Two local holidays, the celebration of the Prophet Muhammad's Birthday on Thursday, May 15th, and the Buddhist Holiday of Waisak on Friday, May 16th, will create a "long weekend" and provide a boost in domestic travel to Bali during the entire week of May 11th. The day used officially to observe the Prophet's birthday was shifted forward one day by the government to create a long weekend and encourage domestic travel.
The sudden surge in domestic travel has placed added strains on the domestic air system, with many domestic holiday makers complaining they are unable to obtain seats to and from Bali over this period.
The higher occupancies will be welcomed by local hotel operators hard hit by lower occupancies accompanying the worldwide SARS scare. Many major hotels on the island were reporting occupancy figures below 20% in the week just prior to the expected holiday surge.
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