Tourism not affected by fasting month
General economic activity, including tourism, will continue to run as usual in Bali during the month of Ramadhan, which began on Wednesday.
Denpasar tourism agency head Putu Budiasa told Bali Daily that in general, tourism in Bali had remained normal.
Street-side food stalls to five-star hotels as well as nightlife venues will continue to host customers per usual operating hours.
?All activities will run as usual. Nothing changes. The only thing that will change, maybe, is when customers stop by.? Those who are fasting may go to restaurants when it?s time to break fast,? he said.
He, however, acknowledged that domestic tourist arrivals might see a slight decline during the fasting month. From year to year, Bali regularly sees peak domestic visitor arrivals, mostly from Java, during the summer school holiday.
?As most residents in Java are Muslim, many may opt to not to travel during the fasting month. But domestic visitors from other parts of Indonesia are still coming,? he said.
Meanwhile, July to August are the peak months for foreign tourist arrivals. Bali tourism agency head Ida Bagus Kade Subhiksu similarly said that there were no operational hour limitations during Ramadhan this year. ?Such limits is the authority of each regency and city. As far as I know, operational hours and services at the airport, hotels, restaurants and tourism destinations, will run as usual,? he said.
The Bali tourism agency last year recorded that there were 1,339 restaurants with a total capacity of 68,468 seats and 582 bars operating throughout Bali. The island is also home to 1,031 non-star hotels with a total 21,114 rooms, 156 star-hotels with 20,269 rooms, and 1,025 villas with 4,642 rooms. Bali also has 345 travel agents, 219 water tourism companies, and 270 tourism destinations. ?All of them continue to serve the incoming tourists,? he said.
The Association of Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants? (PHRI Bali) Bali-chapter chairman Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati said that despite business as usual, some restaurants might initiate special offers for breaking fast,? he said.
Head of the Islam education division at the Religious Affairs Ministry?s Bali office, Mustain, said that there was a high level of religious tolerance throughout the island. The majority of Bali itself follows the Hindu faith. As an international tourism destination, Bali?s visitors also come from various religion backgrounds.
?That?s why there?s a high level of religious tolerance here,? he said. Despite the business-as-usual mode, Mustain said that Muslims in Bali were able to perform tarawih (extra prayer service) peacefully at hundreds of mosques and mushollas (prayer rooms) across the island.
?Tadarus or Koran reading at night is also smoothly performed. We limit the use of loudspeakers, however, so that our activities do not disturb other residents in the neighborhood,? he said.