Chart of the Week October 20, 2021: The pandemic in hindsight: Bali’s impetus for economic diversification

Click for enlarged image | Graphic by Ge Yixuan


The global travel disruption had cascading effects on tourism and the supporting sectors in Bali. This week’s chart portrays Bali’s vulnerability to the worldwide border closure amid COVID-19 and underlines potential areas for diversification.

Bali’s economy contracted by 9.3% in 2020, one of the worst-hit provinces in Indonesia. The loss of tourism revenue scraped IDR 90 trillion (US$ 6.3 billion) off its accommodation and food & services industry. In 2020, domestic and international tourist arrivals dropped by 5.95 million and 5.21 million persons, respectively. The pandemic propels a rethinking of Bali’s economic policies.

“Bali cannot continue to depend on tourism after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

~Bimo Wijayanto,
Deputy of Strategic Investments


  • The pandemic effect brings forth the importance of economic diversification as a pathway towards future resiliency.
  • Two prominent sectors which have been proven resilient include the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (AFF) industry and the Information and Communication (ICT) Industry.
  • AFF remains an alternative income avenue for most Balinese, who typically left the farmland to work in the more lucrative tourism sector. When a crisis hit, many of them flocked to their hometown to resume AFF activities.
  • Bali attempts to integrate ICT into its AFF sector to increase yield and productivity. One initiative includes Agriculture 4.0, which encompasses vertical farming, precision farming and smart farming.
  • The province invests heavily in digital infrastructure and positions itself as a digital hub. Concurrently, Bali has also aimed to attract digital nomads via its Work from Bali campaign

By Doris LIEW

*A Webinar on Bali’s socio-economic development is set for Thursday 21st October, 10am – 12pm (SGT). Join us as distinguished speakers from the private, public, and academic sectors discuss Bali’s pathways to economic recovery and resilience in 2021 and beyond.

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