After the bomb blasts of 2002 and 2005, Bali faced a period of recovery in its tourism sector. Now, after an intense period of clever marketing it has become Indonesia’s top attraction. Last year, Bali welcomed 1.2 million foreigners and 1.6 million are expected to arrive this year. Most of them are expected to arrive from Japan, Korea and Australia. Indeed, tourism represents a hugely important part of the economy, with a total of 1.3 million people employed thanks to the industry. This is a significant figure taking into account that the whole island has a population of 3.3 million. 25% of the economy is dominated by foreign currency exchange, at $1.2 billion per year in revenue alone.
The theme of the Balinese advertising campaign is ‘beautiful Bali Indonesia’, with its focus firmly placed on natural and unspoilt beauty. It has also been pointed out that the Ngurah Rai international airport is more efficient than airports in Spain and Hawaii for example. It is believed to be better as tourists don’t have to wait there for a long period of time.
The Australian market has been singled out as being the most important. In reaction to the Australian ‘where the bloody hell are you?!’ commercial, Bali has produced its own ‘Aussie, where the Bali hell are ya?!’ advertisement. At a cost of just $3000, posted on the YouTube website, the commercial has proved to be a huge success. More and more Australians are flocking to the Indonesian island.
Tourism has further been improved and boosted by the building of numerous luxury hotels. The Italian group Bulgari recently introduced its second luxury hotel in the Balinese south-west region. The future for Bali’s tourism is certainly looking bright and has been developing rapidly in recent years.