After a long dry spell during which many hotels experienced occupancy rates hovering in the single-digits or mid-teens, the advent of the Indonesian school holidays have brought sorely needed guest to the island's 129 star-rated hotels.
While signs exists that the international travel market is slowly rebuilding, Indonesians are taking advantage of low domestic air fares from start-up carriers and Rupiah denominated hotel rates, available exclusively to local citizens and residents, to holiday in Bali. Numerous and welcome, the discounted domestic market is providing a "bridging business" and much needed cash to local businesses until foreign markets regain some of their former strength.
Those who don't fly to Bali, drive. Streets are full of cars with out-of-province license plates. These vehicles, driven by perpetually confused patresfamilias, crawl Bali's many streets, flocking to fabled Kuta beach to view the sunset where they bring a daily late afternoon traffic jam.
The Chairman of the Badung Regency branch of the Bali Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Nyoman Rutha Ady, commented in the local press that many hotels are now averaging occupancy rates of 65%, with some properties reporting full houses. He also estimated that the mix of domestic to foreign visitors to the island at the present time is 75:25.
The Indonesian school holiday rush is expected to last until the third week of July.
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