Mt. Agung eruption could mean Bali tourism loses USD1 billion - Insights

Mt. Agung eruption could mean Bali tourism loses USD1 billion

Mt. Agung, Bali Indonesia

Mt. Agung is spewing a thick cloud of grey smoke two kilometres into the atmosphere, according to the country’s disaster management agency.ÊIf the eruptions continue, it could translate into a loss of an estimated $1 billion for the small island’s economy.Ê

Since Mt. Agung began itsÊmagmaticÊeruptions on the 25th of November, Indonesia’s tourism minister, Arief Yahya, has predicted that the small island and much-loved tourist destination, will lose an estimated one million tourists this year.

Every month, an average of 600,000 foreign tourists visit Bali. With the government’s goal of 15 million foreign tourists this year set toÊplummet, locals are understandably concerned.ÊLeading up to the eruption tourism was performing well and demonstrating an increase of 25% on the previous year.

Since October, after the first announcements of an impending eruption were publicised, arrivals fell by 16%, with hotel and flight cancellations increasing daily.ÊBased on government data – the occupancy rate dropped 6.7% in October alone.

The Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association’s Bali chapter estimates a loss of 13 million rupiahs each time a tourist cancels their booking.

Local hoteliers and shop owners have raised genuine concerns about the significant loss of business reported in popular areas outside of the exclusion zone like Kuta and Seminyak.

Bali remains on the highest alert level, however, operations at the international airport remain open for travel,Ê agency spokesman Sutopo Nugroho said on Friday.

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