Figures are now available covering arrivals through July 2004 and providing a glimpse of the effects of the first six months of the Visa On Arrival (VOA) policy introduced on February 01, 2004.
January through July arrivals for 2004 totaled 796,299, improving 60.79% over the same period one year earlier. Impressive improvement in arrivals when compared to a largely disastrous 2003, the strong performance of the current year still fails to match up arrivals for the corresponding period in 2002 (798,687) and 2001 (819,034)
Still, let's give 2004's performance its due: July's total direct foreign arrivals for Bali hit 148,177 Ė the best performance ever for any July in the island's history.
Asia Pacific Arrivals
Reflecting Bali's shift from a long-haul to regional destination, the entire Asia-Pacific region is demonstrating a strong rebound, with some markets setting new standards of Bali arrivals. The Asia-Pacific (excluding ASEAN) arrivals for the first seven months of 2004 improved 84.12% over 2003. Japan led the rebound improving 105.68% (163,925) for the year to date, but still failing to regain the lost glory of earlier years (2001 = 178,842).
Emerging as a new and important market for Bali is South Korea with 45,576 arrivals for January-July 2004, up 138% from totals just 4 years before in 2001.
Meanwhile, Taiwan continues to prove itself a steadfast source of visitors to Bali, largely impervious to security and other concerns. At 112,044 arrivals for the first seven months of 2004, Taiwan is Bali's third largest source market for visitors, leaving the much-touted but still underperforming PRC in the dust with a total of only 12,105 visitors for the same period.
Coming back with a vengeance are Australian tourists, Bali's second most important source market, clocking in with 147,872 for the first seven months of 2004. This record-setting performance will remain strong but with limits to further upward growth imposed by a severe lack of capacity among the airlines operating from Australia to Bali.
The 10-country ASEAN alliance managed to continue its record of chalking up yearly growth, up 22.63% from the first seven months of 2003. Dominating ASEAN arrivals for the period were Malaysia (27,594) and Singapore (24,413).
Fettered by lingering travel warnings, U.S. arrivals remain sluggish during the first seven months of 2004 at 28,840, showing some improvement over 2003, but still 38.61% down from the 46,978 U.S. citizens who came to Bali in the same period in 2001.
Although 31.1% more Europeans visited Bali during January-July 2004 than one year before, current figures still lag 31.69% behind the same period in 2001 showing the lingering effects of restrictive visa policies and negative travel warnings.
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