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(9/23/2012) Bali received another dose of reality via arrivals numbers recently released for July 2012 that saw month-on-month total arrivals slip 6.92% with 258,781 foreign visitors for the month.
Spoiled by continually increasing arrival totals month after month over the past several years, July represents the third month in 2012 that has recorded a decline in total arrivals when compared to the same month one year before.
On a cumulative basis for January – July 2012, however, arrivals remain 5.10% ahead of 2011, with 1.628 million foreign arrivals recorded for the first 7 months of 2012. This rate of growth year-on-year is roughly half of the January-July growth recorded in the three preceding years.
By simple extrapolation, if Bali can maintain its current year-on-year growth rate of 5.10% in foreign arrivals, the island should end the year with a record 2.897 million international visitor. This scenario, however, is unlikely to materialize, as Bali's monthly arrival numbers are growing increasingly lackluster month by month as it approaches year's end.
Given the current trend, we project that Bali will be fortunate by year's end to stay even with 2011 when 2.756 million foreign visitors came to the island.
Arrivals by Major Markets
Australia – Secure it its leading role as a source of foreign visitors to Bali, Australia arrivals continue to grow, but at less dramatic rates than witnessed in the recent past. The 89,930 Australians who came to Bali in July 2012 represent a 7.07% improvement over July 2011. Positive growth in Australian arrivals in July provided some mental relief for number crunchers who witnessed a small decline month-on-month in June arrivals from Australia.
On a cumulative basis January – July Australian arrivals are up 7.94%
Peoples Republic of China – Despite a very strong start to 2012, PRC arrivals have mellowed, down 13.87% month-on-month for July 2012 with 21,818 arrivals from the mainland. Year-on-year through the end of July, PRC arrivals continue to be 40.38% ahead of the same period in 2011.
Malaysia – Malaysian tourist arrivals are booming, increasing 63.9% month-on-month, totaling 20,338 visitors in July 2012. Year-on-year Malaysian arrivals have increased 7.75%.
Japan – Once the undisputed king source markets for visitors to Bali, Japan has sunk to a #4 ranking. The good news, however, is that a recovery in Japanese arrivals is now underway. Japanese arrivals month-on-month improved 23.42% in July 2012 with 19.980 arrivals. July also represents the second consecutive month of improvements in Japanese arrivals, with June arrivals up 7.62%.
If the current trend continues, Japanese arrivals to Bali may record an unexpected improvement. Year-on-year, Japanese arrivals January-July are down 4.01%. It will be interesting to see if Japan can move into positive terriroty in terms of arrivals by year's end.
South Korean – Worryingly, South Korean arrivals declined sharply month-on-month by 19.7% in July with 9,181 visitors. Year-on-year South Korean arrivals are largely stagnant, down 0.61%.
United Kingdom – July 2012 arrivals from the U.K. – reflecting the poor performance of Europe generally – are down 16.28% with 9,306 visitors. Year-on-year, U.K. arrivals are still ahead by 7.32% for the period January – July 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011.
Taiwan – The Taiwan market to Bali is in a rapid state of collapse. July 2012 arrivals from Taiwan totaled 4,951, a figure that is down 64.13% when compared to July 2011. Year-on-year Taiwanese visitors are down 26.22%.
France – Europe’s state of double-dip recession is also reflected in the dramatic decrease in French tourist arrivals to Bali. July arrivals declined 40.6% with 9,107 visitors as compared to July 2011 when 15,345 French citizens came to the Island. Year-on-year January-July French visitors are down 9.62%.
U.S.A.- U.S. citizens visiting Bali in July 2012 totaled 8.106 - declining 6.68% as compared to the same month in 2011. On accumulative basis, U.S.A. visitors are still up 7.76% for the first seven months of 2012.
Russia – The very strong Russian market to Bali has gone suddenly soft with July 2012 arrivals down 33.8% at 2,576 visitors. On a cumulative basis, Russian visitors are up just 4% for the period January – July 2012.
Germany – Similarly, German visitors dropped 41.18% month-on-month for July 2012 with 5,179 visitors. Year-on-year for the first seven months of 2012 German visitor are down 1.84% - a number almost certain to decline even further through the end of 2012.
The Netherlands – The news is also not good from Amsterdam, the only European port-of-call served by Garuda Indonesia. July arrivals from Holland are down 51.45% with 5,106 visitors. This compares to the 10,519 Dutch visitors who came to Bali in July 2011. For the period January-July 2012 Dutch arrivals are down 15.52%.
Clearly the European economic crisis began to bite heavily into Bali arrivals in July 2012, a trend likely to worsen further over the months ahead until the end of the year as the economic woes in Europe deepen.