Tourism / Transport
In 1970s, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry in terms of income, and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia's wealthiest regions. In 2003, around 80% of Bali's economy was tourism related. By end of June 2011, non-performing loan of all banks in Bali were 2.23%, lower than the average of Indonesian banking industry non-performing loan (about 5%). The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry has since recovered from these events.
Although tourism produces the GDP's largest output, agriculture is still the island's biggest employer. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.
The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavours include lemon and other citrus notes. Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana". According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people, and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a geographical indication.
In 1963 the Bali Beach Hotel in Sanur was built by Sukarno, and boosted tourism in Bali. Prior to it, only three hotels existed on the island. Construction of hotels and restaurants began to spread throughout Bali. Tourism further increased on Bali after the Ngurah Rai International Airport opened in 1970. The Buleleng regency government encouraged the tourism sector as one of the mainstays for economic progress and social welfare.
The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), Ubud towards the center of the island, to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer developments of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.
The United States government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. The Australian government issued an advisory on Friday, 4 May 2012, with the overall level of this advisory lowered to 'Exercise a high degree of caution'. The Swedish government issued a new warning on Sunday, 10 June 2012 because of one tourist who died from methanol poisoning. Australia last issued an advisory on Monday, 5 January 2015 due to new terrorist threats.
An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali's real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5-star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula, on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are being developed along the cliff sides of south Bali, with commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis, have remained stable.
In the last half of 2008, Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), mainly due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry.
Bali's tourism economy survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, and the tourism industry has in fact slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels; the longterm trend has been a steady increase of visitor arrivals. In 2010, Bali received 2.57 million foreign tourists, which surpassed the target of 2.0–2.3 million tourists. The average occupancy of starred hotels achieved 65%, so the island still should be able to accommodate tourists for some years without any addition of new rooms/hotels, although at the peak season some of them are fully booked.
Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. According to BBC Travel released in 2011, Bali is one of the World's Best Islands, ranking second after Santorini, Greece.
In August 2010, the film Eat Pray Love was released in theatres. The movie was based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. It took place at Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali. The 2006 book, which spent 57 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, had already fuelled a boom in Eat, Pray, Love-related tourism in Ubud, the hill town and cultural and tourist center that was the focus of Gilbert's quest for balance through traditional spirituality and healing that leads to love.
In January 2016, after music icon David Bowie died, it was revealed that in his will, Bowie asked for his ashes to be scattered in Bali, conforming to Buddhist rituals. He had visited and performed in a number of Southeast Asian cities early in his career, including Bangkok and Singapore.
Since 2011, China has displaced Japan as the second-largest supplier of tourists to Bali, while Australia still tops the list. Chinese tourists increased by 17% from last year due to the impact of ACFTA and new direct flights to Bali. In January 2012, Chinese tourists year on year (yoy) increased by 222.18% compared to January 2011, while Japanese tourists declined by 23.54% yoy.
Bali reported that it welcomed 2.88 million foreign tourists and 5 million domestic tourists in 2012, marginally surpassing the expectations of 2.8 million foreign tourists.
Based on a Bank Indonesia survey in May 2013, 34.39 percent of tourists are upper-middle class, spending between $1,286 to $5,592, and are dominated by Australia, France, China, Germany and the US. Some Chinese tourists have increased their levels of spending from previous years. 30.26 percent of tourists are middle class, spending between $662 to $1,285.
The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on the isthmus at the southernmost part of the island. Lt.Col. Wisnu Airfield is found in north-west Bali.
A coastal road circles the island, and three major two-lane arteries cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar. Bali has no railway lines.
In December 2010 the Government of Indonesia invited investors to build a new Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal at Karangasem, Bali with a projected worth of $30 million. On 17 July 2011 the first cruise ship (Sun Princess) anchored about 400 metres (1,300 feet) away from the wharf of Tanah Ampo harbour. The current pier is only 154 metres (505 feet) but will eventually be extended to 300 to 350 metres (980–1,150 feet) to accommodate international cruise ships. The harbour here is safer than the existing facility at Benoa and has a scenic backdrop of east Bali mountains and green rice fields. The tender for improvement was subject to delays, and as of July 2013 the situation remained unclear with cruise line operators complaining and even refusing to use the existing facility at Tanah Ampo.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by two ministers, Bali's Governor and Indonesian Train Company to build 565 kilometres (351 miles) of railway along the coast around the island. As of July 2015, no details of this proposed railways have been released.
On 16 March 2011 (Tanjung) Benoa port received the "Best Port Welcome 2010" award from London's "Dream World Cruise Destination" magazine. Government plans to expand the role of Benoa port as export-import port to boost Bali's trade and industry sector. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has confirmed that 306 cruise liners are heading for Indonesia in 2013 – an increase of 43 percent compared to the previous year.
In May 2011, an integrated Aerial Traffic Control System (ATCS) was implemented to reduce traffic jams at four crossing points: Ngurah Rai statue, Dewa Ruci Kuta crossing, Jimbaran crossing and Sanur crossing. ATCS is an integrated system connecting all traffic lights, CCTVs and other traffic signals with a monitoring office at the police headquarters. It has successfully been implemented in other ASEAN countries and will be implemented at other crossings in Bali.
On 21 December 2011 construction started on the Nusa Dua-Benoa-Ngurah Rai International Airport toll road which will also provide a special lane for motorcycles. This has been done by seven state-owned enterprises led by PT Jasa Marga with 60% of shares. PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol will construct the 9.91-kilometre-long (6.16-mile) toll road (totally 12.7 kilometres (7.89 miles) with access road). The construction is estimated to cost Rp.2.49 trillion ($273.9 million). The project goes through 2 kilometres (1 mile) of mangrove forest and through 2.3 kilometres (1.4 miles) of beach, both within 5.4 hectares (13 acres) area. The elevated toll road is built over the mangrove forest on 18,000 concrete pillars which occupied 2 hectares of mangroves forest. This was compensated by the planting of 300,000 mangrove trees along the road. On 21 December 2011 the Dewa Ruci 450-metre (1,480-foot) underpass has also started on the busy Dewa Ruci junction near Bali Kuta Galeria with an estimated cost of Rp136 billion ($14.9 million) from the state budget. On 23 September 2013, the Bali Mandara Toll Road was opened, with the Dewa Ruci Junction (Simpang Siur) underpass being opened previously.
To solve chronic traffic problems, the province will also build a toll road connecting Serangan with Tohpati, a toll road connecting Kuta, Denpasar and Tohpati and a flyover connecting Kuta and Ngurah Rai Airport.