The Jakarta Post
March 6, Online
A significant 52.96 percent slump in Chinese visitors has been recorded during the first month of this year, as only 25,954 Chinese nationals visited the Island of Paradise in January, compared to 55,178 people in the same month last year.
Overall, Bali saw a 14.35 percent decrease in the number of foreign tourists in January.
Bali Tourism Agency recorded 212,657 foreign visitors in January, which was lower than the 248,289 recorded in January last year.
Head of Bali Tourism Agency, Ida Bagus Kade Subhiksu, acknowledged that the slump was the result of fewer visitors from Bali’s top 10 markets, which include China, Australia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Russia, the US and Singapore.
Like many other tourists, the Chinese think that Bali is a different place to Indonesia. Some Indonesians love Bali because they say it’s like going overseas, only the language and the money are same (i.e. the dominant religion is not Islam, but there are plenty of McDonald’s and a 3G signal).
A recent article by Christine S. Tjhin said that some Chinese remember Indonesia as being a bad place for Chinese people 15 years ago. Certainly they won’t be eager to visit Jakarta; in any case, it’s not a very touristy place.
What amuses me is that Chinese tourists are not into island romance, unlike some Western guys and Japanese girls.
They just want to stroll along the beach wearing out-of-place clothes, taking group pictures, shopping and eating nothing too exotic or local.
It is due to the fact that last year, Chinese New Year was in January, while this year it is in February.
You will see a big jump in the number of Chinese visitors in February’s results.
Drops in tourism are not due to the weather but due to horrendous traffic, pollution, lack of infrastructure, rampant construction, dengue fever and outrages prices. Being ripped off in Bali is not a good experience. Please don’t use excuses like the weather.