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A Deepening Crisis

Bali by the Numbers: November Arrival Figures Show Arrival Crisis Continues, But Perhaps Less Severe than 2002 Post-Bombing Period.

(12/9/2005) 

Foreign direct arrival figures just released for November 2005 show 62,705 overseas travelers arrived in Bali during the month, a figure down -43.26% from the November 2004 arrivals (110,506).

An initial review of the November 2005 arrivals suggest the following:

The Arrival Crisis May be Deepening: In the month immediately following the October 1, 2005 terror attack arrivals for October 2005 were down 36.83% as compared to the same month one year before. With November 2005 arrivals down -43.26% on a month-to-month basis, these new figures suggest that the current slump may be worsening with no evidence of a recovery yet in sight.

Downturn in Business Less Severe Than 2002: When comparing November 2002 with November 2005 arrivals two somewhat cheering facts emerge. First, the downturn in business this time round is less acute; down only -43.26% in month immediately after the latest bombing as compared to a -56.74% slide in the November after the October 12, 2002 attack. Secondly, although post-bombing business is down in November 2005, total tourist numbers are, nonetheless, an impressive 189% ahead of totals achieved in November 2002.

Asian Pacific Arrivals - A Mixed Bag: In terms of total Asian-Pacific arrivals, the negative gap in business narrowed somewhat in November 2005, improving slightly from a downturn of -46.11% in October to only -33.56% in November 2005. Major Asian-Pacific inbound markets Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan - comprising Bali's top 4 main source markets, all continued their southward slide in November suggesting a worrisome growing skittishness in the region as regards travel to Bali. The Australian market was down -54.81% adding a further-4.19% drop from the October figures; Japan's negative gap widened to -61.23% in November, substantially worse than October's downturn (-48.26%); South Korean visitors dipped -49.50% for November, worsening from the -46.75% decline booked in October; and Taiwan's November decline was a massive -62.83% heading further south from the -37.40% decline recorded in October.

ASEAN on the Mend? Indications from the November 2005 arrivals is that the worse may be over as regard ASEAN arrivals. November overall arrivals from all ASEAN countries were down -39.87%, an improvement over the -51.98% decline recorded in October, the month immediately after the latest bombing. Similarly, Malaysia and Singapore began to claw their way back, down only -37.47% and -44.12% respectively in November.

The Americas Holding Steady Travelers from the Americas demonstrated continuing resilience in November, down a relatively modest -21.36%, a slight improvement over October's downturn (-22.26%).

Europeans Taking Terrorism in Stride? November's arrival figures show a maturing attitude to acts of terror by European travelers, down overall only -13.43% in November 2005 as compared to the same month in 2004. While slightly higher than the even more modest -9.64% decline recorded in October, the Europeans are showing an amazing degree of fortitude when compared to their reactions in the post-bombing November in 2002 when arrivals from that market dipped -59.02%. Both the Dutch (1.59%) and French (9.9%) markets made continued gains in arrivals in November 2005. Meanwhile the Swiss (-15.40%), Italian (-47.89%), German (-24.37%), and U.K. (-11.76%) all declined in November. With the exception of the relatively miniscule Italian inbound market, the declines among Europeans were much less pronounced than Bali's closer to home markets in the Asia-Pacific.