. 24/7 Space News .
No going back: Bali's Chinese tourists fear virus-hit homeland
By Agnes ANYA, Peter BRIEGER
Denpasar, Indonesia (AFP) Feb 29, 2020

Hundreds of Chinese tourists on vacation in Bali are scrambling to avoid going home, fearing both infection from the deadly new coronavirus and Beijing's handling of the epidemic.

Concerns over the rapidly-spreading outbreak prompted Indonesia to shut down all flights to and from China this month, hammering the bottom lines of restaurants, hotels, travel agents and interpreters on the popular resort island.

But with more than 2,800 dead from the COVID-19 illness on the Chinese mainland, and entire cities under lockdown, immigration officials in Bali say nearly a thousand Chinese nationals have applied for emergency visa extensions.

"I'm an international refugee," Steve Li, the manager of a European firm in a major mainland city, told AFP at an upscale mall in the island's capital Denpasar.

"China is like a big prison, all the cities are locked down," he added.

Li says he does not believe Beijing's assurances that the country is getting the epidemic under control.

While he plans to return to work, Li, who asked not to be identified by his real name, is leaving his wife and two young children behind to wait out the public health crisis.

"I'm managing the company so I can't ask my guys to continue to work while I hide here," he said.

Around a million Chinese tourists visit Bali each year -- the second-largest group of foreign arrivals after Australians -- and inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy.

Thousands travelled there from the mainland for last month's Lunar New Year holiday just as the virus outbreak was beginning to snowball, prompting the lockdown of China's Hubei province where the infection was first detected.

Beijing flew home groups of overseas tourists from around Asia last month citing the "practical difficulties" they faced abroad, as fears of the contagion prompted several countries to bar entry to arrivals who had recently been in China.

Only a few dozen Chinese travellers in Bali took up the offer.

"I wasn't surprised," Bali Tourism Agency chief Putu Astawa told AFP.

"They don't want to go back."

- 'I'm afraid' -

Zilong Wang of Beijing said he was postponing his return because he believed his government had underplayed the infection's true toll.

"I'd rather stay in Bali and watch the situation," the 30-year-old told AFP outside an immigration office swamped with anxious Chinese tourists, waiting in line for hours in the hope of extending their stay.

Wang said he was also wary of other Chinese travellers, despite the lack of confirmed virus cases in Indonesia.

"I've been trying to stay inside the hotel," Wang said.

"I am nervous when I meet some other Chinese people especially when they don't wear masks. I'm afraid of getting infected."

Some travellers are preparing back-up plans in case their requests to extend their stays are denied.

Heather Wang, a real estate agent from eastern Zhejiang province, has been in Bali since late January and has no plans to return home -- even if she cannot stay on the tropical island.

She is waiting to hear back from the Australian embassy on whether her application for a tourist entry permit has been successful.

"If Australia doesn't approve my visa I think I'll be going to Thailand," the 26-year-old added.

Related Links
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

ISRO's Gaganyaan to facilitate space tourism
Thiruvananthapuram, India (IANS) Feb 04, 2020
Gaganyaan, the country's planned mission to take humans to space, will open huge commercial opportunities in the space sector, said former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair. Nair while speaking at the space programme, supported by the Kerala government, here said once that capability is achieved by putting three astronauts into space using ISRO's GSLV Mk III in December 2021, the country can think in terms of entering the realm of space tourism. "It is a big international business opportunity fo ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

US-China tensions colour race to head global patent agency

Vertex Aerospace Awarded $150M NASA Contract

Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician, dies at 101

Improving shoes, showers, 3D printing: research launching to the Space Station

Simple, fuel-efficient rocket engine could enable cheaper, lighter spacecraft

SpaceX announces partnership to send four tourists into deep orbit

Arianespace orbits two satellites - JCSAT-17 and GEO-KOMPSAT-2B

SpaceX launch grows Starlink constellation to more than 300 satellites

NASA adds return sample scientists to Mars 2020 leadership team

Journey to the center of Mars

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Undergoes Memory Update

Nilosyrtis Mensae - erosion on a large scale

China's Yuanwang-5 sails to Pacific Ocean for space monitoring mission

Construction of China's space station begins with start of LM-5B launch campaign

China Prepares to Launch Unknown Satellite Aboard Long March 7A Rocket

China's Long March-5B carrier rocket arrives at launch site

Kleos Space secures 3M Euro loan agreement with Dubai family office

NASA introduces mission support updates at Marshall Small Business Meeting

Airbus Defence and Space to cut over 2,300 jobs

Understanding the impact of satellite constellations on astronomy

Creating custom light using 2D materials

Time-resolved measurement in a memory device

'Wood' you like to recycle concrete?

Engineers break reciprocity with 'spacetime-varying metamaterials'

Sub-Neptune sized planet validated with the habitable-zone planet finder

Planet on edge of destruction in 18-hour year frenzy

LOFAR pioneers new way to study exoplanet environments

New technologies, strategies expanding search for extraterrestrial life

One Step Closer to the Edge of the Solar System

TRIDENT Mission Concept Selected by NASA's Discovery Program

Findings from Juno Update Jupiter Water Mystery

A close-up of Arrokoth reveals how planetary building blocks were constructed

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.