Foreign tourist arrivals for the month of July 2008 hit 183,122 making it the best July ever, improving +11.24 percent over last year’s record-breaking performance for July 2007 (164,618).
On a year-to-date basis, January-July arrivals for 2008 have broken the psychological barrier of 1 million, recording 1,108.061 foreign arrivals for the first seven months of the year. Compared to the same period in 2007, when there were 910,567 visitors, arrivals are up +21.6 percent in 2008.
2 Million Visitors for 2008?
Assuming Bali can maintain the current +21.6 percent margin of annual improvement through the end of 2008 means the Island will end the year at just over 2 million foreign visitors, portending the first time ever that tourist arrivals will surpass the 2 million mark.
Bali’s Top Markets and China
Bali’s top 4 inbound markets remain, in order of importance, Japan, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea.
Japan’s recovery is now complete with arrivals for January-July 2008 (208,506) representing the best performance ever, surpassing the record levels recorded in 2000 (207,030). Year-to-date Japan arrivals for 2008 are +8.62 percent ahead of the same period in 2007.
Australia’s recovery is equally robust totaling 164,641 for the first seven months of 2008. This record-breaking performance testifies to the fact that the effects of two bombings and the collapse of Air Paradise have now been completely shaken off. Year-on-year, Australian arrivals have improved a whopping +54.79 percent over just one year ago.
At 85,036 arrivals through the first seven months of 2008, Taiwanese arrivals are down -2.92 percent as compared to 2007. Recent policy changes allowing easier visits by Taiwanese to Mainland China may be diverting potential Balinese visitors to the Chinese Mainland.
South Korean arrivals for January-July 2008 hit 78,745 representing record territory and a +5.52 percent improvement over 2007 (74,624) which was also a record-breaking year in its own right.
The People’s Republic of China has managed in the course of only six years to move from minor league status in terms of Bali visitors to become the fifth most importance source of foreign visitors. PRC arrivals for January-July 2008 (75,511) represented a 77.33 percent improvement over the same period in 2007 and now qualified the PRC as Bali’s 5th largest inbound market.
ASEAN Arrivals, Including Malaysia and Singapore
Underlining the growing importance of regional markets, ASEAN arrivals for the first seven months of 2008 totaled 110,241 – a year-on-year improvement of +18.8 percent when compared to 2007.
Malaysia remains the most important inbound market to Bali from within the ASEAN market. Fueled by low-cost fares from AirAsia, Malaysian arrivals for January-July hit 68,890, improving +20.5 percent over the same period in 2007.
Singapore arrivals have almost tripled since 2000 but have now largely achieved a plateau, totaling 25,553 for January-July 2008.
The Americas and Key European Markets
Arrivals from both North and South America have received a much-needed “bounce” from the recent easing of US travel advisories for Indonesia. Arrivals for January-July 2008 (58,903) have increased +25.5 percent over the same period for 2007 (46,903). Despite this “good news,” arrivals from this source still lag behind the record levels of 67,095 tallied for January-July 2001.
United Kingdom arrivals are improving steadily, up +20.9 percent from 2007. With 44,083 arrivals during January-July 2008, UK arrivals still lag -34.2 percent behind the 67,095 UK visitors who came in to Bali during the same period in 2001.
German visitors have improved +17.89 percent for the first seven months of the year in 2008, as compared to the previous year. Germany will, however, have to maintain a similar rate of growth in 2009 to regain lost ground from the heyday of German arrivals to Bali achieved in 2001.
Tourism totals from Holland have recovered completely by breaking into record territory. There were 33,886 Dutch visitors to Bali during the January-July 2008 period, an improvement of 8.9 percent over 2007.
From virtual obscurity less than one decade ago, the Russian market has become a major player achieving 33,800 visitors during January-July 2008. The Russian market is booming, improving +63.4 percent over its performance in the same period just one year before.