The Central Statistics Office has released the latest figures for tourism in Bali. Data reveals that Bali welcomed over 1.4 million international tourists from January to the end of October 2022. The Head of the Central Statistics Agency for Bali Province, Hanif Yahya, told reports that the data shows the numbers and the demographics of travelers visiting the Island of the Gods.
Yahya said, “Foreign tourists who came directly to Bali Province in October 2022 recorded 305,244 visits, an increase of 4.84 percent compared to the previous month period, which recorded 291,162 visits”. Interestingly, this new data doesn’t include the huge influx in arrivals for the G20 Summit that happened in November. With this in mind, it can be confidently stated that Bali has surpassed tourism targets for 2022. Data for November will be released in December and for December in the New Year.
Shortly after borders reopening in February this year, Minster for Tourism and Creative Economies Sandiaga Uno, set Bali a target of welcoming 1.5 million international visitors and 7 million domestic tourists. It has also been confirmed that I Guate Ngurah Rai International Airport welcomed 9,569,494 passengers by the end of October. This was made up of 6,358,071 domestic journeys, 3,145,526 international journeys, and a further 65,867 passengers who simply transited through Bali Airport.
Yahya confirmed that Australians remain the most frequent international visitors to Bali, making up 28.18% of all foreign arrivals. They were closely followed by travelers from India, the UK, and the U.S. Travelers from Russia ranked tenth on the most frequent arrivals list making up 3% of international visitors. A total of 119,978 Indian citizens visited Bali and 95,988 Brits.
All these visitors had an impact on the local economy in one way or another. Yahya shared details of hotel occupancy, another important measure of the impact of tourism in Bali. “The Room Occupancy Rate (TPK) for star [rated] hotels in October 2022 was recorded at 46.28 percent, down as deep as 0.17 points when compared to September 2022”. Yet, non-star hotels, like small independent guesthouses and B&Bs, had an average hotel occupancy of 22.98%. This data is taken from all-star and non-star hotels across Bali.
While the hotel occupancy rates appear low, they are averaged across the province. Areas like Ubud, Canggu, and Nusa Dua are experiencing much fuller hotel occupancy on a consistent basis. This is excellent news, but many hotels in East, North, and West Bali remain in a state of turmoil as travelers are slow to return to the already lesser-visited areas of the island.
This hasn’t stopped hotels in East Bali from sharing their optimism, however. Hoteliers in Karangasem Regency told reporters that they are counting on last-minute bookings from international tourists over the Christmas and New Year holidays to give revenue a boost.
This year was always set to be a year of recovery for Bali. As international borders around the world slowly opened up, Bali has been mindful that pre-pandemic arrival numbers would be hard to attain overnight. As the mainstay of the local economy, it is vitally important the tourism revenue returns to Bali so that communities can survive. Indonesia has announced a series of initiatives that are hoped to encourage more people to visit the county, especially tourism hotspots like Bali.
The much anticipated digital nomad visa was announced this year. The B211A socio-cultural visa allows digital nomads and other travelers to reside in Bali for up to six months tax-free. The Department of Immigration has also announced the launch of the new second-home visa.
Valid for ten years, the visa category is aimed at encouraging high earners, skilled entrepreneurs, and retirees to set up a base in Indonesia. The second home visa has been condemned as exclusionary by some who say that the need to show a bank balance of over USD 130,000 won’t help many small businesses in Bali in a direct way.
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