Foreign Tourist Surge: Bali Expects Over 5.5 Million Visitors by Year-End

International Tourists Enjoying Sunset in Bali

The year 2023 has witnessed a significant influx of foreign tourist (wisman) to Bali, with the number reaching an impressive 3.4 million individuals. This upswing in international visitors has been lauded by Bali’s Governor, Wayan Koster, who expressed his satisfaction with the positive trajectory of foreign tourist arrivals to the Island of the Gods this year.

Governor Koster further revealed that the occupancy rate of hotels in Bali for the year 2023 has soared to an impressive 70 percent. This remarkable statistic has bolstered Koster’s optimism regarding the attainment of the ambitious target set for the year, namely, welcoming 5.5 million tourists.

It is worth noting that prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the year 2019 bore witness to a staggering 6.3 million foreign tourist arrivals per annum.

During that era, Australia stood as the leading contributor, with a remarkable 1.3 million annual visitors, followed closely by tourists hailing from China, numbering 1.2 million per year.

In the words of Governor Koster, “In 2019, our foreign tourists numbered 6.3 million (annually). On a daily basis, we greeted approximately 17,500 foreign tourists. Australia made a significant contribution with 1.3 million arrivals, China nearly reached 1.2 million, while the remainder hailed from diverse regions, encompassing Europe, America, the Middle East, and Asia.” These figures, spoken during an address at the Wiswa Sabha Utama building, the Bali Governor’s Office, Renon, Denpasar, on Thursday (31/8), offer a captivating glimpse into Bali’s pre-pandemic tourism landscape.

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, which unfolded in 2023, the tourism sector in Bali has embarked on a path of gradual recuperation. As of August 24, 2023, the island has welcomed 3.4 million foreign tourists, signifying a resurgence in the tourism industry.

Governor Koster’s projections for year-end suggest that the total number of foreign tourist arrivals in Bali will exceed 5.5 million, surpassing the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy’s (Kemenkraf) target of 4.5 million foreign tourists to Bali.

“Our tourism sector is currently on a positive trajectory, with Australia’s contributions notably on the rise. From January to August 24, 2023, we have already welcomed more than 3.4 million tourists. The ministry’s goal is 4.5 million individuals, but my estimate for December 2023 is conservatively set at no less than 5.5 million,” Governor Koster affirmed with optimism.

Intriguingly, Governor Koster discerns a qualitative shift among the foreign tourists who currently grace Bali’s shores. He attributes this transformation to the escalating ticket prices, which have engendered a selection of tourists who place a premium on their travel experiences.

Additionally, Governor Koster highlighted the consistent capacity utilization of Emirates airline’s jumbo Airbus A380, a behemoth of the skies, which lands on the Island of the Gods fully occupied on a daily basis.

In the words of the Governor, “Hotels across Bali are currently operating at an impressive 70 percent capacity. In actuality, our present circumstances are more favorable than the pre-pandemic normalcy of 2019. The discerning quality of our incoming tourists has been underscored by the uptick in ticket prices. Notably, the Airbus A380, operated by Emirates, touches down on Bali’s shores brimming with passengers every single day,” he elaborated, shedding light on Bali’s evolving tourism landscape.