International travel warnings cautioning against travel to Indonesia, a looming threat of war in Iraq, and a lackluster international economy are apparently all contributing to a slowdown of return to normalcy for Bali tourism in the wake of the October 12th terror attack on Bali.
Direct Arrivals Down for January
Total direct foreign arrivals for January 2003 totaled 60,836, a figure down 30% from the total for January 2002. Bearing in mind that January 2002's figures still bore the ill-effects of the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks, it may be more indicative to compare the January 2003 direct arrivals to Bali with the average for the same month 1999-2001; a methodology that shows a decline in arrivals for January 2003 of 39.92%.
While the post-911 recovery was very steep, the most recent figures for January suggest a much longer and prolonged recovery lies in store for Bali. Instead of contributing to an upward slope in the graph of arrivals, January 2003's direct arrival figures at 60,836, in fact, slid downward from the December 2002 total of 63,393.
January 2002 versus January 2003
With January figures down either 30% or 39.92%, depending on which method of comparison you employ, a closer look at the numbers for January 2003 in terms of national origin tells a story about which markets Bali must look to in order to regain its lost tourism markets.
The entire Asian-Pacific market was down 43% in January 2003 versus January 2002. Australia was the worst affected, falling 60%, followed by Taiwan declining 48%, and Japan down 32%.
Europe followed the declining pattern, down an average 30% for January 2003 from the same month a year before.
The America's decline was relatively more modest, down only 19% for January 2003 as compared to January 2002.
The one bright spot in the statistical picture was provided by ASEAN which improved 158% in January 2003 over January 2002. Reflecting the impact of outstanding package price offers by Singapore Airlines, the arrivals from the Republic of Singapore were up a startling 315% in January 2003 over just a year before. Malaysia also booked an impressive improvement of 133%.
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