Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport welcomed nearly 6.3 million foreign tourists last year, with Australian and Chinese tourists making up more than half of that total.
At a press conference yesterday, the general manager of airport management firm Angkasa Pura I, Herry A.Y. Sikado, said that the 2019 data reflects an increase of about three percent from the previous year.
The number of Australian tourists surpassed that of Chinese tourists for the first time since 2017, when Bali experienced a surge of visitors from the world’s most populous country. According to the 2019 data, there were 1.23 million Australians and nearly 1.2 million Chinese tourists arriving through Ngurah Rai, representing 27.7 percent and 26.9 percent of the total number of foreign holidaymakers respectively.
Visitors from other countries were spread out more evenly in comparison, with travelers from India (377,543), the United Kingdom (287,266) and the United States (277,203) rounding up the top five.
The latest figures, Herry said, show a four percent increase among Australian travelers compared to data from 2018 (Editor’s note: we crunched the numbers ourselves and found that the increase should be 5.2 percent). He also noted that there was an increase of about six percent among Indian travelers.
“Compared to those two countries, there was quite a drastic decrease in the arrivals of Chinese tourists in 2019, about 15 percent,” Herry said.
However, Herry is optimistic that Bali will see even more foreign tourists in the new year, citing the recently launched direct international flights to Denpasar as one of the main drivers for growth. This month, for example, Citilink and Vietjet Air are set to launch new routes, the former connecting Denpasar with Melbourne’s Avalon Airport, while the latter will serve passengers from the city of Hanoi to Bali.