Bali wedding business plummets due to coronavirus outbreak

By Huang Ge Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/14 1:31:54

Indonesia's Bali Island on January 30, 2016 Photo: VCG

China's wedding industry revenue has dropped since the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak forced many couples to postpone their weddings scheduled during the Chinese Spring Festival. 

Foreign wedding companies in Indonesia's Bali, Japan's Okinawa, and the Maldives that cater to Chinese couples have reported massive losses, according to industry analysts and business insiders on Thursday.

"We just put off our wedding ceremony, which was scheduled in early March in Bali to avoid populated gatherings during this special period. What we care about now is the health condition," said a bride-to-be surnamed Zhou in Beijing to the Global Times.

"My clients that planned to hold their wedding ceremonies in February in Bali have postponed them to the second half of this year due to concerns of the viral epidemic," Lisa Wang, an employee with a Beijing-based wedding planning firm, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

"We held several ceremonies in Bali in January, as it was still normal. But starting from February, since the local government tried to bar arrivals from the Chinese mainland, our business has been halted," Wang said, noting that her company, which handles wedding ceremony services in 54 countries and regions, overtook the business in Bali more than 10 years ago.

Last week, Indonesia banned flights to and from the Chinese mainland to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Wang said she did not have any new contracts inked with local wedding businesses and photography studios in Bali and other foreign destinations like Okinawa and Jeju Island in South Korea from late January to mid-February. 

"In previous years we would receive over 20 orders in January from Chinese couples for wedding photos in our studio, but this year, we haven't received any," said an employee, who preferred to remain anonymous, in Seoul, capital of South Korea, to the Global Times.

The South Korean employee also said Chinese clients had increased the studio's revenue in recent years. "But we lost that at the beginning of this year."

"The impact is great as the domestic industry and foreign wedding reception businesses are suffering from the virus fallout, and many related sectors such as hotels, restaurants, and transportation will also take a toll," said Wu Hao, an industry analyst based in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, told the Global Times. 

Wu also said the situation is likely to continue during the second quarter.

"But as the demand for such services remains, the industry could rebound quickly after the epidemic is controlled," Wu noted.


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