Published on : Tuesday, December 12, 2017
With Mount Agung in eastern Bali erupting, many tourists have scrapped their plans of visiting that region. With the possibility of the volcano erupting again any time, scores of hotel rooms and flights to Bali have been left empty into the year end, and this has given rise to doubt about one of the resort-island’s busiest seasons.
Tourism is extremely worthwhile not just for Bali but also for Indonesia’s economy. The nation’s tourism revenue, much of which is generated on the resort island, accounted for 4.5 percent of gross domestic product last year.
About 25 percent of hotel rooms in Bali are currently occupied, compared with as much as 80 percent in December last year.
Tourism in Bali, named the world’s top travel destination by TripAdvisor Inc. this year, directly and indirectly accounts for about 70 percent of the island’s income, according to the tourism board. Indonesian flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia canceled more than 300 flights because of closures at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport and the Lombok International Airport after the volcanic eruptions.
Garuda lost about $1 million a day when the airports were shut. Almost a million people were expected to visit Bali in December and January combined, said Anak Agung Gede Yuniartha Putra, the chief of Bali’s tourism office.