Bali, the “The Island of the Gods,” is one of the world’s most popular island tourism holiday destinations, yet it too faces the health and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Indonesian province, as well as other global tourist cities from Rome, Milan and Paris, to Seoul and Singapore, have been hit badly this year.
The Indonesian government in February banned all flights from China into Bali and soon after banned all international flights into the entire country, in an attempt to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. This has badly hurt Bali, as tourism accounts for the majority of its economy: the island province’s top visitors come from Australia and China, followed by its Asian neighbors including Japan and South Korea.
The Bali provincial government has been compelled to go further, closing beaches, corroding off infected hamlets (or kampongs) and enforcing mandatory wearing of face masks and nighttime curfews. Countless hotel bookings have been cancelled, but there have also been indications that an “opening up” will occur as early as October. It is the worst tourism disaster in Bali since the 2002 terrorist attacks that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.