For the holiday island that typically welcomes millions of international tourists from around the world each year, there is dwindling hope that Bali will ever be the same again.
Prior to COVID, Bali was one of the top overseas destinations for Australians to travel to, with around one million of us lapping up Bintangs and exploring hidden beaches every year.
But now, the island paradise sits in ruins with some resorts completely vacant and the once bustling Denpasar airport now empty with just the rattle of an air conditioner filling the terminal.
In a chilling 30 minute documentary, ABC's Foreign Correspondent program has lifted the lid on how the once booming holiday island has fallen to ruins, and why locals believe the destination will never return to its former glory days.
With 80 per cent of Bali's economy relying on tourism, the pandemic has forced locals to confront the truth that has kept the island afloat for so long — "that its economy is addicted to tourism".
Since the closure of the island's border to foreign tourists, locals have been forced to turn their back on the industry that once provided so much for their economy. Some have moved back to their home village, others have returned to farming seaweed in the waters that were used by tourists for boat tours.
In a nutshell, the devastation of the pandemic, as shown in the documentary, can be witnessed at every turn.
"Walking through the international airport here, a place I have been to many times in my life is just quite surreal," Foreign Correspondent journalist Matt Davis said.
"It's normally bustling with international tourists coming through to the Island of the Gods but today is so quiet I can hear the air conditioner … that's the only sound."
Cok Ace, the Vice Governor of Bali, said that while the island expected around 7 million visitors to pass through Denpasar airport in 2020, no one was prepared for March.
"Many countries imposed lockdowns," he said of the global pandemic announcement in 2020.
"And the number of visitors dropped to zero. No flights coming in to Bali at all. So when the tourism stopped, we all really felt the impact."
While Bali has been through slumps before, mainly the Kuta bombings in 2002 and eruptions of Mount Agung in the years since, locals believe the island will never recover to it's pre-pandemic self.
"It's weird … it's just no one … it's like a ghost town," one local cafe owner said.
"I miss Bali getting busy and traffic … I miss the traffic."
Ten years ago, when Bali's tourism boom expanded from the main island to the smaller Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan islands, their beauty and natural wonder was a secret no more. Tourists flocked ashore in more than 20 boat loads each day, and planted themselves in stunning waterside villas, inside restaurants and along beaches.
But now, just two boats run daily, and lavish pontoons which once saw hundreds of tourists on board daily sit abandoned. And for some, almost completely submerged.
"Nusa Lembongan remained for a long time a bit of a hidden secret, but over the last five years that has changed," local hotel owner Troy Sinclair explained, highlighting that most of the island found work in tourism but have now been impacted as a result of the shutdown.
"We are talking a massive change in volume and in the numbers coming in."
The full ABC documentary The Year Bali Tourism Stopped, Foreign Correspondent can be viewed here