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Layoffs Escalate

Local Labor Officials Tally 382 Dismissals Related to Business Downturn. Actual Numbers May be Much Higher.

(5/29/2003) Figures released by Bali's Provincial Labor office testify to growing unemployment in the tourism sector following the October 12th bombing of a Bali night spot and the ongoing SARS panic affecting world travel.

Statistics from the Labor Office current to April 24, 2003, that do not yet include a rash of additional layoffs announced in May, record 60 dismissals in water sports companies in the Jalan Kartika Plaza area of South Kuta, 70 dismissals from a Bali rafting company, 31 workers from a boutique property near Tanah Lot, and a mass dismissal of 239 workers from a Tabanan area hotel.

According to an official from the local labor office, a large number of Bali tourism-related companies have been forced to reduce work schedules and cut salaries to accommodate the restrictions imposed on them by reduced cash flows.

Lower Arrival Figures

Direct foreign arrivals to Bali dropped 36.4% in March of 2003. While official figures for April and May are not yet available, indications are that that tourist slump continues and may be worsening.

Daily arrivals in early May at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport stood at around 1,400 people per day, a number far below the 5,000 plus average daily arrivals recorded in May of 2002.