PT Angkasa Pura II, the state-owned company that manages 10 airports including the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport of Jakarta, reports that domestic passengers handled in the first half of 2001 totaled 3,2 million, an increase of 25.32% over the same period one year before. Moreover, the total domestic passengers handled for the entire year of 2000 at the Country's main airport demonstrated an increase of 25% over those processed through the flight center in 1999.
Such figures demonstrate that Indonesian domestic air transportation is clearly on the upswing, regaining health from the economic collapse of 2 years ago. This recovery is further aided by the appearance of a number of new domestic carriers offering better service and better prices to the Indonesian public.
Such developments can only bode well for the Bali tourism industry which saw its domestic market almost disappear on the heels of the national economic and political collapse of 1998. Although receiving little exposure in official tourism statistics, the domestic market has been traditionally one of Bali's most important inbound "producers". In fact, the island's "peak" seasons were usually defined by the timing of national school and religious holidays when middle and upper-class Indonesians would flock to Bali.
The current political optimism in concert with the strengthening Rupiah should further speed the return of the Indonesian customer to Bali's hotels and tourist attractions.
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