Strategic Guide to Bali’s Airbnb Market for Potential Investors

img Yosefine BukitVista | November 13, 2023

Hi, I’m Yosefine, Human Resources intern at Bukit Vista, a company renowned for managing a diverse range of properties, including luxury villas, unique vacation homes, and guesthouses. Our innovative and data-driven approach is dedicated to enhancing revenue for property owners. Drawing from Bukit Vista’s extensive experience in property management, this article is crafted to provide potential investors with a comprehensive understanding of Bali’s Airbnb rental market, focusing on the intricacies and considerations crucial for profitable investments​​​​.

Understanding the Market Dynamics

The Airbnb market in Bali, known for its appeal to travelers seeking spacious accommodations, has witnessed significant shifts since 2019. From 2009 to 2019, the market saw a robust growth in property value driven by increasing tourism and foreign investment, especially in areas like Seminyak, Canggu, and Ubud. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic introduced challenges, causing a dip in property prices and a market slowdown. Despite this, with the easing of travel restrictions, the market has shown resilience, with property transactions and values stabilizing and growing. Investment in Bali’s property market typically ranges from $100,000 to $300,000 USD, and the Return on Investment (ROI) is significantly influenced by factors such as location, property type, market trends, the global economic situation, and recent changes in Indonesian property law that have made foreign ownership more accessible. Properties in tourist hotspots are particularly poised for higher returns due to consistent demand.

Legal Considerations for Non-Resident Investors

In Indonesia, Airbnb is categorized as a short-term accommodation business, with significant legal implications for non-residents. Understanding local zoning laws is essential before investing to ensure property eligibility for short-term rentals. Non-residents can own villas, but converting them into Airbnb businesses requires navigating Indonesia’s legal landscape, where only Indonesian landowners can obtain licenses for short-term property rentals. Consequently, non-resident investors often form agreements with local landowners or hire management companies. Bali’s zoning laws, dividing the island into areas like Agricultural, Residential, Commercial, Tourism, and Mixed Commercial & Residential Land, are key to determining suitable locations for tourist accommodations, with ‘Pink zones’ (Tourism Land) being most favorable. Additionally, a strategic approach to selecting profitable locations involves analyzing Airbnb reviews, where areas with high numbers of positive reviews, marked by large green bubbles on the review map, are typically more desirable investment locations.

Land Zoning in Bali

The Complexity of Opening an Airbnb Business in Bali

Opening an Airbnb business in Bali, particularly for foreigners, involves navigating a complex and risky landscape, where hiring a property manager or a management company is often a necessary solution. Acquiring a property license is a legal necessity for hosting in Bali, emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive check of the property’s zoning and compliance with local regulations. Investors need to consult various departments, like the Agrarian Department, to grasp the nuances of local rules, including zoning restrictions and environmental considerations, especially considering Bali’s tropical climate and the condition of properties, often built with wood. While lower initial land costs may be tempting, long-term property maintenance implications should not be overlooked.

Deciphering ROI

In terms of real estate investment, understanding the Return on Investment (ROI) from specific areas in Bali is crucial. Key factors influencing ROI include land price, operational costs, villa prices, and occupancy rates. Areas with high demand and satisfaction, indicated by green bubbles on the review map, are typically more profitable investment locations. Investors can choose between purchasing ready-to-rent properties or developing their own. Purchasing existing properties offers a quicker ROI, but self-developing can be more cost-effective in the long run. The choice between buying and developing hinges on the investor’s goals and available resources, each approach having its unique benefits.

Buying vs. Developing

In building a profitable Airbnb business in Bali, ensuring the quality and longevity of construction is critical. Investors are advised to avoid using cheap materials to prevent higher maintenance costs and reduced property profitability. The construction cost in Bali varies depending on materials, terrain, and location, making it essential to trust established developers and conduct thorough research for informed decision-making. When it comes to investment options, investors can choose between buying a ready-to-rent property, which offers quicker ROI, or developing a property themselves, which, while initially more demanding, can prove to be more cost-effective in the long run. Regardless of the approach, Bali offers significant long-term investment opportunities, with a potential for high ROI, making it an attractive market for both buying and developing properties.


Investing in Bali’s Airbnb market demands careful consideration of a range of factors, including market dynamics, legal regulations, construction quality, and investment strategies. For those prepared to navigate these complexities, Bali presents promising opportunities for robust returns on investment. As this market continues to evolve, it’s crucial for investors to stay informed and proactive in their decision-making processes. This approach is key to harnessing the potential of Bali’s vibrant and dynamic real estate landscape, where careful planning and strategic investment can lead to successful and profitable ventures. If you’re ready to explore investment opportunities in Bali, partner with Bukit Vista, and discover a path to thriving ventures, learn more on our property investment page.

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