In News, Tourism
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Image: Foreign tourists at Ku De Ta, Seminyak. Credit: ST. Text D Trauts.  

Foreign tourist arrivals to Bali during January to May 2019 reached a total of 2,292,771, which was a drop of 2.37 percent when compared to the same period of 2018, which reached 2,348,455 visits.

Related authorities have taken this news as a warning that they need to work harder and make extra efforts to achieve the target of 7 million foreign visitors to Bali this year.

There were several indicators that are of concern. Chinese tourists who have dominated the arrivals to Bali in recent years dropped 6.88 percent from 545,687 during the same period in 2018 to 508,164 this year. The same occurred with Australian tourists, which dropped 3.27 percent from 439,917 in 2018 to 425,527 in 2019. India, which ranks 3rd, also dropped 6.46 percent.

And the month of May 2019 was not looking very good too.

Data from I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport showed that the total number of foreign tourists visiting Bali in May 2018 was 400,512. While in May 2019 there were 351,671 people, which was a drop of 12 percent.

Chinese tourists in May 2018 totaled 125,240 people, which was a drop of 29 percent this May to 89,281 people.

The Head of Bali Tourism Board, Anak Agung Gede Yuniarta Putra, surmises the drop in numbers was caused by several incidents in Indonesia in recent times, such as a string of earthquakes and tsunamis over the past year and then the Presidential Elections on April 17, 2019, (and rioting after the official results were announced. Ed) also impacted foreign tourist visits. “Several countries issued travel warnings because of it,” he said to on Wednesday.

Yuniarta told reporters that the Chinese numbers have also been affected by the closure of the Chinese mafia network shops in Bali late last year that were bringing low-end tourists to the island. Now the quality of the Chinese tourist is higher.

“We are now looking for quality, not quantity,” said Yuniartha, during a visit of the Indonesian Ambassador to China to his office at the Bali Tourism Board on Friday (21/6 / 2019).

Yuniarta also stated that there is no other option now than all related parties working harder to increase the number of foreign visitors. “The government has issued an official statement that explained the condition in Bali is safe and conducive,” he added and explained that his side continues to promote Bali tourism through media and forums, and they will hold sales missions to China and India in July. “We still hope that we can reach this year’s target of 7 million arrivals,” he added.



Showing 10 comments
  • Dave

    Hey bali tourist minister…too much Rubbish..too much Anti bule attitude..too many charges ..going in now 10usd per person..out 30 usd overstay per day!!!..

    And the Rubbish..everywhere..the party is over Bali..
    You have priced many tourists out …
    There comes a time when tourist will go Elsewhere and there are some
    Great destinations…and who will not just Blatantly rip the tourists Off..
    I feel so sorry for the Local Balinese ..who are doing it very hard because of Bali and Jakarta greedy Government Greed and mismanagement…

  • Ted stobbs

    I have found Bali not as safe as it has been in years gone by to much robbing hotels got expensive taxi drivers and money changers cheating the tourist .it is safer to go to other destinations ,Bali you have killed your own great island .clean your act up and rember who has helped you in the past

    • Ellen Foster-Taylor

      You hit it on the head.

    • Don Havig

      Immigration policies for tourists are archaic compared to other countries, they are pricing themselves OUT of the market.
      Poor infrastructure, poor garbage collection, corrupt taxi companies save for Blue Bird are staple problems that Indonesia just cant or won’t fix.
      But what the heck, its my home now and we can only do our part to make it better.

  • Kidda

    The countries meantioned also have a downturn ,with the cost of living rising but not the wages. A lot of people in Australia are struggling themselves without being able to afford a holiday. Also lots of reports coming out of Bali in regards to scams and rip offs of the tourists.

  • Repesse

    The Head of Bali Tourism Board, Anak Agung Gede Yuniarta Putra, pertains that he is now concentrating on the quality of tourism rather than on the quantity of tourists.

