Two years ago, there were so many tourists on Bali that bumper-to-bumper traffic snaked through the Indonesian island’s villages. Tides towed in waves of plastic garbage. A decadelong building binge tripled the number of hotel rooms to 75,000 on a popular stretch. Locals got wealthier, but many got fed up.
Foreign hordes are the least of their worries now. Just 43 travelers from abroad visited during the first nine months of 2021, down from 6.3 million in all of 2019, according to Bali’s statistics office. Monkeys that once feasted off tourist offerings are raiding local restaurants.