The Head of the Tourism Office for the City of Denpasar, Putu Budiasa, has released figures demonstrating dramatic drops in visits by foreigners to many of Bali's public tourist sites:
• Taman Budaya visitors plummeted from 16,874 in 2002 to only 4,623 in 2003.
• Le Mayeur Museum in Sanur went from 2,602 visitors in 2003 to 1,111 the following year.
• Museum Bali - the island's main repository for cultural, historical and ethnographic artifacts, recorded 14.651 visitors in 2002, dropping to 10,914 in 2003.
• Pasar Kumbasari traditional market experienced a drop from 40,445 foreign visitors in 2002 to only 6,638 in 2003.
According to Budiasa in comments made to the Indonesian language Bali Post, his office is attempting to encourage local tour operators to include the Bali Museum in all city tour programs, but was encountering resistance, perhaps due to the lack of financial incentives for local operators to add public-funded tourism sites to their itineraries.
Numbers Improving to Tanah Lot
Visitor numbers were seen to be improving at Pura Tanah Lot for the first quarter of 2004.
January domestic and foreign visitors to the much-photographed temple on Bali's western shore totaled 94,193, dropping to 46,541 in February, and reducing further to 38,760 during the month of March.
Despite the declines in February and March, January's strong performance and interim figures for April suggest visitor numbers may be making a comeback at the Tabanan religious shrine complex.
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