Bali travel: Island closed to foreign tourists until 2021

One of the most popular hoilday destinations known to man today, having seen over 6 million visitors last year is currently suffering from a lack of tourists as a result of the Covid pandemic.

Despite promises that Bali will open for foreign travelers later this year, authorities have decided to scrap that idea and postpone the plan well into 2021. This comes after a steady rise in Corona virus cases across the country, not to mention all around the world too.

Bali has reported an estimated 4,500 Covid cases with over 50 deaths as of late; with the rest of Indonesia having suffered more than 150,000 cases and 6,750 deaths. This makes Indonesia one of the wost affected areas in South East Asia, which is sad because they were one of the last countries there to be affected by the pandemic, they did so well too but all it took was one case.

Bali had been closed off for a while now since the spread of the pandemic and this has affected the local lifestyle greatly. Indonesia itself had its borders closed around April with airports rushing to get people home before they close asap; since then the borders have reopened following their ‘new normal’ scheme.

Bali has recently also reopened their borders, however exclusively to domestic travelers for the time being in a bid to revive their dying economy and tourist industry.

Wayan Koster, Bali’s governor stated that “The situation in Indonesia is not conductive to allow international tourists to visit the country, including Bali” Koster also mentioned that careful preparation is required before reopening the island.

Bali’s economy relies heavily on tourism and without holidaymakers hotels, resorts and restaurants will struggle greatly with no money pouring in, it’s not so bad as domestic tourists are still able to enjoy themselves on the island but many of the places that are usually packed and busy are now a lot more empty, a ghost of what once was one of the busiest holiday destinations in the world.

My experience with Bali before Covid-19

I was in Bali for about 2 weeks earlier this year, Indonesia was one of the few countries in Asia that did well in keeping the pandemic out and life there seemed very normal until far into March.

Tourists from abroad like myself were still able to enjoy themselves in Bali, with frequent rains further up north but warmer suns down south.

Bali was bustling, everyone was having a good time; and while most of the world was panicking we were living our best lives, pretty oblivious to the unfolding chaos.

Restaurants were thriving, hotels and resorts were fully booked, clubs were bumpin’ with bass and bodies. The beaches were lined with parasols and people looking for a tan, business for the Balinese was good, real good.

I wanted to stay a bit longer in order to catch the McGregor vs Cowboy fight live, and I’ve never seen a more packed bar, everyone was shoving trying to catch the action it was a bar owners’ dream and an absolute cash cow.

Fast forward 3 months and it’s all desolate, lonely, everyone’s desperate to make a living now.

Many places are still closed due to lack of business, no funding means no way to maintain a profitable upkeep. Resorts and hotels stand empty, restaurants and bars all desparate to see patrons returning as locals fear they may have to resort to other means of earning an income.

If you have any questions or feedback I’d love to hear them, or if you have any stories to tell please leave them in the comments below. Thanks for reading 🙂


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