    “We are now looking for quality, not quantity,”

    And yet, all he is doing is talking about the numbers of tourists and the government’s aim in figures, partially blaming the downfall of these figures on the Chinese Mafia.
    How about tackling the real issues: water depletion and pollution, absence of a decent suage system, waste disposals, with no garbage incinerators, poor road infrastructure due to absence of proper city development planing, increasing security issues, poor legal assistance, illegal buildings etc, etc.

    By definition, if the number of Chinese tourists largely increases, the quality of tourism for occidental or Japanese tourists will diminish.

    One way to look at things is revenue that is generated and the quality of tourism at hand, the other is based on numbers with unavoidable catastrophic ecological consequences.

    Appearances would seem to show that local authorities are saying one thing but applying its exact opposite.

  • Ellen Foster-Taylor

    Degrading the landscape, no infrastructure, cheap and nasty development, RIP off everywhere, the taxi mafia, water problems, sewage problems, rubbish strewn everywhere, the traffic jams etc etc etc., I feel so sorry for the Balinese. Why oh why does the Grosvenor of Bali, think all this attracts the tourists?

  • Luis

    Healthy princple of self regulation:
    Srew it up and people go elsewhere…
    Bad luck?!?
    More significantly, not to acknowledge the home made and greed driven srew up and, what else, blame others for it..
    The srew up is severe and substantial and even with a hypothetical 180° turn around, it will take at least two generation for fixing it…
    Hence, since a 180° turn around is not in sight, even a 50% drop of visitors will not trigger significant political changes…
    Why? Because it’s all about the $s… Communities, land, and sea – the holy grail of Balinese culture, are happily victimized… Take 1 amongst 1000 destructive short term gain measures: the reclamation of the Beno Bay. The sin of reclaming Beno Bay is in whoms interest? The Balinese people?
    Thus, what is the outlook? Short term gains do not justify, economically, the long term damages of land and sea. The policy of increasing the number of be visitors at any price, will not pay off for Bali…Rather, it is the perfect receipt for destruction of environment and culture. Balinese culture and communities are the victims…
    Thus, good times for introspection and the development of a sustainable development vision for Bali and it’s inhabitants…
    Who is humble and brave enough for taking the lead???

  • Rob

    This tourism boss, reports to other equally inept individuals. He clearly has no idea of empirical evidence which is all around to see why the decline will “death buy a thousand cuts” crumbling infrastructure, corrupt, lazy, incapable people working in positions clearly out of their depth. Law changes too frequently, illegal business operations, traffic, streets look like car parks. Who wants to come to holidays sitting in a car 2 hours a day, Pollution, noisy motor bikes, Police that are fat lazy and corrupt. card skimming and crime out of control, strong racism undercurrents, Now you want to double tourist numbers? how? i cant believe your ignorance. did you get this job because you know somebody? of you fit into the network$$$ ? you are Balinese and like most i’ve met, don’t care about their island with their actions, only with their mouths. You do and have done nothing to preserve the quality of this island, but yet you want more quality tourists? Sorry sir, you don’t get to choose, markets do. If i were a tourism head of another island/tropical country near by, i would part subsidize airfares and destroy your market over night, its that ripe for the picking. Wake the Fu*k up, its later than you think

  • Repesse

    How about greedy dishonest local taxi drivers? Starting 8 pm certain streets of Kuta, Legian, Seminiak and now even Petitenget are practically at a stand by until 2:00 a.m. Why? Because the only cars in the roads are blue taxis that stop in front of known tourist places and block the street until a tourist climbs into their car. Argometers? Don’t dream of it after 8:00 p.m. – hard negociations are unavoidable and likely rip offs. Of course, Grab cars are highly unlikely to pick you up after a certain time, as they are likely to get beaten up by the local taxi mafia and have their car destroyed. Bali authorities need to put a little order with their taxi drivers who often don’t respect local requirements, always create unnecessary traffic jams, are often rude and try to cheat their customers.

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