EFEBy Steven Handoko. Denpasar, Indonesia

Low numbers of foreign tourist arrivals to the Indonesian island of Bali are holding back the pandemic recovery of the popular holiday destination, which is relying mostly on domestic tourists under the looming cloud of Omicron.

In October, the Indonesian authorities reduced Covid-19 restrictions and reopened to foreign tourists, and two months on, Bali is showing signs of economic improvement.

Its exports for October 2021 are up on October 2019, according to the National Statistics Bureau (BPS), and tourism remains the island’s main industry and its biggest moneymaker.

The recovery is not consistent across the board, however. In Canggu area, bars and clubs are full into the night, whereas further south in Kuta, shops remain shuttered.

According to the BPS, only 45 foreign tourists flew directly into the island's international airport between January and October 2021, however it is not known how many more arrived to the island from Jakarta.

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