Bali economy hit hard as Chinese tourists are banned because of the spread of coronavirus 

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Bali has been hit hard by the coronavirus as the once bustling streets filled with Chinese tourists are now barren following a sweeping flight ban.

Struggling businesses that have been forced to cut staff and shopping centres have been left empty.

Indonesia suspended flights to and from mainland China on Wednesday, leaving an estimated 5,000 Chinese people stuck on the island.

Australians on the island fear many local businesses will collapse if Chinese tourism does not return soon. 

‘The coronavirus is already hitting the Balinese economy hard,’ an Australian tourist posted on Facebook.

‘We are staying at the lovely Anvaya (hotel) in Kuta and occupancy is only 50 per cent and staff have been laid off.’

She said hotel operators have told her they may have to lay off staff. 

Some locals even fear the financial impact will be as devastating economically as the Bali Bombings of 2002. 

‘One of our Bali friends employs 20 drivers who drive Chinese on their tours and they have zero work,’ one Australian tourist said.

‘Locals have fresh memories of what it was like when tourists stopped coming after the bombings. The fear is there again.’

Other Australian said fear of the disease had caused mass-panic with people rushing out to buy hand sanitiser from stores.

‘Went to nine different mini marts yesterday and all sold out,’ a woman wrote online.  

Around 2.1 million Chinese travelled to Bali last year making the nation the second most popular visitors after Malaysia. 

Economic conditions on the island could even worsen after the Chinese Consul General in Denpasar Gou Haodong announced on Thursday that they would evacuate around 250 citizens.

The citizens will be flown back to China on a specially charted Boeing 777 to Wuhan, where the virus first began, according to ABC News.

Many Chinese citizens are reluctant to return home with 22 visa extensions already lodged with the Bali’s provincial Government.

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