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Warning of Mass Layoffs

Bali Vice-Governor Sounds the Alarm on the Worsening Tourism Situation.

(5/15/2003) Speaking at the opening of the 7th National Conference of Indonesian Business Owners Association (Assosiasi Pengusaha Indonesia), Bali's Vice-Governor, I Gusti Bagus Alit Putra, sounded a warning that the island may soon be facing mass dismissals as a result of continuing poor tourist arrivals.

With Bali experiencing daily tourist arrivals of only 1,000 as compared to a seasonal average of 7,000 Vice Governor Alit Putra blamed the downturn on the cumulative effects of the WTC attack, the Bali terror bombings, and the SARS epidemic. He told the business leaders, "the condition of Bali tourism at this moment can be classed as the worst in history. If, in a couple of months, the situation does not improve I fear that massive terminations will befall those working in the tourism sector."

According to Alit Putra, the low number of tourists holidaying in Bali have caused hotel occupancy rates to fall between 14-20%, giving rise to fears of a collapse of Bali's otherwise robust tourism industry.

Alit Putra used his address before the business group to call on domestic tourists to maximize the use of coming the long holiday weekends by visiting Bali, providing much needed business to Bali's ailing travel industry.