Since the 1970s when visitors started coming to Bali en masse, the Balinese economy has come to rely much more on tourism than on agriculture. Although the economy suffered enormously after the terrorist bombings in 2002 and 2005, record numbers are currently visiting the island.

If anything Ubud has as many visitors as its small-town infrastructure will allow; there are frequent problems with traffic, garbage disposal and other practicalities which have a lot of locals urgently seeking solutions.

There is no heavy industry in Bali. Rice agriculture is still widely practised, but this is diminishing as the town grows, the value of the land rises and the paddies are increasingly given over to hotels and villas. Coffee, chillies, soy beans, cocoa, and a wide range of fruits and vegetables grow well in the fertile soil and humid climate.

The production of handicrafts is still thriving – textiles, clothing, carving and silver-smithing in particular are popular in the Ubud area.