Foreign direct arrival figures released for January 2004 demonstrate that the Asia-Pacific market may be slowly regaining ground while other major inbound markets remain extremely stagnant.
Total arrivals for January 2004 totaled 104,062 an encouraging 71% improvement over the still-traumatized post-Bali-bombing total of 60,836 recorded in January 2003. Any desire to celebrate these numbers, however, is tempered against a longer historical perspective; Bali's overall direct tourist arrivals for January 2004 were at levels similar to those achieved 5 years ago in 1999.
Asia-Pacific Staging a Comeback
The January figures do provide an indication that the important Asia-Pacific market may be regaining its bearings and making a comeback for Bali increasing 135% month-to-month.
Australian travelers were up 276% in January as compared to a year earlier totaling 18,658 numbers approximating arrivals achieved in 2001. Equally encouraging, the Japanese also snapped back regaining ground lost since 2000 by increasing 93% in January as compared to a year earlier, totaling 19,861 visitors. The Taiwanese market similarly showed restored vigor increasing 93% to 17,206 visitors, matching arrival totals achieved by Taiwan in 2002. Meanwhile, the much ballyhooed Mainland Chinese market suddenly showed promise in January tallying in at 3,915 visitors, breaking into 4 digit territory for the first time in January.
ASEAN Business Drops
ASEAN arrivals sputtered in January, dropping 6.97% overall as compared to the same month one year before. The largest decline was in the Singapore market- down 34.84% at 3,333 visitors, possibly reflecting the lack of very special price offers available to Bali last year ex-Singapore. One bright spot was provided by Malaysia which posted a 54.39% improvement over last year at 3,344 visitors managing at the same time to displace Singapore as ASEAN's top producer to Bali for January.
The Americas A 10-Year Retreat
Burdened by continued travel advisories the America's managed to improve 13.79% in January, totaling 4,934. Signs of renewed interest in spite of cautionary advisories was seen from the U.S. and Canadian markets which improved 25.01% and 19.92% respectively in January as compared to one year before.
Again, a longer historical view of the America's market to Bali brings little cause for joy with arrivals operating at levels reminiscent of totals achieved more than 10 years earlier in 1993.
Europe Still in the Doldrums
Overall European arrival figures improved 21.97% in January as compared to the same month one year before. But seen from a longer perspective Europe is still functioning at overall levels reflective of a decade earlier in 1993.
Major inbound producers from the European market, such as the United Kingdom and Germany, showed little signs of rebounding from the low levels of January 2003.
One bright note was provided by Russia, which rose 510.71% in January posting 2,907 visitors, many of whom traveled to Bali on special private air charters.
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