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April Arrival Figures Fodder for Optimists?

Bali by the Numbers: April 2005 Arrival Figures Demonstrate Continuing Improvement in Bali's Tourism Fortunes.

(5/23/2005) The April 2005 direct foreign arrivals figures for Bali are in and continue to portray a picture of improving fortunes for Bali Tourism.

Here's what the numbers say :

Total direct foreign arrivals for April 2005 equaled 116,272 that's an improvement of 4.73% over April 2004 (111,022).

Direct foreign arrivals to Bali over the first four months of 2005 tallied 435,990 a 9.19% increase from the same four months in 2004 (399.284).

Asia-Pacific arrivals of 258,149 represented an improvement of 4% for the first four months of 2005 as compared to the same period one year before (248,228). Despite threats of boycotts in connection with the Shapelle Corby trial, Australian arrivals for April 2005 (20,960) increased 10% month to month and contributed to the 7.9% increase in total Australia arrivals through the first four months of the current year (78,882).

Japanese travelers are coming to Bali in force totaling 98,376 during the first four months of the year 17.8% more than during the same period in 2004.

Taiwanese travelers have dropped a dramatic 35% during the first four months of 2005 (35,559). Industry observers point to lingering tsunami fears and the competing lure of greater access to Mainland China destinations as the underlying cause for the drop in Taiwanese visitors.

South Koreans are on course to soon displace the Taiwanese as Bali's 3rd largest source of visitor. For the first four months of 2005 a total 30,779 South Koreans came to Bali, a 42.7% increase from the 21,569 Koreans who came during the same period in 2004.

ASEAN visitors also improved during the first quarter of 2005 totaling 38.094 up 8.42% from the same period one year before. Malaysia and Singapore, followed by Thailand continue to be the top 3 producers of visitors to Bali from ASEAN.

The Americas comprising all visitors from North and South America increased 23.6% during the first 4 months of 2005 (28,504). This demonstrates growing confidence from these markets but still lag 36% behind the 38,759 visitors from the Americas recorded during the first four months of 2001.

Similarly, Europeans are slowly making up for lost ground in terms of Bali arrivals. 20.9% more Europeans (109,026) visited Bali January-April 2005 than in the same four months of 2004. Reality check: 2005 figures still lag 19.94% percent behind 2001 arrivals from Europe.

U.K. travelers jumped 36.4% for the first 4 months of 2005 (23,003), but still down 36.1% from the 36,002 U.K. visitors recorded in 2001.

German arrival figures also improved, up 16.4% at 23,228 for January-April 2005, but down 11.03% from the same period in 2001.

The Dutch market increased 21.3% for the first four months of 2005 (11,413), but still 11.12% behind the totals recorded in 2001.

French tourists also improved 20.8% for January-April 2005 (12,744) a total that is down 9% from the same four months in 2001.

The Big Picture

Bali's overall arrivals remain strong, fueling optimism that year end totals will be something near the ambitious 1.7 million target set for the island by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The four big engines of Bali tourism remain Japan, Australia, Taiwan and South Korean constituting 55.9% of all Bali arrivals.

Both the Americas and Europe are turning in much stronger arrival performances as compared to last year but are still failing to produce the kind of numbers they posted just 4-5 years ago.