There has been an influx of international and domestic tourists visiting Nusa Penida for the past six months. This has led to an increase in revenues for residents, whose bread and butter derives from the tourism industry.
“[The number of tourists] have been significantly increasing for the past two years,” said Ketut Pesta, one of the tourism industry players native to the island, as quoted by Bali Post. He added that tourists from Taiwan, China, Korea, as well as from Jakarta, Bandung, and other regions in Indonesia, seem to enjoy spending more time out in the sea compared to the ones from Europe, Malaysia, and India who prefers on-land touristic activities more.
“We have seen a sharp rise in visitors this year,” states Pesta, which he credited to the easy access via sea transportation to Nusa Penida. Previously, many tourists would only spend the day at Nusa Penida then go back to Denpasar for lodging, but now the habit has changed since there are many accommodations options built on the island. “The average length-of-stay is three to four days, considering there are so many natural sites to enjoy here.” He continued that currently almost 50 percent of rooms are occupied, and he predicted there will be more tourists on the way from July to September.
He claimed that the reason many people love going to Nusa Penida is because the island looks like a picture of Bali—30 years ago. Other than no traffic jams, the effects of modernization have been felt slowly on the island.
However, due to the various entry points to Penida—either from Benoa, Sanur, Kusamba, Padangbai, or Lombok—Pesta said that makes it harder to collect data on visitors as well as to maintain security. “We have no real data; what we simply know is that it’s just getting crowded.”
He further mentioned that there are private enterprises who are ready to support government programs relating to tourism. “But they can’t possibly build roads, electricity, and water. We just hope that the infrastructure problem can be solved as soon as possible.”