Bali Target 3M Foreign Tourist in 2012

03 January, 2012 | Source: The Jakarta Post

Stakeholders in Bali are targeting 3 million foreign tourist arrivals this year after attracting 2.7 million in 2011.

There is an optimism that the industry will remain positive this year, following the island’s success in hosting the ASEAN Summit in November 2011 and government efforts to improve infrastructure by expanding Ngurah Rai International Airport and by building a toll road.

Ida Bagus Kade Subhiksu, head of the Bali Tourism Agency, said on Monday that foreign tourist arrivals reached 2,509,699 as of November 2011, or around 93 percent of the targeted 2.7 million for 2011.

Australians continued to dominate local tourism, comprising 29 percent of arrivals, followed by China with 9 percent and Japan with 7 percent. The Asian and European markets contributed between 3 and 6 percent of total arrivals.

Subhiksu predicted that the number of foreign tourist arrivals for 2011 might top 2.74 million, up from 2.49 million in 2010.

“Foreign tourist arrivals in December are usually very high because it is traditionally the island’s peak season. That’s why we’re upbeat that we can reach the target.”

Subhiksu said the market in 2012 would remain similar to that in previous years. He down played notions that the financial crisis in Europe might have an impact, as the people needed holidays and would choose to travel.

He added that arrivals rates from Asian countries would likely rise this year.

Bali’s successes in hosting international events and heads of states, including US President Barack Obama, have improved the island’s image as a safe destination for tourists worldwide.

“Bali has various destinations, ranging from mountainous areas to beaches, as well as attractive art and culture. It also provides a wide range of accommodation,” Subhiksu said.

Tourism on the island can be easily affected by problems of security, cleanliness, infrastructure and health, he added, citing last year’s cases of rabies, avian flu, and problems of traffic jams and uncollected garbage.

Bali has also carried out efforts to develop infrastructure by building a toll road, an underpass and renovating its airport.

Djinaldi Gosana, the executive director of the Bali Hotel Association (BHA), and Ida Bagus Gede Sidharta Putra from the Bali chapter of Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), expressed a similar optimism about the prospects of Bali’s tourist sector in 2012.

In 2011, Djinaldi said, the average occupancy rate of the island’s four-star and five-star hotels was 60 percent.

“During last year, Bali was flooded by tourists as if there was no low season. We hope conditions will be even better this year.”

BHA was optimistic for the prospects of meeting, incentive, conference and event planners and the wedding sector this year, he said, expecting that members could take advantage of this condition.

Sidharta Putra said that the global financial crisis had not affected tourist arrivals from Europe.

“I haven’t heard any report from PHRI members that tourist arrivals have decreased,” he said, citing the Sanur area, which has always been dominated by European tourists.

During the year-end period, hotel occupancy in Sanur reached 90 to 100 percent, and that some hotels had booked for the upcoming months, he said.

 

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