Australians love Bali. We’ve at all times cherished Bali. And final 12 months, we cherished the island greater than ever — regardless of loads of causes to maybe keep away.
New figures from the Indonesia Institute reveals a file variety of Australians visited the island final 12 months, undeterred by the Mount Agung eruption, devastating earthquakes, polluted seashores and the concern of a intercourse ban.
The Perth-based institute mentioned 1.23 million Australians visited Bali in 2019, an increase of 5.4 per cent on the earlier 12 months.
Australia has additionally returned as the highest supply for vacationers in Bali since 2017, when Chinese language guests overtook us largely because of “zero-dollar” tourism schemes providing rock-bottom costs for all-inclusive excursions. Chinese language customer numbers have since fallen.
The excessive variety of Australian arrivals in Bali is especially notable contemplating 2019 was, at instances, a little bit of a “unhealthy information” 12 months for Bali.
Final 12 months noticed Bali’s mighty Mount Agung volcano erupt, inflicting flights to be cancelled and journey plans scrambled. A couple of months later a powerful earthquake rocked the island, damaging buildings and leaving locals and vacationers shaken.
There have been complaints final 12 months about garbage swamping Bali’s seashores and outcry in Australia when the Indonesian authorities threatened an modification to the nation’s legal code that might make intercourse outdoors marriage unlawful — together with for vacationers.
To prime it off have been common reviews of Australians being thrown behind bars, kicked off flights, and customarily misbehaving on the vacation island. The antics of badly-behaved vacationers acquired so unhealthy in 2019, Bali’s governor I Wayan Koster threatened stricter legal guidelines to curb unhealthy behaviour and get “disrespectful” vacationers “despatched again house”.
Regardless of all this, extra Australians flocked to Bali’s shores than ever earlier than.
“Simply when everybody thought the golden days for Bali have been over, Australia has created a brand new all-time file for vacationers heading there,” Indonesia Institute president Ross Taylor informed WA At present.
“We demolished China, who got here in second with 1.1 million guests.
“So regardless of the earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, drunken yobbos, spiked drinks and bike crashes, Aussies are nonetheless in love with this small island to our north.”
Bali isn’t our primary abroad vacation spot, nevertheless.
That honour goes to New Zealand, which noticed 1.44 Australian arrivals in 2018-19, forward of Indonesia with 1.31 arrivals, in keeping with a Division of International Affairs report launched in November.
They’re adopted by the US (1.08 million Australian arrivals), the UK (667,800) China (610,900) and Thailand (565,300).