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On the Mend or More Pain Ahead?

Bali by the Numbers: October 2005 Arrivals Down 36.83% with U.S. and European Arrivals Less Affected by October 1st Attacks.


October 2005 foreign direct arrivals to Bali sunk to 81,109 – a decline of 36.83% against the near-record-breaking October recorded one year before in 2004 (128,399).

With total arrivals almost an exact match for another bomb-affected October in 2002 when foreign arrivals were 81,100 – a convincing argument can still be made that the fall out from the latest tourist attack was much less severe than the downtuwn experienced just three years before. Bearing in mind that the 2002 bombing occurred on the 12th of October with declining arrival really only affecting the last half of the month, by comparison the most recent terror attack took place on the 1st of October meaning this year's decline was spread over a period twice as long in duration as its predecessor 3 years before to the month. In other words, the decline in arrivals in 2002 was arguably nearly twice as steep as the most recent October experience.

November Critical

All eyes will be on November 2005's arrivals figures which will give a much firmer indication as to whether the current slump in business has actually bottomed out and on the mend, or, instead, is heading into deeper negative territory. In 2002 the November following the October 12th attack represented one of the worst months in recent memory in terms of foreign tourist arrivals with only 31,497 visitors – down 57% from the same month one year before in 2001.

The Benchmark is -36.83%

The performance benchmark for November 2005 will be whether or not arrivals are anything better than a decline of -36.83%. If Bali scores better than that it will indicate tourism arrivals are on the mend; a score of anything worse than -36.83% will make it reasonable to conclude the island's tourism industry continue to sink and is still stuck in a pre-recovery stage.

Results by Regions

Somewhat surprisingly, in the fallout following the October 1st bombings the European and American markets fared markedly better than Bali's short and medium-haul source markets in the Asia Pacific.

ASIA – PACIFIC - Overall, the Asian Pacific market declined 46.11% in October 2005 (44,569) as compared to the same month in 2004 (82,703). Leading the exodus out of town from the Asia-Pacific were the Australian who declined 50.19%, followed closely by the Japanese down 48.26%. Meanwhile, the South Korean market dropped 46.75% while the Taiwanese sank 37.40%.

ASEAN - Similarly, the ASEAN market plummeted 51.98% for October 2005 (4,618) as compared to October 2004 (9,617). Malaysians dropped 56.91% month on month from one year before while the Singaporeans declined 42.63%.

THE AMERICAS - The America’s only declined 22.26% in October 2005 (4,503) as compared to October 2004 (4,530). Within that grouping of all foreign arrivals from North and South America the U.S.A. for October 2005 declined only 15.97% month on month.

EUROPE - Showing even more courage in the face of adversity was the European market which declined only 9.64% overall in October 2005 (26,994) as compared to October 2004 (29.875). In fact, three major European markets even managed to post month-on-month increases in October 2005 despite the distraction of the October 1st bombing. The Netherlands posted an improvement of 34.81% in October 2005 against one year before with Switzerland up 9.01% and France improving 5.74%. Declines in arrivals ex Europe were less dramatic than from Asia: Italy’s October arrivals declined 26.90%; Germany dipped 19.99%; and the U.K. dropped only 14.41%.

2005 Still A Record Breaker

Total direct foreign arrivals January-October 2005 totaled 1,247,867 - a record breaking year-to-date performance for Bali and still 2.1% ahead of last year’s totals for the same period, despite the most recent terror attack. In terms of whether or not 2005 will remain an aggregate record-breaker for arrivals very much depends on how November 2005 performs. If arrivals in November can achieve anything better than a 23.15% percent decline from the November 2004 totals, the current year will still remain in positive territory for overall arrival's performance.

Shown on is a month-by-month summary of January-October arrivals 2000 – 2005.

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