Destinations5,000 tour guides have no work with airport in lockdown

Bali’s guides left without tourists to guide

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Most of Bali's licensed guides are married with families to support.
Most of Bali's licensed guides are married with families to support. Photo Credit: GaryRadler/iStock/GettyImagesPlus

DENPASAR – The plight of hotel workers and tour guides in Bali is worsening as total flight bans across Indonesia impact both domestic and international tourism.

According to the HPI chairman, an estimated 70% of Bali's licensed guides are married with families to support and economic conditions on the island are so depressed that there is little, if any, alternative work for them.

In the first 20 days of April less than 600  foreigners were processed through Ngurah Rai Denpasar airport. These mainly comprised ship and airline crews, diplomats and permanent residents.

Tour guides have been especially badly hit with an estimated 5,000 of them now out of work and without income.

Speaking to Kompas.com, the chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Guide Association (HPI), I Nyoman Nuarta, said starting from early March, there have been almost no tourists in Bali to guide.

According to the HPI chairman, an estimated 70% of Bali's licensed guides are married with families to support and economic conditions on the island are so depressed that there is little, if any, alternative work for them.

Local farmers are also suffering with oversupply as many hotels have closed and no longer need the farm produce.

And with the recorded decline of foreign tourist arrivals nearing 100% this month, Bali is one of the hardest-hit regions in Indonesia.

“The potential losses for 2020 are approximately US$9 billion,” said Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana, chairman of the Indonesian Tourist Industry Association (GIPI), as quoted by CNN Indonesia.

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