The Secretary of the Bali Badung Regency of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Badun-Bali), Gede Sukarta, was quoted by NusaBali saying occupancy levels at Bali hotels and villas were “near-zero” as the Island enters the Chinese New Year period. Bemoaning the current condition in comparison to Chinese New Year of years past, Sukarta added on Tuesday, 09 February 2021, “If Imlek this year it’s zero!”
Looking back to Chinese New Years’ in Bali 2017-2019, visitors to the Island celebrating the Lunar New Year period boomed. In these recent years, Imlek hotel occupancies ran between 80% and 90%. But, now, during the continuing pandemic, visitors, both foreign and domestic, are no longer traveling to mark the beginning of the year of the “metal ox.”
Indonesia’s borders remain closed to foreign visitors, while domestic travelers tend to stay closer to home.
Sukarta said he is very concerned with the current situation in Bali. The pandemic lasting for nearly one year has created a heavy burden on the people and the economy.
In the year of the “Metal Ox” and the dawning of Chinese New Year in 2021, Imlek in Bali is quiet, lacking the visitors and robust atmosphere of years past.