Total direct foreign arrivals for June of 131,707 visitors represent a new all-time record for June, surpassing the previous high of 130,563 established in 2002. Growth in arrivals flowed mainly from massive gains in arrival totals from the Asia-Pacific region and ASEAN regions, while Europe and the Americas still lack the momentum of just three years ago as they labored under the negative pressure of travel warnings and recently introduced visa restrictions.
The First 6 Months of the Year
Overall arrivals for the first half of 2004 totaled 648,182 foreign visitors, a 64.06% improvement over the same period in 2003 which was sorely depressed in the period immediately following the Bali bombing in late 2002. Despite the strong gains overall arrivals for the latest 6 months, performance still lagged 4.8% behind the 680,884 visitors logged in the same period of 2001.
Australia and Taiwan Lead Asia-Pacific Arrivals
Total arrivals for the Asia-Pacific region also set a new record for the period January-June 2004 with 410,838 arrivals. However, when measured against the first six months of 2001 Ė a period then still free of the negative impacts of 9-11 and the Bali bombing Ė the 2004 figures still trail 6.44% behind that year's first-half visitors arrivals total of 384,387.
Australian arrivals staged a strong comeback totaling 119,740 arrivals for the first six months of this year, reflecting the strong demand from that market and setting a new Australian record for the first half of any year. Both Japan and Taiwan turned in strong performance for the period, but, again, still failed to equal arrivals from the stasis year of 2001.
ASEAN Visitors Rule the Roost
Mirroring improving economies across the region and the advent of discount carriers, visitors from ASEAN totaled 59,081 for the first six month of 2004, reflecting a new record for travelers from that region. Comparing 2004 to 2001, ASEAN marked a near 100% increase in arrivals over the past 3 years.
America Ė Ever So Slowly
Unimpressed with travel advisories and visa fees, the Americas are making a sluggish return to Bali, totaling 35,595 for the first half of 2004, a figure still far behind the same period in 2001 (57,053).
Europe Ė Failing to Materialize
Although improved over post bombing 2003, arrivals from Europe for the first 6 months of 2004 are showing little sign of returning to more normal totals, such as those achieved in 2001. European arrivals tallied 138,076 - still down 32.68% from the 2001 figure for the same period (205,092).
Major tourist producing countries in Europe have failed across the board to regain the lost splendor of arrivals achieved just 3 years before in 2001: U.K. arrivals are down 54.45% at 25,476 when compared to 2001; Germany is down 24.19% (31,195); Italy is down 49.81% (6,258); The Netherlands down 23.41% (15,021); and France down 19% (16,645).
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