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ASITA Bali Unduly Pessimistic on Arrivals for 2009

Bali Tour Operators Association Expresses Doubts on Arrival Targets Despite Positive Tourism Numbers.

(10/5/2009) The Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Association of Travel Agents (ASITA) has expressed it doubts that the targeted 1.8 million foreign visitors to Bali will be achieve in the current year, citing the global financial crisis and the series of natural disasters plaguing the Asia-Pacific as major impediments.

The Chairman of Bali's ASITA Chapter, Al Purwa, told beritabali.com that the recent killing of Malaysian terrorist Noordin M. Top will have little positive impact on Bali tourism. He said that many tourists still fear a visit to Bali, given the island's continuing status as a prime target for terrorist acts.

Explained Purwa: "The impact (of his shooting) will not be very significant because Noordin should have been shot five years ago, allowing him the time to train others. What's more, Bali remains a main (terrorism) target."

The ASITA Chairman predicts that tourism totals to Bali will return to normal in the first quarter or 2010. He also said that data from his organization showed Bali hotels averaging occupancies of 60% during what is now entering a "low" season for the island.

In contrast to ASITA's dour predictions and based on tourism arrivals through the end of July, balidiscovery.com recently extrapolated that total foreign arrivals to Bali might exceed 2.2 million for the year 2010. Through the end of July 2009, Bali foreign tourist arrivals had already hit 1.242 million, an increase of 11.5% over the first seven months of 2007. In order to Purwa's negative prediction of less than 1.8 million visitors for 2009 to occur, arrivals to Bali would have to plummet by a very significant degree and begin averaging around 111,000 visitors each month through the end of the year; a drop of 54% in arrivals for the remaining 5 months of 2009.

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