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Tourism has long being considered as one of the biggest incomes for Indonesia. Rich cultural diversity and the natural beauty of the lands is the main tourism attraction. The country realize their potential and try to promote it internationally, especially to neighboring countries such as; Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. Other than the natural and cultural attraction, Indonesia is considered have a strategic location for business development. With millions of natural resources available in the country. Indonesia can attract business tourists to come and visit the country. However the Bali bombing in 2002 makes the international tourist to be alerted and therefore damaging to the Indonesia tourist industry. Since then, the trauma of the Bali bombing continues to haunt the visitors. The heavy drugs laws and death penalty as the worst punishment will also frighten and deter the visitors that come to Indonesia. The report below will explain the impact of Bali tourism on Indonesia economic and demographic factors. Furthermore it will analyze how the Bali bombing and harsh law will affect tourist decision when visiting Indonesia.
Historical account of Tourism and Bali
Rich local culture, great food, shopping, arts and craft and pulsating nightlife is some of the factor that makes Bali an interesting destination for Australian tourist (Bayes, 2007). Other than several reasons mentioned above, great surfing spot also have a significant role in luring the tourist to come to Bali. In addition; cheap prices of accommodation and services in Indonesia also supporting the tourist decision when visiting the island.
Large amount of tourist that arrives in Bali will increase the economic growth in the island even before they arrive in Bali; by paying the tax. The development of tourism sector will also affect the development of the infrastructure in Bali. The tourism and hospitality facility will absorb numerous workforces and will create a number of available jobs in Bali. Furthermore, Bali GDP has increased by 10% from 2010 to 2011 and it’s recorded as 6.49% growth in regional GDP. Amongst the increase; service, trading, hotel and restaurant is up by 18.62% (Balivillaholydays, 2012).
Total foreign tourist arrivals to Bali in May 2012 hit 215,868 indicating a farther rise than May 2011 (204,489). On a cumulative basis, Bali foreign tourist arrivals for January through May 2012 1,131,462 demonstrating growth of 9.71% over the same period last year with 1,031,316 foreign tourists.
Now five months into the year, Bali can now project more than 3 million foreign tourists for all of 2012. Bali should maintains its current year-to-date of growth at 9.71% through to the end of the year.
The performance from major source markets that arrived in Bali on January-May 2008-2012 showed the biggest amount of tourists is from Australia. Australian tourists continue to visit Bali with month-on-month arrivals up 9.3% at 61,266 for the month of May 2012. While this is a respectable growth, Australia’s ability to generate double digit improvement in arrivals month after month maybe ending. From 2011 to 2012, Australian arrivals for the first five month of the year changed by 10.37%. If the rate of growth is sustained, the numbers of Australian tourist will stay up for the entire year.
There are two big issue in Bali that affected Australian people greatly; The Bali bombing and Schapelle Corby cases. The Bali bombing happened on 12th October 2002 and it’s categorized as an international incident; as the death toll is effected many nationalities. The incident destroyed 400 buildings and injured 300 people, the final death toll was 202 bodies and most of them from Australia (Henderson, 2003).
deaths by nation
Moreover, the incident leave deep trauma to any tourist at the time, and greatly reduces the quantity of tourist coming to Bali.
The graph shows the demand of tourists arrivals to Bali slumped dramatically following Bali bombing. In September 2002 the foreign arrivals to Bali stood at 15,747. In November, it dropped down to 31,498 arrivals. Indonesia’s Center Statistics Agency spokesperson, Sudarti Surbakti observed that “The decline is a continued impact of various shock of occurring in late 2002 and early-to-mid 2003” (Russell Darnley, 2011).
Schapelle Corby is an Australian citizen that has been convicted and imprisoned for 20 years because of drug smuggling. The case is biased because Corby claimed that she knows nothing about the drugs that were kept in her possession. The effect of Corby being in custody; include the sentiment of the Australian to Bali, which lead to a boycott threat. The boycott has labeled Indonesian Justice as corrupt and it will leave a bad impression any visitors to Bali or any other destination in Indonesia (Lindstrom, 2005).
Account of the current situation
Even terrorism death penalty or Australians imprisoned make the images of Bali turn negative. Australians still spend money to visit this island and the amount of tourist year by year are still growing, giving a clear understanding of the question why Bali remains a good choice of Australians’ holiday destination in this current time.
Firstly, the landscape of natural scenery and uniqueness of culture still attract Australian tourists and also give plenty of activities for them to do on their holiday such as swimming, surfing and snorkeling are the most preferred actions in Bali. Enjoying nature and tropical climate are the next preferred attractions. Interestingly, religious ceremonies sites and Balinese villages are also considered attractive by Australian tourists than before.
Secondly, Bali Island offers affordable and acceptable prices to foreign tourists all over the world including Australians of all ages. The good value for money becomes a second reason for tourists to decide to travel in Bali. This also maybe because of a big difference of exchange currency rate of Australian dollars to Rupiah makes Bali an affordable and cheap holiday destination for Australians.
On the other hand, the fear of terrorism is the biggest factor that makes Australians feel insecure and avoid visiting Bali. This also may become an important consideration for Australians before making a decision to travel to Bali.
Anyway, the rate of Australians travelling to Bali increase year by year and this fact was supported by the graph above (Bali major source markets January-May 2012).
As the result, Bali is the most attractive destination for tourists and especially for Australian tourists. The main attractions; including natural beauty, traditional culture and affordable prices emphasize the reason why Bali is the most popular destination in the world. Even though the terrorism has affected the image of Bali in a negative way, the tourists still interested in travelling to Bali as the positive out way the negative reason. Dr. Hill said “Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors globally and Bali has already established itself on the map” (Dr. Hal Hill, 2012). This fact has confirmed the status of Bali which continues to grow in relation to a perfect destination.
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