Bali is losing more than one trillion Rupiah per month
More than 40,000 hotel bookings in Bali have been cancelled and the island’s economy stands to lose almost $110 million per month as a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The island is particularly hard hit by the banning of flights to and from China, one of its biggest tourist markets.
But Indonesia continues to maintain that it has not yet recorded a single case of the virus.
A Chinese tourist, hospitalised in Bali’s Sanglah hospital for the past few days after showing flu symptoms, has since tested negative to the potentially deadly virus.
And authorities maintain that another Chinese tourist from Wuhan, who tested positive after returning home, is unlikely to have had the virus while in Bali.
Bali Tourism Board’s chair, Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana, said the island’s tourism industry was suffering as a result of the virus.
“More than 40,000 hotel bookings in Bali have been cancelled since the outbreak,” he said.
“All access to mainland China has been blocked by the Indonesian government and Chinese tourists have dropped significantly.
“Bali is losing more than one trillion Rupiah (A$110 million) every month.”
Ida Bagus said the government and tourism stakeholders need to take strategic action to keep Bali’s tourist industry alive.
A number of large international events are planned for Bali in the coming weeks and months including a marathon cycling event involving competitors from 40 countries.
Also planned is an Australian Pharmacy Association conference and an international fashion show.
Udayana University tourism expert, Anak Agung Suryawan Wiranatha, said Indonesia’s policy of refusing entry to any tourist who has been in China in the past two weeks was a good one.
“Indonesia has been turning away people who have been in China,” Anak Agung said.
“This is a good policy by the government at the moment to protect our country and our destination because it is much more difficult to recover once it happens.”
Bali’s Provincial Health Agency chief, Ketut Suarjaya, said in a statement that 70 people had been tested nationwide, including 14 from Bali, and all were negative to coronavirus.
He said authorities were still working to trace the steps of a Chinese tourist who visited Bali from January 22-28 and tested positive after his return home.
“The tourist was identified, had stayed in a hotel, and we are still tracing all the tourist’s activities during the stay in Bali,” Ketut said.
“According to the incubation period calculation and travel time, it cannot be determined the tourist was infected in Bali.”
Health experts around the world have cast doubt on claims that Indonesia has remained immune from coronavirus, which has spread rapidly throughout Asia.