On 29th July, an earthquake, measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale rocked the Indonesian island of Lombok, killing 20 people and injuring over 400. Just nine days later, a second, even more devastating earthquake, measuring 6.9, struck Lombok again, killing 555 people and injuring over 1,400. Furthermore, over 156,000 have been displaced.
Prior to these two devastating shocks, Indonesia was having a good year for tourism; bookings from 1st January were up 10% on the equivalent period in 2017. That growth all but ceased after the first quake; and following the second, bookings have fallen 26%.
The tourist trade has been particularly badly affected because bookings to the country’s top tourist destination, Bali, which is adjacent to Lombok, have fallen much further than bookings to Indonesia as a whole. From 1st January until the first earthquake, bookings for Bali were 15.2% up; however, since the second quake, they have fallen by 42.9%. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, Travel & Tourism accounts for 10% of total employment in Indonesia but in the tourism hot spots, such as Bali and Lombok, it is considerably higher. By comparison Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, which is a regional commercial centre, has fared much better; bookings are down by just 2.2%.