January-September 2005 foreign direct arrivals to Bali hit 1,166,758 – an all time record high at the close of the third quarter of any year and 6.7% ahead of the totals for the same period one year before.
As shown on the graphs and statistics presented on balidiscovery.com, September 2005 arrivals tallied in at 162,102 – a massive 14.19% ahead of the September performance for 2004 (141,952), and surpassing by 7.7% the best September for arrivals ever recorded for Bali arrivals in 2002 (150,447).
September's strong performance indicated that Bali was on line to eclipse the record 1.46 million visitors achieved for all of 2004. In fact, with 3 entire months left in the year, it appeared increasingly likely that the remaining gap of 291,155 tourists between current year-to-date performance and last year's record for the year might be surpassed by the end of November, leaving the entire high-season month of December 2005 to hit arrivals marks well in excess of 1.5 million visitors.
However, the Best Laid Plans . . .
The tragic bombing of three Bali night spots on the night of October 1, 2005, as you might expect, represented an abrupt change in Bali's tourism fortunes – at least for the short to medium term. With October's arrival total now estimated to drop in excess of 40% following the attack, hopes of setting a new arrival record in 2005 are dashed. While much will depend on the speed of the current recovery, it appears likely that final arrival totals for 2005 will scale back to a number somewhat below last year's 1.46 million total.
The next installment of Bali by the Numbers will look at January-September's arrival performance over the past five years broken down by selected markets.
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