Foreign tourist numbers haven’t been hurt so far, but the number of Indonesians visiting Bali has been declining ever since the start of the year, according to the island’s Tourism Department, which cited a recent surge in domestic airfares as the primary cause.
“The impact of high domestic airfares is very bad for tourism … Since the price surge in January until now, the number of domestic tourist arrivals in Bali has decreased about 12 percent,” Tourism Department chief AA Gede Yuniartha Putra told Kompas.com.
Yuniartha explained that many still coming to the island have been doing so via other means of transport to avoid paying the high air travel price. So far, however, the tourism-dependent island hasn’t seen a similar depression in overseas visitors.
“We’ve only seen a decline in domestic tourists,” Yuniartha said.
Last month, the Indonesian Transportation Ministry agreed to revise the domestic airfare ceiling in an attempt to force airlines to lower their ticket prices, after increasing prices sparked a backlash among the public and led to the decrease of domestic travel throughout the country in general.
According to a report from government news agency Antara, the Bali Provincial Government remains optimistic that the Eid holiday will bring more domestic tourists to the island, which they believe will remain a popular destination for extended holidays.