Trump, traffic, trash: why Bali is losing its shine for Chinese tourists
01/10/2020|11:25:21 AM|SCMP

As the US-China trade war takes a toll on Chinese tourist arrivals in Bali, the Indonesian island is turning to high-end tourism to fill the gap.

Trouble is brewing in Indonesia’s “Island of the Gods” and it seems there are plenty of things to blame: Donald Trump, cheap tours aimed at the Chinese market, and worsening pollution.

The number of Chinese tourists visiting Bali last year dropped 35%, raising eyebrows throughout the hospitality sector and putting in jeopardy China’s crown as the island’s leading source of visitors, ahead of Australia.

According to the Bali Tourism Board, the overall number of visitors to the island for the first 10 months of the year grew by only 1.2%, compared to more than 15% in 2017. More than 6.5 million people visited Bali in 2018, with no guarantee that the popular tourist destination would match this number for 2019.

The dramatic drop is part of a region-wide slowdown in tourism from the Chinese mainland, which analysts and industry players say was triggered by the US-China trade war initiated by US President Donald Trump.

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