With the dramatic downturn in U.S. travelers and the expected reduction in long-haul traffic, Bali and Indonesia are looking to expand their Asian-Pacific markets to make up for an expected short fall normally produced by more traditional markets. The U.S. market's continuing reluctance to take to the air in the wake of the U.S. terrorist attacks has been heightened by recent threats of sweeping against U.S. tourists in Central Java and Jakarta.
As regards the markets most affected by such threats, the American and Canadian direct arrivals to Bali for 2,000 totaled 98,410 or 6.9% of all direct arrivals. The United Kingdom, America's closest ally in the current conflict with Afghanistan, produced 107,181 direct visitors to Bali in 2000 for a 7.6% market share.
Resigned to the fact that U.S. markets and potentially long-haul European traffic is unlikely to return to their former levels until the expected forthcoming period of heightened military activity by the U.S. and its coalition partners passes, Bali is now looking to the Asian Pacific markets for short and medium term relief.
While some Japanese groups to Bali have cancelled in the last weeks, several Bali hotels report a surge in additional Japanese guests who have diverted to the island after canceling holidays in Hawaii and the continental U.S.. Apparently, efforts to spread the message in the Japanese market that "Bali is safe; Bali is different" are meeting with some success.
According to statements made last week by a senior staff member of the Department of Culture and Tourism, Indonesia is now focusing efforts on increasing domestic tourism and visitors from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and India.
According to Mr. Udin Syaifuddin, a member of the expert staff of the Department of Culture and Tourism, the Government remains optimistic that efforts to reshuffle Indonesia's market segmentation will be successful and that the projected arrival target of 5.4 million people for 2001 will only have to be revised downward by a maximum 20% for a total 5.1 million foreign visitors for the current year.
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