Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry; and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia’s wealthiest regions. About 80% of Bali's economy depends on tourism.The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005. The industry is slowly recovering once again.
Although tourism produces the economy’s largest output, agriculture is still the island’s biggest employer , most notably rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, Coffee arabica and other cash and subsistence crops. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.
The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavors include lemon and other citrus notes.Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana”. According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a Geographical Indication.
Although significant tourism exists in the north, centre and east of the island, the tourist industry is overwhelmingly focused in the south. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs (which were once independent townships) of Legian and Seminyak; the east coast town of Sanur(once the only tourist hub); to the south of the airport is Jimbaran; in the center of the island Ubud; and the newer development of Nusa Dua.
Another increasingly important source of income for Bali is what is called "Congress Tourism" from the frequent international conferences held on the island, especially after the terrorist bombings of 2002; ostensibly to resurrect Bali's damaged tourism industry as well as its tarnished image.
Bali's tourism economy has now recovered from the horrible terrorism incidents. 2008 saw a record number of foreign visitors, just under 2 million. At any one time, 20,000 Australians are expected to be on the island.The American government lifted its travel warnings that year. As of 2009 the Australian government still rates it a 4 danger level (the same as several countries in central Africa) on a scale of 5.
An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry in Bali. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist districts of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are springing up along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis have remained stable.
In the last half of 2008, Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 are forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels).
Bali's tourism brand is Bali Shanti Shanti Shanti.Where Shanti derived from Sanskrit "Shanti" meaning peace.