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Donít Be Home for Christmas

Bali Increasingly Concerned that Bonanza of Holiday Visitors May Not Materialize

(12/27/2013) Many hotels and lodging places in Bali were busy since early December preparing to answer an expected rush of Christmas and New Year’s guests.

Christmas decorations were laid and special meals and entertainments planned to welcome holiday guests.

As reported by Republika.co.id, many hotels in Bali by Saturday, December 21, 2013, had made the unwelcome discovery that the expected avalanche of Island visitors was yet to materialize.

What’s more, some hotels were entering the peak holiday period with occupancies averaging as low as only 30%.

Gede Mahendra, a housekeeper at a five-star hotel in Nusa Dua told the press, “I have been put on temporary leave for three days because the hotel remains quiet.” Mahedra was sent home on Thursday, December 19, 2013.

The hotel worker expressed concern at his “forced” three-day holiday followed closely a similar “holiday” of seven days. “If I don't work, even though I get my wages, the service charge is reduced,” he explained. The service charge is the 10% charge placed on all hotel bills that are eventually shared among all workers.

The downturn in hotel occupancies in the lead up to Christmas and New Year 2014 was confirmed by Ngurah Wijaya, the Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board. Without citing specific occupancy levels, Wijaya remain confident that occupancies will increase after the Christmas period.

Said Wijaya: “Right now, tourists are still concentrating on enjoying Christmas at home. After that they will think about taking a holiday.”

For the 2013-2014 holiday period Bali is largely dependent on domestic tourism, rather than foreign visitors. This marks a change from Christmas Season's  past when foreign tourists predominated over the year-end period.