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Bali sees worrying drop in tourists
Publication Date : 06-03-2013
A significant slump in visitors has been recorded in Bali, particularly those from China. A 52.96 per cent drop in Chinese visitors has been recorded during the first month of this year, as only 25,954 Chinese nationals visited the Island of Paradise in January, compared to 55,178 people in the same month last year.
Overall, Bali saw a 14.35 per cent decrease in the number of foreign tourists in January.
Bali Tourism Agency recorded 212,657 foreign visitors in January, which was lower than the 248,289 recorded in January last year.
Head of Bali Tourism Agency, Ida Bagus Kade Subhiksu, acknowledged that the slump was the result of fewer visitors from Bali’s top 10 markets, which include China, Australia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Russia, the US and Singapore.
Australia, which is Bali’s largest tourist market, only sent 58,588 visitors to Bali, 9.05 per cent lower last year. Nonetheless, Australia is still Bali’s largest market as of today, followed by China (12.20 per cent).
Bali saw a 33.23 per cent decline in Taiwanese tourists, 2.22 per cent decline in Malaysian tourists, 3.40 per cent decline in Russian visitors, 4.35 per cent decline in Americans and 13.76 per cent decline in Singaporeans.
Among the top 10 countries, increased numbers were only seen from Japan at 25.63 per cent, South Korea at 11.61 per cent, and the UK with 1.09 per cent.
The number of visitors from other countries in Bali’s top 20, such as France, the Netherlands, Canada, Hong Kong and New Zealand, also fell.
Eddy Sanyoto, owner of a travel agency dealing mainly with the Chinese market, stated that heavy rain and storms in Bali throughout January had reduced Chinese interest in visiting Bali.
Eddy also said that other countries in Asia, as well as Australia, had been increasingly promoting their tourism to better effect than Indonesia. “For example, Australia some time ago signed a special agreement with China to facilitate Chinese visitors making trips Down Under.”
Other countries also provide better airport services and transport. “While in Bali, most vehicles are old.”
Flights connecting China to other competing countries are also available every day, while Indonesia only provides four flights a week.
Nonetheless, Eddy said that the Chinese still possessed great interest in visiting Indonesia, especially Bali. “When they come to Indonesia, their main destination is Bali because other places in Indonesia have even more limited access,” he said.
Eddy regretted that the Indonesian government still made little effort to promote Indonesia in China, as demonstrated by the tiny booth rented by Indonesian representatives during a promotional event in China. While most Chinese visitors travel in groups arranged by their local travel agencies, Indonesia’s synergy with the travel agencies in China was not yet fully functional.