Bali hotels selling rooms for £9 in bid to attract tourists

Hotels in Bali are selling rooms for less than £9 in a bid to attract tourists.

A lack of international visitors has left many people on the Indonesian island, which relies heavily on tourism, struggling to survive.

Bali has reopened to domestic holidaymakers, but has been off-limits to foreign visitors since April.

Ambitious plans to reopen borders in September were shelved after a rise in coronavirus cases across the country.

In response, hotels have slashed their prices, hoping to entice Indonesian residents by offering cheap stays.

The owner of the Pillow Inn Ubud told The Bali Sun that the hotel had slashed rates in half; The Independent found rooms available for £14 a night.

Another property, Yoga Amertham Retreat and Resort in Ubud, said rooms were available for less than £9 and meals were being sold for 5,000 Indonesia rupiah – just 27p.

Other accommodation providers are trying to lure long-stay guests by advertising attractive monthly rates.

We’re targeting long-stay guests, for monthly or even annual rent with a 50 per cent discount on the normal rate,” said Ida Bagus Wiryawan from the Ubud Homestay Association.

Bali relies on tourism for much of its income. The number of international tourists to Bali grew by 3.6 per cent in 2019 to 6.3 million, according to annual Bali Province Tourism Development Statistics from Badan Pusat Statistik Provinsi Bali.

Despite initial hopes that Bali would be able to reopen earlier this year, the island confirmed in August that it would remain closed until 2021, along with the rest of the country.

“After considering all the current factors that are of serious concern, it can’t be done,” the governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, announced at a press conference.

“It is not possible to open Bali for foreign tourists which we originally planned for 11 September.”

Bali’s tourism industry could suffer further setbacks if proposed legislation to make drinking alcohol illegal goes ahead.

Indonesia’s House of Representatives continues to mull over a draft bill that would ban booze and threaten those found producing, distributing and storing it with jail sentences of two to 10 years.

There would be less severe sentences for those caught consuming alcohol.

The proposal is being mooted by 21 politicians from conservative Islamic parties, who are citing parts of the Koran indicating that Muslims should not drink alcohol.

Bali officials have made it clear they are not in support of the restrictions.

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