Some of Australian travellers’ favourite Bali spots could be gone by the time we get back for a visit, after fallen victim to devastating COVID-19 shutdowns.
As the holiday island prepares to reopen to international visitors in September, the legendary Finns Beach Club in Canggu is facing an uncertain future while dozens of hotels from Seminyak to Ubud are up for sale as the holiday island reels from a sharp plummet in tourism, The West Australian reported.
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“It all gets back to the funding, a lot (of) the mid-range hotels are actually now going up for sale because people have just simply run out of cash,” Western Australia’s Indonesia Institute president Ross Taylor told the outlet.
He said mid-range hotels were most as risk, with larger establishments better able to weather the storm.
“They will survive because they have strong cash flows but some of those mid-range hotels that Aussies love … if they continue on they’re going to find it really difficult I would think,” he said.
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Currently, a state of emergency declared by the Indonesian Government includes a ban on foreign nationals travelling for non-essential reasons, such as tourists.
Indonesia’s downturn in visitor numbers has been particularly devastating for Bali, which relies heavily on income from tourism – including the 1.3 million Australians who visit the island each year.
About 80 per cent of Balinese people are estimated to rely on tourism, either directly or indirectly.
However, Mr Taylor said he was confident Bali would make a comeback, citing the island’s “incredible resilience” after natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.
“They have this incredible ability to bounce back and I think that’s what you’ll see,” Mr Taylor said. “Once we get beyond COVID-19 people ask me, ‘Will Bali recover?’ and pragmatically I have no concerns at all.
“The pull for Aussies back to Bali will always remain strong. Just cost, convenience, climate, how good it is for kids – those pull factors will always be there. Once it’s cleared, we would see a much stronger rebound to Bali and even stronger than before.”
Bali has announced it would open for international travellers on September 11, despite having last week recorded its second-highest spike since the outbreak began.
Last Thursday, the island recorded 112 new cases, bringing the total for the province to 2533. It was the second time daily numbers surpassed 100, Coconuts Bali reported.
Bali Governor Wayan Koster denied that recent spikes in COVID-19 cases in the province resulted from loosened restrictions which began last Thursday, noting instead that the province’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak was going well.
“The cases are from market clusters in Kumbasari, Padangsambian, Galiran and now in Bangli. I think it will be settled,” he said, according to the Coconuts Bali .
Indonesia overall has seen 89,869 cases of COVID-19 and 4320 deaths, with the pandemic spreading to all the country’s provinces.
Despite plans to welcome back tourists, the Australian Government continues to urge travellers to avoid the country.
“Do not travel to Indonesia, including Bali,” the government’s Smartraveller site reads.
“If you’re an Australian visitor in Indonesia leave now – don’t delay.”