Image: Sun setting on Chinese tourism? Credit: smh.com.au.
Several local businessmen from the rafting and swing tourism villages near Bongkase, Badung Sub-District, complained to the Bali Regional Representatives yesterday because their business has slowed down after the government closed the controversial Chinese stores last week.
One of the complaints came from warung owner at Bongkase Village, Wayan Setiawan. Wayan explained that the number of the tourists who came to his village has decreased after Bali Governor, Wayan Koster, ordered his men to close the Chinese stores. “The biggest number of tourists who visited our village came from China, because they liked rating and the swings. The tour guides who accompanied them used to eat at our warung, but now they eat at home because they didn’t have any income,” he said at the DPR office on Jalan Kusuma Atmaja, Denpasar on Monday.
Wayan also added that all of his neighbours in the village got their income from the tourists. That’s why he asked for a solution for this issue.
“Rafting guides normally got Rp 10,000 per pax, but they didn’t get anything now, besides the small retainer wage. There used to be many buses there, but the number has decreased nowadays,” he added. Wayan hoped the government will hear his complaint, because they depended on the tourists for their living. “All of the workers there are our own families and they are local residents. The Chinese stores didn’t have any direct connection with us, but we get the impact if they are closed. I hope the Governor considered all aspects before making the decision,” he said.
Similar complaints also came from travel agent owner, Chris. He said that he lost much income since the rule was applied last week and the Chinese stores were closed. “They said I can go to another area, but I have hired many staff and guides here,” he said.
Another complaint came from representatives of restaurants, spas, and watersport owners on Nusa Penida. “Before the Chinese stores were closed, there were up to 1,000 Chinese tourists visiting Nusa Penida every day. We also hired many watersport guides because we saw the opportunity. There were other tourists, too, but the number was 1:100 if compared with Chinese tourists,” said I Putu Darmaya.
Putu explained that the number of the Chinese tourists decreased to 100 tourists per day from the Chinese store closings. “The number has decreased to 100 tourists per day. We have hired unskilled workers, too, because they have worked on seaweed farms and they can swim and dive. But then we received this shocking news and we even got information from other businessmen that there will be no bookings during December and January because there are no flights schedules during those months,” he said.