Bali has been left virtually abandoned after the tourism industry took a hit due to the coronavirus crisis.
Stunning footage has emerged showing the streets of the once-thriving Indonesian island empty, with hundreds of stores, hotels and cafes closed.
Surfers, yogis and party goers typically flood the holiday island this time of year seeking a winter escape.
But flights have been on hold since Indonesia closed its borders in April, crippling the Bali economy, which is almost entirely dependent on tourism.
An Australian tourist filmed as he made he way through the empty streets of Kuta on a scooter on Tuesday.
Australian surfers, yogis and party goers typically flood the holiday island this time of year seeking a winter escape (pictured: Travellers on Kuta Beach in Seminyak)
Kuta beach in Bali (pictured) is empty as the beaches are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic
Only a handful of cars could be seen on the roads as the tourist rode to Discovery Mall Beach in the centre of Bali.
‘It’s just weird and interesting to ride around these empty streets. It’s like a theme park, it really is. It’s Bali as a theme park, Bali as a ride.’
He made his way through tourist hot spots but many of the locations were almost unrecognisable.
Poppies Lanes, a famous market street in Kuta which are usually filled with colourful stalls, are now bare. The laneways appear derelict with graffiti covering the grey walls.
As the tourist tries to make his way to the beach barricades can be sen blocking the entrances.
Poppies Lanes, a famous market street in Kuta, is normally filled with colourful stalls selling tourists bags, clothing and bowls
Poppies Lanes was almost unrecognisable. The laneways, which are usually filled with colourful stalls are now bare, with just graffiti covering the walls
The tourist can be heard complaining that the beaches were closed before realising if the beaches were to open social distancing would become an issue.
‘I suppose if they open the beach then people like me would come and then the sellers would come and approach us and..ok it’s starting to make sense.’
Foreign tourist arrivals into Indonesia plunged more than 60 per cent in March, compared to the same month last year, with Chinese arrivals sliding more than 97 per cent.
Last year, 1.23million Australians visited Bali – a rise of 5.24 per cent on 2018 figures.
Indonesian Hotel & Restaurant Association chairman Rai Suryawijaya told the Financial Review said Bali’s economy was on the brink of collapse with tourists.
Ocean 360 Bali is usually brimming with people looking to have a good time in the sunshine
Ocean 360 Bali, which is located in a stunning wide sweeping ocean view of a gorgeous Kuta Beach, was empty
‘My prediction is July. Even if we could get 10 flights to land each day, with social distancing restrictions on-board, there may be only 150 people on board each flight so that’s just 1500 arrivals each day. We know occupancy rates will remain low, at least until next year.’
The Indonesian government has been making plans to restart its tourism industry and is reportedly planning a ‘travel bubble’ with Australia, China, South Korea and Japan.
Odo Manuhutu, deputy co-ordinating minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, said Indonesia would open its borders to those four countries before extending the offer to others.
An estimated 2,000 Australian expats have chosen to stay in Bali rather than return home during the pandemic
The Indonesian government is reportedly planning for a ‘travel bubble’ with Australia, China, South Korea and Japan in a desperate bid to boost tourism (pictured: An empty beach in Bali)
He said they were formulating criteria for foreign travellers to enter the country, local media reported.
Travellers would face ‘strict health protocols’ but the move would ideally revive domestic tourism.
‘After the criteria is made, negotiations will be held with those countries for two, three or four weeks. When agreements are reached, the travel bubbles will be opened,’ the deputy minister said.
‘In addition to the high level of tourists, there are also business interests with these four countries as well.’
Tourists are seen walking to Kuta Beach through the traditional gate at beautiful sunny day
There’s hardly any sign of tourists around the traditional gate after the government put a ban on travel
The plan has been slammed as premature by some critics as the number of coronavirus cases in Indonesia continues to climb.
There are more than 39,000 COVID-19 cases in Indonesia and 2,198 people have died but the country is willing to get tourists back sooner rather than later to bolster a flagging economy.
Even if Indonesia does open its borders, the Australian tourists will not be able to come until at least October.
The government has extended its ban on Australians travelling overseas until the end of September, and the policy of forcing all those returning to Australia to spend two weeks in hotel isolation will continue indefinitely.
Travellers would face ‘strict health protocols’ but the move would ideally revive domestic tourism (pictured: Passengers wear protective masks as they depart Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali in March)