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No Narrowing in the Arrival Gap

Bali by the Numbers: August 2003 Arrivals Show Island Stalled in Efforts to Close Gap in Visitor Arrivals.


(10/6/2003)

Bali Arrival StatisticsAugust 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.



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