Data provided by the Bali Tourism Service shows that overall arrivals in Bali for the first quarter of 2002 totaled 296,847 foreign visitors, down 8.36 % from the same period just a year before.
The biggest drop in foreign arrivals to Bali occurred in January, which saw a decrease of 20.8% offsetting the modest improvements recorded for the months of February and March.
Significant Downturn in Australian and Japanese Markets
During the first quarter of 2002, two of Bali's largest inbound markets - Japan and Australia experienced substantial downturns in recorded arrivals, losing 23.35% and 21.64%, respectively.
Higher Airfares The Cause?
Mr. Gede Wiratha, the Chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), commenting in the Indonesian-language daily Bisnis Indonesia, cited as the casue for the downturn the higher fares, in the wake of Ansett Airlines' collapse, by Garuda Indonesia and QANTAS to Bali.
Wiratha bemoaned that fact Bali fares have been increased ex-Australia while at the same time fares to Thailand have been reduced, rendering Bali less competitive in the Australian travel market. The PHRI Chairman claims it is now less expensive to fly to Bangkok than it is to Denpasar from most Australian cities, despite Bali being substantially closer in terms of distance.
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