With tourists away, Bali now overtaken by eerie jungle


While the tourists are away, the jungle will play.

The pandemic has been devastating for tourism hotspots – but none more so than Bali. Stunning photos show the Indonesian island paradise, which has been closed since April 2020, being taken over by the original jungle.

Popular towns like Kuta, Ubud and Sanur look like they’ve been through an apocalypse – with empty mannequins in stores, jungle plants growing over furniture, buildings, and shops, and restaurants and hotels still closed.

Dr. Nyoman Sukma Arida, a lecturer at the tourism faculty of Udayana University, noted to The Guardian that 60 percent of the island’s economy comes from tourism.

“Relying solely on a fragile tourism economy is of course very risky. Bali can go back to agriculture while looking for other alternatives to support its economy, such as the digital economy, so as not to depend on tourism alone.”

A closed kayak rental stand at Mertasari Beach, Sanur.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett
Chairs and tables seen stacked as the restaurant is closed.
Sixty percent of the island’s economy comes from tourism.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

Meanwhile, Bali is hoping to re-open its airport to international flights from China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia this week, but visitors will have to do an eight-day quarantine at a hotel — and pay for that themselves.  

Things have changed so drastically, one private tour guide says thing he has to count on domestic tourists for his income, and peddles mats and blinds on the side to make ends meet.

View of a closed tourism business.
Bali tourism business and activities in Seminyak remain closed as Indonesia central government extend the Emergency Community Activities Restriction (PPKM) to lower Covid-19 cases.
Bali is hoping to re-open its airport to international flights from a few countries next week.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

“Due to this pandemic I think that in the future working in tourism should only be my side job considering how fragile this industry is,” Wayan Wilyana, of Batubulan, told the paper.


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Kathy Lewis

Kathy Lewis is an all-around geek who loves learning new stuff every day. With a background in computer science and a passion for writing, she loves writing for almost all the sections of Editorials99.

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