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A Deceptively Strong Start to 2012

Bali by the Numbers: Baliís Strong Start to 2012 May be Unduly Influenced by Chinese Holidaymakers

(3/2/2012) Arrivals statistics for foreign visitors for Bali for January 2012 show a very strong start to the year, but should be viewed with some caution as results may be skewed by the very strong arrival totals reported from the People’s Republic of China.

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January foreign tourist arrivals totaled 248,289 - an increase of 22.52% over the 202,660 tourist arrivals reported in the same month one year before.

Bolstering these strong results were result reported for Mainland China that jumped an astounding 222.64% equaling 55,178 visitors. Worthy of closer scrutiny, this total, if correct, may be a function of a sudden surge Chinese New Year holidaymakers.

Examining other markets that traditionally produce Chinese travelers over the extended Lunar New Year period also demonstrates strong improvement. Taiwanese visitors in January increased 20.2% at 11,680. Singapore visitors improved 10.27% at 7.601 and Malaysian tourist visitors improved 20.2%, achieving 11,680 in January 2012.

That the bold start to 2012 may be non-indicative of the year ahead is the general perception informally gathered in discussions with local hoteliers who report an unsettlingly quiet February.

In other markets, Australian arrivals improved 8.89% in January totaling 64,418. While a reasonable rate of growth by any standard, at 8.89% the Australian market growth appears to be leveling off after an extended period of steady double-digit growth.

Japan continues to be in the doldrums, declining a further 23.20% from the already depressed results ex-Japan for January 2011. January 2012 arrivals from Japan totaled 12,682.

Bright spots in the January tourist arrivals were the U.S.A. improving month-on-month by 23.08% (7,129); United Kingdom up 4.48% (6,433) and Germany up 10.74% (4,197).

February results, when published, will provide a clearer picture of how Bali’s inbound markets are likely to react over what may prove to be a precarious year ahead.