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The Bad News is the Good News

Bali by the Numbers: Q1 2018 Arrival Figures Show Bali Tourist Arrivals Back on Track After Temporary Setback Caused by Mount Agung
Superficially seen, the news that foreign tourist arrivals to Bali declined 2.77% in the first three months (Q1) of 2018 might be seen as “bad news.” But, in fact, official Bali tourism arrivals figures now available covering Q1 2018 give abundant reason for good hope.

At the end of March 2018, a total of 1,303,166 foreign tourists arrived in Bali, down only 2,77% from the same quarter in 2017 when 1,340,308 foreign tourists came to the Island.

And, while total arrivals for Q1 2018 figures are on a “near-par” year-on-year with 2017, the March figures demonstrate that Bali is making a strong recovery following the dismal arrival figures posted in January and February that were negatively impacted by the late 2017 eruption of Mount Agung that caused a 2.5 day closure of Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport in November 2017.

That Bali’s foreign tourist arrivals are on the mend is indisputable. Year-on-year arrivals for January 2018 were down 22.3%, "improving" to only a decrease of 11.4% year-on-year cumulatively for the months January-February.  Now, with Bali’s arrivals down only 2,77% by the end of Q1 2018 it is being clearly demonstrated that arrivals are headed in the right direction and the negative impact of Mount Agung’s late 2017 eruptions has dissipated.

A similar pattern of recovery is evident in almost every major source market for Bali arrivals.

PRC – Chinese travelers still represent 23.07% market share of all Bali arrivals and the leading source of foreign visitors. Q1 ended with 300,596 PRC visitors – a figure down year-on-year by 24.12% - but still a vast improvement over the 68.17% decline in PRC arrivals recorded in January that resulted from cancelled charter flights from China connected to the eruption of Mount Agung.

AUSTRALIA – The second largest source of Bali foreign visitors, Australian tourists totaled 247,070 at the end of March, representing an 18.96 market share of all foreign visitors. While the figures are still in negative territory, the 5.47% year-on-year decline for all of Q1 is largely on a even keel with a 5.37% decline recorded for January 2018 and a big boost over the -35.56 decline recorded year-on-year for January-February 2018.

INDIA – At the end of Q1 2018, Indian tourist ranked as the third largest source of foreign visitors to Bali totaling 84,197 visitors – a number that is up 60.45% year-on-year when compared to 2017. Indian passenger numbers are due to advance even more dramatically with the commencement of direct flights by Garuda Indonesia between Mumbai and Bali.

JAPAN – Japanese travelers are now the fourth largest source of foreign visitors to Bali tallying 60,323 visitors at the end of Q1 in 2018. For the same period, Japanese tourist arrivals are up 4.24%.

THE WINNERS

At the end of Q1 2018, major source nations reporting a cumulative improvement year-on-year in Bali arrivals were, in order of prominence:
  • UK (+16.34%)
  • USA (+10.14%)
  • Malaysia (+18.33%)
  • Russia (+8.65)
  • Germany (+8.05%)
  • France (+2.49%)
  • Canada (+14.28%)
  • The Philippines (+29.58%)
THE LOSERS

At the end of Q1 2018, major source markets reporting a cumulative decline year-on-year in Bali arrivals, in order of prominence:
  • Singapore (-4.3%)
  • Taiwan (-27.54%)
  • South Korean (-35.49%)
  • The Netherlands (+-3.89%)
LOOKING AHEAD

Number crunchers will be monitoring closely any impact in May arrivals to Bali that could be  linked to terror attacks and cautionary travel advisories issued from source market governments.
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