an important place in society. Many expatriates and locals have been mobilized to distribute food all around the island.
As the future of the coronavirus COVID19 crisis is still very uncertain, it is hard to predict precisely when tourist activity will return to Bali.