Bali Discovery

In Bali, Surf’s Up; Business is Down

Bali Surf Schools Suffering from a Lack of Foreign Tourists

NusaBali provides insights on how badly some segments of Bali’s Water Sports Sector have been hit over the past nine months by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The many surf schools operating in the Kuta area of Bali have seen their business slow to a trickle, with many reporting no customers and forced to close until further notice.

One surfing instructor on Kuta Beach, Ewaldus Somba (24), complained he had been incredibly hard hit by the business downturn precipitated by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Because foreign tourists overwhelmingly comprise his market of those wishing to learn how to surf, the continuing absence of foreign visitors to the Island has virtually eliminated any cash flow for his enterprise.

“Talk about impact? Certainly, we have been greatly affected. What’s more, most of those using our service on Kuta Beach were foreigners. Now, no foreign tourists are coming to Bali. The few foreigners you see are ex-pats living here, said Somba on Friday, 31 October 2020.

Somba, who is originally from Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, said that before the Pandemic, he could net some Rp. 800,000 each day from renting surfboards. In the current condition, it is not guaranteed that he will earn even Rp. 50,000 in a single day of business. On many days, he returns home with no earnings at all. 

“Before COVID-19, I usually taught foreign tourists how to surf. In addition to renting a surfboard, I also worked as a surfing instructor. I could earn Rp. 200,000 every two hours. Now, I am lucky even to earn Rp. 50,000, said Ewaldus, who has worked on Kuta Beach for the past three years.

Ewaldus said he is still fortunate to be able to rent surfing boards to domestic customers. The government of Bali is allowing limited activity by surfing operators in Bali.

Ewaldus said, ” fellow instructors and I have all felt the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Anyone who lives from tourism is suffering. We all hope that the economy will soon recover, and we can resume our regular business.”

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