Figures provided by the Provincial office of Tourism, covering the first 6 months of 2002, provide insights into a tourism industry still suffering from the aftereffects of the events of September 11 and the lingering economic crisis in many traditional source countries for visitors to Bali.
During the first half of the year, total direct foreign arrivals were down -4.29% at 651,654. However, indications that tourism may be on the road to recovery are found in the fact that by May and June arrivals had manage to turn the corner, surpassing arrivals for the same months in 2001, by +7.4% and +1.4% respectively.
Asia-Pacific arrivals mirrored the patterns in aggregate arrivals, down -4.33% for the first half of the year at 367,758. The island's number one source of visitors decreased 5.47%, totaling 139,780 visitors and reflecting a weaker Yen and domestic economic problems in Japan. All is not lost, however, with Japanese visitors showing a dramatic turn around starting in May and June.
Australia, traditionally the 2nd largest source of visitors to Bali, decreased -22.57% standing at 90,817 for the first half of the year on the heels of reduced capacity following from the bankruptcy of Ansett Airlines and higher air fares and ticket taxes ex Australia.
Arrivals from the 9 countries that comprise the Association of South East Asian Nations demonstrate that short-haul traffic remains buoyant, with ASEAN arrivals increasing +25.40%, totaling 37,044. The Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore all posted strong visitor totals improvement while Thailand visitors backtracked during the first half of the year.
American visitors, frightened by negative travel advisories posted by their Department of State, continued to stay away from Indonesia and Bali. Total U.S. arrivals of 27,289 were down -30.82% for the first half of 2002. Canadian visitors decreased 14.08% but, unlike their southern neighbors, showed signs of turnaround in May and June.
Europeans visitors to Bali decreased only slightly at 2.73% in the first half of the year, totaling 199,488. Leading the decline were the U.K. and Swiss markets, decreasing 9.65% and 22.43% respectively. Among the bright notes from Europe, the resolution of the East Timor political situation has apparently rekindled a surge in Portuguese visitors to Bali.
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