Bali is set to smash tourism targets by the end of the year. With the latest figures announced by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) of Bali Province, it is clear that Bali will not only hit but surpass tourism targets set earlier in the year.
The Head of BPS Bali Province, Hanif Yahya, told reporters on Tuesday 1st November that from January to the end of September 2022 Bali welcomed 1,185,829 foreign tourists. Shortly after borders reopened in February, the Indonesian Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies, Sandiaga Uno, set a target of welcoming 1.5 million tourists to Bali by the end of the year. With figures for October yet to be processed and heading into the busy Christmas holidays and New Year, it is clear that Bali will be able to call this year a success.
Of the 1.1 million tourists, 32% hailed from Europe, and a further 31% visited from Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific. 14% of international visitors so far this year have travelers from fellow ASEAN countries, including Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, and Malaysia.
A total of 7% of international visitors came from the United States, an additional 13% from other areas of Asia, namely India and South Korea, along with roughly 8% from both Africa and the Middle East.
Yahya told reporters, ‘Based on the proportion of foreign tourists from Europe who dominate foreign tourist visits to Bali in January-September’. For the last nine months, travelers from Australia have dominated the arrivals charts, closely followed by travelers from India, then the UK. From four to ten, the top arrivals are France, the United States, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Vietnam.
Yahya confirmed that there was an increase in arrivals in September from August. He said, ‘An increase of 5.24 percent compared to the previous month [August], which was recorded at 276,659’.
When asked about how the data translates into the real world the Managing Director of Gema Destinasi Tour and Travel, Wisnu Arimbawa, said there is a long way to go but that the sector is definitely bouncing back.
Arimbawa explained, ‘If we are the most pessimistic target, we will reach 1.8 million’. He also took the opportunity to urge the government to scrap the IDR 500,000 visa-on-arrival fee, stating that he fears the cost will push travelers to other countries where 30-day visas are free, such as Thailand.
Arimbawa said, ‘If you are lucky, Bali can get 2 million foreign tourists. This number is still below the neighboring tourist destinations of Bali-Indonesia, which are very active in promoting tourism, despite the pandemic season’.
He noted that Thailand has attracted 7.6 million international arrivals since borders opened. Arimbawa noted ‘internal and external factors’ that has meant that Bali remains far from the pre-pandemic arrivals figures for international visitors.
He shared that Thailand will remain very attractive to foreign tourists, especially potential tourists residing in ASEAN nations, such as Singapore and Vietnam. He explained that the global cost of living, food, and energy crisis will impact tourists from Europe and the United States.
Travelers from these areas may find it harder to travel long haul in the next few months. Despite his reservations, Arimbawa is sure that Bali will surpass the 1.5 million tourist target. He ended by saying, ‘we will follow the president’s recommendation’.
In June this year, Minister Uno announced his tourism targets for Bali. This included welcoming 1.5 million international arrivals and a further 7 million domestic tourists. Despite a few hiccups with some tourism agents appearing to favor international travelers over domestic tourists, Bali is on track to hit this target too.
Minster Uno has been firm in his belief that the key to sustaining a future for the Bali tourism industry is diversification and moving towards ‘high quality’ tourism across the board.
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