After a slow and steady recovery during 2022, Bali is back and on track to be busier than before the pandemic in no time at all.
As I Gusti Ngurah Rai International share the latest travel data for August it is clear that demand for vacations on the island is only going to rise again as we approach the end of the year.
The General Manager of Ngurah Rai Airport, Handy Heryudhitiawan, has spoken to the press to share details of travel trends in Bali for the last month.
While there was a slight dip in the number of international arrivals compared to July, the overall trends show that Bali is on track to smash tourism targets for 2023.
July is the peak of the high season in Bali; during August there is always a reduction in the number of arrivals, but in 2023, from July to August there was only a 6% dip in the number of international arrivals; much less than in previous years.
Bali Airport recorded over 2 million passenger movements in August 2023, which when added to the rolling total for the year so far takes figures to 13,910,000 passenger movements to date. Heryudhitiawan explained that in August “2,143,643 passengers [traveled through the airport], the achievement in August was 6% below but still one of the highest month in 2023 with an average of 65,000 passengers per day.”
Data for international travelers makes for interesting reading. The numbers show that 56% of all passengers traveling in and out of Ngurah Rai Airport in August were international travelers. There were 548,036 arrivals and 584,138 departures.
The number of domestic passengers traveling through Bali Airport reached 891,080 across both arrivals and departures.
Heryudhitiawan said, “During August, the domestic destinations with the highest passenger traffic were still dominated by the Jakarta route, which reached 55% of the total number of passengers on domestic routes or 489,860 passengers.”
“The Surabaya with 12% or 113,322 passengers and Labuan Bajo with 6% with 55,207 passengers.” The Indonesian Ministry for Tourism and Creative Economies is on a mission to establish ‘five new Bali’s’ to help bring more tourism revenue to destinations across the archipelago.
Labuan Bajo, the gateway to Komodo National Park is one of these destinations, as well as Lake Toba which can now be reached via a daily direct flight to Medan from Ngurah Rai Airport.
In terms of international travel demand, the busiest flight route into Bali in August was from Singapore, with 22% of all international passengers arriving via Singapore.
Travelers arriving from Kuala Lumpur made up 13% of all international arrivals, followed by Melbourne at 8%.
Heryudhitiawan concluded, “In 2023 we project to service 20.3 million passengers. With the recovery of the tourism sector on the island of Bali and the potential for additional new flight routes as I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport in the future, we are optimistic that this [target] figure can be reached the year.”
Heryudhitiawan did not give any indication as to where these new flight routes may originate from.
Earlier in the year, tourism leaders in Bali wanted to see more international flight services from China and India on offer for tourists.
Many Australian travelers have taken to social media to add their voices to the growing demand for more flight availability from airports across the country into Denpasar.
It remains to be seen which airlines will offer new routes and from where in the coming months.
As the long school vacations are over, Bali lovers now have their sights firmly on the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Last year, Bali welcomed over one million tourists just for the New Year’s Eve weekend, with hundreds of thousands more people arriving earlier in December to celebrate Christmas on the island.
While there may be a mini low season for the next couple of months, Bali is bracing itself for the Christmas and New Year holidays, and for many Bali lovers, the countdown has already begun.