Christmas and New Year brought blessing to Ngurah Rai Airport (and Bali tourism)

File photo of Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali. Photo: Facebook
File photo of Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali. Photo: Facebook

Bali officials love to use the number of passengers passing through Ngurah Rai Airport as an indicator for the island’s tourism revival. And recent numbers look good.

The airport’s general manager, Herry Sikado, said Ngurah Rai saw 406,682 departures and arrivals during the Christmas and New Year holiday period, specifically from Dec. 17, 2021 to Jan. 4, 2022. That represents a 56 percent increase from the same period a year ago, which actually had more flights coming in and out of Bali.

“I am optimistic that the rate will continue to increase this year,” Herry said yesterday.

Bali was once again a popular year-end holiday destination for domestic travelers as Indonesia’s COVID-19 crisis became manageable after the devastating mid-2021 wave the whole country experienced.

The actual number of tourists during this period has not yet been determined, as a large number travel from Java to Bali by land (and ferry).

It’s likely that Bali officials’ next focus would be to revive the island’s international tourism potential after reopening to foreign tourists from select countries in October 2021.

Prior to the reopening, the island only saw 45 international tourists arriving in the first 10 months of 2021. We have yet to see the numbers after October’s reopening, though early indications suggest that the international tourism relaunch has been wholly anticlimactic.

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