A detailed breakdown of direct foreign arrivals to Bali by residency shows that Bali set a new record of 1,222,278 foreign visitors during the first ten months of 2004 – a new all-time record for the island and arguable proof that the island has largely managed to shake off the lingering effects of the 2002 bomb attack.
Quantity Purchased at the Cost of Quality
And while there is much to rejoice over in the latest arrival figures, there are other conclusions that can be drawn by a closer look at the numbers.
• Overall arrivals improved a dramatic 49.98% during the first 10 months of 2004, as compared to the same period in 2003.
• Bali's growth in arrivals is overwhelmingly from Asia-Pacific source countries meaning that while aggregate numbers may be growing, Bali may actually be experiencing a shortfall in tourist nights as long-staying, high-spending European and American visitors are being displaced by shorter stays by less free-spending Asian travelers.
• The top four tourist generating markets for Bali are all in the Asia-Pacific region ranked, in order of importance, as Japan, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea. Potentially concerning and suggesting a future vulnerability due to an overall lack of market diversity, these same four countries constitute 59.7% of all Bali's foreign arrivals.
• Bali has once again resumed its position as Australia's most preferred overseas destination, setting unequalled new totals in Bali visitors at 229,310 visitors for the January-October period, up 107.26% from just a year before.
• Japanese visitors are showing a strong re-emergence, improving 86.79% for the year, although still slightly behind totals for 2001.
• Malaysia – demonstrating the old adage that "it's all about air access" – now dominates ASEAN arrivals to Bali, growing a staggering 227% since 2001.
• The America's – perhaps still dissuaded by negative travel warnings and visa fees – are undergoing a sluggish recovery. North and South American visitors improved 36.11% for the first ten months of 2004, but still lags 30.86% behind the same period in 2001.
• Similarly, Europe is staging a somewhat lethargic come back in Bali's arrivals, up 27.49% from just a year before, but still 19.76% behind totals achieved in 2001.
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