August foreign direct arrival figures at Bali's Ngurah Rai International airport totaled 117,600, a figure lagging 26.7% behind the same month a year before when 160,420 foreign visitors came to the island.
Concerning to tourism observers is how these figures demonstrate a stalled performance in terms of regaining lost ground following the terrorist attack of last October. August 2003's gap of 26.7% when compare to August of 2002 is slightly worse than a July 2003 versus July 2002 gap of 23.94%. Having said that, things could be worse with June 2003 figures down 34.36% and May lagging by a staggering 59.88%, due to the SARS panic.
While business continues to slowly rebuild, those who count the number point with concern to several areas:
• The shift in composition of foreign arrivals with a growing prominence of Asian visitors with shorter lengths of stay than the U.S. and Europeans they are supplanting. In such a situation, any shortfall in arrivals translates into an even more disproportional shortfall in room night production which drives the island's hotel industry.
• The imminent introduction of changes in the tourist visa laws requiring visitors to purchase a visa before entering the country is generally seen as likely to even further depress arrival numbers.
Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced
if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.