Fewer than a dozen tourists from abroad visited Bali during the nine-months of this year. This is despite Bali being teeming at millions.

It was once a bustling place with people, and bars and shops are empty now that Covid has banned tourism. 

Only 43 tourists visited Indonesia in 2021, compared with 6.3 million visitors in 2019.

The islands’ villages were once struggling under the pressure of “overtourism” and are now a ghost town. Many local businesses struggle to survive with the likelihood that international travel will not recover in the future. 

Bali has become increasingly popular among tourists all over the world between 2000-2019, with an unprecedented 6.3 million foreigners visiting Bali in 2019. (pictured at Lempuyang Temple Bali).  

Bali was closed to international travellers in April 2020, abruptly cutting off the tourism industry on which locals had come to rely on (pictured: a Bali beach in October 2021)

Bali was shut down to all international tourists on April 2020. 

Over the last decade, Bali has been a top tourist destination worldwide. Not just for Australians, but also Europeans and North Americans.

There were many new businesses that rented scooters and pubs along tourist routes as locals started to depend on international business.

In order to meet increasing visitor demand, 75,000 additional hotel rooms were built on its beaches.

In the same year TripAdvisor named the island as the fourth most popular destination in Asia. 

The figures released by Bali’s tourism board reveal that between 2000 and 2019, foreign visitors increased to 6.3 millions in nine months. That is four times the population of Bali, which was only four million. 

Locals began to become fed up by the ‘arrogant and rowdy’ tourist who were littering their streets with trash. 

Stores in Kuta (pictured) once bustling with foreign tourists snapping up cheap clothes and souvenirs now sit empty

Kuta stores, (pictured), were once bustling when foreign tourists bought cheap souvenirs and clothing.  

A building boom created a raft of new hotels and bars on the island in the last decade but many are now sitting empty (pictured: a beachside bar in Canggu)

In the last ten years, the island has seen a building boom that created many new bars and hotels. But most of them are empty now (pictured: Canggu beach bar). 

That was followed by the abrupt halting of international travel due to coronavirus’s arrival in 2020.

The island was eventually opened to tourist again in October, but travellers were required to quarantine on their own for five days. This requirement was dropped later to three.  

Only 43 tourists arrived in the country during the nine months prior to the opening of the border. This was according to Bali airport. 

Bali permitted certain travel exemptions, including for diplomats and health workers. 

He said that there were no international tourists who had flown in since the opening of the border, but couldn’t explain why. 

New Covid variants and tourist's reluctance to travel with uncertain rules have resulted in the island's tourism industry struggling to bounce back (pictured: Bali in 2019)

The island’s tourist industry is struggling to rebound due to new Covid varieties and tourist’s unwillingness to travel under uncertain rules (pictured: Bali, 2019). 

Officials are looking at other industries in which Bali economy could be directed such as fishing an manufacturing to be less reliant on tourists

Officials will be looking into other sectors where the Bali economy can be directed, such as fishing or manufacturing. This would reduce tourists’ dependence.

As Bali, Australia and the US relax their border restrictions, new variations are emerging that threaten to bring down flights. 

One new strain, referred to as ‘Omicron,’ was found in South Africa. The World Health Organization has declared it ‘of concern’. 

Numerous countries have tightened travel restrictions, especially towards eight African nations. Airline stocks fell and travelers are reluctant to book flights due to concerns that rules may suddenly change.

Experts predict that new variants will be a problem for many years.

A holiday maker walks on Kuta beach in Bali in 2019 (pictured)

In 2019, a holidaymaker strolls on Kuta beach, Bali. (Photo: 

In Indonesia, the government claimed that tourism was more than 50% of the Balinese economy. In addition to this, 700,000 people were forced out of their jobs after the Covid pandemic. 

Bali, Jamaica and Fiji all have a lot of holiday spots. They are diversifying their economy in other areas like manufacturing and fishing. 

Thailand is another important tourist destination. It’s currently experiencing its worst economic downturn for decades. 

Wayan Koster (Bali Governor) released an Oct manifesto in which he urged the island’s decline in dependence on tourism. 

He said that “the development of tourist was wrongly pushed and did not benefit any other sectors.” 

He stated that the two-years ago created an “impetus” for him to diversify Bali’s economy in order to make it’more balanced. 

The possibility exists that Bali may never be the same place it was for over a million Australians, which could prove to be a good thing. 

A Kuta beach bar (pictured) closed down and packed away in May 2021

Kuta Beach Bar (pictured) was closed in May 2021 and packed away.