Bali's traditional Idul Fitri Holidays will put the entire national transportation system under heavy strain for a period stretching approximately from September 14 Ė 27, 2009 while Indonesia's predominantly Islamic population travel home for the traditional holiday spent with family and friends.
And while Bali is justifiably celebrated as a Hindu enclave in an otherwise Islamic nation, the island, too, also experiences peak travel activity as many Moslem residents travel back to their home islands while tens of thousands of other Indonesians take advantage of the extended holiday period by traveling to Bali for a beach holiday.
Bali's already busy Ngurah Rai International Airport experiences a near-doubling of flight operations during the holiday as airlines add flights to keep up with demand. Extra flights and larger capacity aircraft are in operation between Bali and a number of major cities in Indonesia, such as Jakarta, Bandung (West Java) and Surabaya (East Java). To keep up with demand Garuda Indonesia has added 27 flights while AirAsia, Merpati and Mandala have also added flights. Regional carries have also increased seat capacity between Bali and Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
Bali's westernmost seaport of Gilimanuk, connecting the island to East Java, recorded as many as 2,900 vehicles making the crossing each day on Monday, September 9, 2009. Port officials expect that figure to increase to 15,000 vehicles per day in the 3-4 day period just prior to September 20th. Reports of long lines of vehicles stretching 3-5 kilometers from the port's entrance, waiting to board the ferry at Gilimanuk and, to a lesser degree, waiting lines at the Port of Padang Bai, are being reported by domestic holidaymakers. To help reduce waiting time, ferry operators have added two additional ships to the standard complement of 24 ferries plying between Gilimanuk and Katapang.
While September is traditionally a high season in Bali, the convergence of the Idul Fitri Holidays with high season in Bali have left many people looking for rooms in Bali in late September, unable to find accommodation in popular tourist areas of the island where many hotels are fully booked.
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