In February 2003 a total of 67,469 direct foreign arrivals passed through Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport, a figure 30% down from February of 2002 and 32.4% down from average February arrivals for the three years' 2000-2002.
January 2003 figures reflected a similar trend, down 30% from the same month a year before and 36.7% down for the average arrivals for January 2000-2002.
Bearing in mind that last year's figures for January and February arrivals were still suffering the ill-effects of passengers slumps after the 9-11 attacks, comparing current figures with the average for the same month over a three year period (2001-2002) may be more indicative of travel trends than merely comparing 2003 against 2002.
The February direct foreign arrivals to Bali were down 26.3% from the same month a year before. Australian arrivals were down 53.8% with only 5,117 Australians visiting Bali in February 2002. Japanese arrivals suffered a decline of 23.3%, while Taiwan was down 23%.
Reflecting the support of special Bali programs launched by Singapore Airlines and Malaysian Airlines, arrivals from ASEAN increased by 30.8% in February. Correspondingly, arrivals for Singapore increased by 74.7% and Malaysia by 23.4% for February 2003 as compared to February 2002.
Arrivals from the America's dropped 48.1% in February, totaling only 3,530 visitors.
European arrivals in February were equally dismal, down 42.5% in February clocking in with only 18,073 visitors. Leading the Europeans in declining number of visitors to Bali in February were the United Kingdom (down 69.2%) and Germany (down 38.2%).
The March figures, when announced, are expected to reflect a further weakening in arrivals fed by war and viral (SARS) fears. Those results may well demonstrate that the recovery in Bali arrivals following bombing attacks of October 2002 is slower in coming than the very rapid revivial experienced by the island after the the 9-11 tragedy of 2001.
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