Bali ar­rivals bounce back

Travel Daily - - News -

BALI has re­leased pos­i­tive tourism fig­ures for the first time since the is­land was hit by the erup­tion of Mt Agung last year, hav­ing wel­comed al­most half a mil­lion vis­i­tors dur­ing Mar.

Sta­tis­tics re­leased by the Bali Gov­ern­ment Tourism Of­fice yes­ter­day show over­all Mar ar­rivals were up 15.8% over the same month last year, hit­ting a to­tal of 492,678.

Aus­tralian ar­rivals dur­ing the month were up 11.1% to 89,466.

The re­sult is the first time Bali has ex­pe­ri­enced a month of tourism growth since Oct last year, when the vol­cano first rum­bled to life.

By Nov the moun­tain’s erup­tions had forced air­lines to can­cel flights, in­clud­ing a pe­riod of sev­eral days when Den­pasar In­ter­na­tional Air­port was closed en­tirely due to ash clouds.

Tens of thou­sands of trav­ellers were dis­rupted and Aus­tralian ar­rival fig­ures plunged by as much as 20%.

In re­sponse, In­done­sia’s Tourism Min­is­ter an­nounced it was switch­ing mar­ket­ing ef­forts to tar­get “flex­i­ble trav­ellers” who were less con­cerned by the pos­si­bil­ity of flight de­lays, such as stu­dents and retirees.

Contin­gen­cies in­cluded plans to use buses and fer­ries to trans­fer vis­i­tors to neigh­bour­ing is­lands if Bali’s air­port was again forced to close, though erup­tions sub­sided and the moun­tain’s of­fi­cial threat po­ten­tial was down­graded in Jan.

Aus­tralia re­mained Bali’s sec­ond largest source mar­ket in Mar, be­hind China which contributed 109,939 vis­i­tors that month.

Aus­tralian monthly ar­rivals have fluc­tu­ated be­tween 73,795 and 89,466 since the erup­tion, but were above 100,000 in each of the three months prior.

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