Note by Bakti, Medan – Indonesia
The stretching of tourism in Bali, Indonesia, which has become increasingly sluggish since the Covid-19 pandemic in the past year, has made people compete with time with the chaotic economy which is slowly starting to fall one by one
Society also looks fragile. Because the tourism sector, which has been relied on to support the economy, has not helped much. They can only surrender to survive in uncertain conditions.
The face of Bali tourism seems gloomy, bearing a bit of a sad story. No one knows when this epidemic will pass.
The latest portrait of Bali’s tourism life, was recorded when the author visited Bali on January 25 to 28, 2021.
Reportedly, the weakening pulse of tourism there began to be felt when entering Ngurah Rai International Airport.
Airport activities are usually preoccupied with the arrival and departure of planes, now it doesn’t look like it used to be. In fact, the hustle and bustle of tourists usually crowds the airport and now is almost silent.
Likewise with conditions in a number of tourist locations in Bali. At least seven favorite tourist centers are still visited by domestic tourists in the midst of the pandemic. Such as in the Canggu, Sanur, Seminyak, Kuta Beach, Ubud and Tanah Lot areas, Beraban, Tabanan Regency.
The number is not large, only a few groups can be found. “Before the pandemic, usually every area in Bali was crowded with tourists, it was so busy here that it made the streets jammed. But now it’s lonely, there’s no more passion, ”said D Purba as the manager of the DJ Tour Bali.
According to him, before the pandemic period, almost all streets on the Island of the Gods were always full of tourist activities. Like Jalan Legian, for example .
This tourist area has a dark history of ‘Bali Bombing (2002)’. Previously, it was an entertainment center which was always crowded with tourists. But now Legian is not excited anymore. There is only a little activity of traders peddling their wares from morning to evening. While the rest is added to the presence of some foreign tourists living in Bali, seen hanging out in several cafes that are still open.
In addition to the deserted streets, the view also focuses on several business centers that are closed or bankrupt. The number of bankrupt shops evenly occurs in various places in tourist locations.
If these conditions continue to destroy business, “complained D Purba while emphasizing his support for government policies in efforts to stop the transmission of the Covid-19 virus. But he did not deny that he needed money to support his family.
It is a dilemma, I hope government policies can provide the right solution to help the people, “he hoped.
The same sad story is also felt by the clothes and accessories traders at the Ubud traditional market and at the Tanah Lot traditional market. Many traders complain that their products are low since the lack of tourists visiting Bali.
It’s been a week since none of my clothes have been selling well. Buy it, sir, help us here so we can eat, “said the clothes trader at the Ubud market while begging the writer who was trying to trace the conditions in several traditional markets in Bali, some time ago.
He said that he and several other fellow traders had found it very difficult to endure these recent conditions. Although the government has tried hard to boost the presence of domestic tourists, he admits that currently it has not had much impact on the economic conditions of the traders there.
There is government assistance, but it is not enough for living needs. Our income is from this sale, “he explained.
Furthermore, the trip shifted to the tourist location of the subak rice fields or known as Tegalalang Rice Terrace.
Arriving at the location of the subak rice field tourist attraction: the traditional Balinese irrigation system, which is recognized by UNESCO as one of the world heritages, is also empty of visitors.
Ade, as the seller of entrance tickets to the tourist attraction area, said that before the corona outbreak, this place was always packed with thousands of visitors every day. They come to enjoy the beauty of the green rice fields and take pictures.
But after the past year, Tegalalang Rice Terrace is getting lonely. Ticket sales turnover has dropped dramatically. Usually ticket sales revenue reaches IDR 20 million per day, now only IDR 400 – 500 thousand.
Then the income dropped further when PPKM (restrictions on community activities)was implemented in Bali. “Since PPKM, the income is uncertain,sir. Today alone only earned IDR 20 thousand. Even though we have been waiting for visitors from this morning to this afternoon, “said Ade while adding that the entrance ticket to the tourist site is Rp. 10 thousand.
The decline in income has left Ade and his fellow workers confused about how to cover their daily expenses. They can only hope that this condition will quickly pass and return to normal.
The latest portrait of Bali tourism life clearly disturbs the doubts of business actors who are still holding on to the fate of business in the future. Especially since the government implemented the Restriction of Community Activities (PPKM) in Bali, starting on January 11-25, 2021 and continuing until February 8, 2021.
The tightness of the PPKM program seemed to make business actors even more cornered. Not ready to face the problem of the lack of purchasing power of customers, local entrepreneurs now have to face new problems related to the operating hours of business centers.
Business centers such as malls, shops, cafes and entertainment venues there can only operate until 20.00 WITA local time. Anyone who violates the rules will have to deal with the police at the same time receive strict sanctions.
This unusual sight makes the surrounding community even more worried, if the pandemic condition continues, it will damage the economy of the small people.