An erupting volcano on Indonesia's holiday island of Bali has hit tourism operators hard. As Ciara Lee reports, many are complaining they have been suffering losses as the peak season beckons.
It's a surfer's paradise - Bali's Kuta beach But its waters are emptier than usual. An erupting volcano on the Indonesian holiday island is hurting tourism With businesses suffering losses as peak season approaches. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) SURFBOARD RENTAL VENDOR, DEMI SEHAN SAYING: "Usually we can earn about the equivalent of $60-70 from surfboard rental. But now it is considered good business if we earn half of that." Making matters worse, a two-day airport closure last week sparked fears among tourists Prompting many to change their plans. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) PANORAMA COTTAGES 1 MANAGER, KETUT TUNAS SAYING: "Since the eruption of Mount Agung there were some guests cancellation. But it became worst after the airport closure, almost 90 percent of the guests cancelled their booking." The relatively small island contributes massively to Indonesian tourism. In January-September, Bali received 4.5 million tourists, nearly half of the total 10.5 million arrivals to Indonesia. And contributes over 3 percent of GDP. Despite the significant drop in visitors, officials are confident Bali can bounce back. It proved its resilience 15 years ago after a bomb attack killed 202 in a nightclub. And some even see the erutping volcano as a bonus attraction. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S.A TRAVELLER, KYLE MILLER SAYING: "It's just exciting, I've never seen something like this before. So it's fun as long as it's safe." Restaurants and hotels in this region at least say they will plough on with Christmas and New Year preparations. Elsewhere on the island, they'll be hoping this latest hurdle blows over as quickly as it erupted.