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2005 in Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

Bali by the Numbers: October 1 2005 Bombing Denies Bali a Record Year for Foreign Tourist Arrivals.

(1/15/2006) Total foreign direct arrivals for 2005 have just been released showing that Bali ended 2005 with 1,386,499 foreign visitors, a decline of 4.92% from the record-breaking performance of 2004 when 1.46 million foreign visitors came to the Island. The relatively small 4.92% decline in arrivals for the entire year, however, belies the calamitous impact of the October 1, 2005 terrorist bombing that resulted in a 39.71% drop in foreign visitors for the last quarter (Oct.-Dec.) of 2005 as compared to the same period one year before.

A Tale of Two Bombings

As shown on the chart presented on balidiscovery.com comparing 2002 and 2005 - two separate years compelled to bear the brunt of an October terrorist attack, both the levels of business and the sudden declines in arrivals after each bombing attack largely mirrored each other. In fact, total foreign arrival results for 2005 and 2002 vary by only 100,000, with 2005 turning in a performance that was a scant 7.8% better than the earlier bomb-scarred year.

Perhaps most worthy of note, while the 2002 decline in business was deeper than 2005, comparisons for December in both years suggest a somewhat stronger pace of recovery after the first bombing in 2002. Whether or not that trend continues into the early months of 2006 will be keenly watched and determine the length and severity of the current downturn in business.



Bali's Seasonality

Sometimes overlooked but demonstrated in another chart on balidiscovery.com is that even without the effects of the October 2002 and 2005 bombings, October marks the beginning of the Island's "shoulder season" the seasonal dowturn in foreign tourist arrivals (with the exception of the Christmas/New Year's holidays) that persists until the second quarter of the following year.



Arrivals by Source Markets

The third chart shown on balidiscovery.com tracks the changes in market share for the 6 years 2000-2005.

Comparing 2000 to 2005, there is a marked shift in Bali's market mix:

Asia Pacific - The Asia Pacific market share which also includes the Island's 4 main source markets of Japan, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea increased from a 56.46% share in 2000 to 59.18% in 2005. In fact, this region peaked in market share in 2004, claiming 63.5% of all arrivals to Bali.

ASEAN - During the five periods from 2000 to 2005 ASEAN's market share almost tripled, becoming 8.59% of all arrivals in 2005. Most of this growth came from Malaysia and Singapore and reflects the new markets created by the entrance of discount airlines, such as Air Asia, onto the regional travel scene.

The Americas - Although showing signs of slow recovery, foreign visitors from the Americas now represent only 5.31`% of all Bali arrivals, down from a 7.77% market share in 2000.

Europe - Similarly, still in the process of making a gradual comeback, European travelers to Bali now represent 26.14% of all arrivals, down from the 30.9% share enjoyed in 2000. Most encouraging is the rapid increase in the return of European travelers, marking a 13.43% improvement in 2005 as compared to the previous year.