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Bali tourism showing signs of recovery DENPASAR - Tourist arrivals to Bali almost doubled in December from the previous month to 68,000, signaling a recovery in an industry that has been devastated by the Oct. 12 nightclub bombings, Indonesia's statistics bureau said. Still, Indonesia's tourist industry, which contributes about 5 percent to annual gross domestic product, suffered badly in 2002 due to the blast, the statistics bureau said in figures received Tuesday.
Overall tourist arrivals dropped 2.3 percent from the previous year to 5.03 million, it said, and December arrivals for Indonesia as a whole were still about 7 percent lower at 281,928. Foreign exchange from tourism also fell from US$5.4 billion in 2001 to $4.3 billion in 2002, it said.
"Although tourism to Indonesia has improved after the Oct. 12 Bali bombing, it hasn't yet recovered fully,'' the bureau said in a statement. Indonesia's success in capturing many suspects of the Bali attack has helped restore confidence among tourists, analysts say.
On Monday, police arrested the suspected leader of the Singapore branch of the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah terror network. Indonesia has said the group carried out the bombing, which killed 192 people, mostly foreign tourists. Tourism officials say they were also helped by a strong holiday season and a domestic market lured back to Bali with reduced hotel and air rates.
But they have said the next few months will determine if the rebound is strong enough to offset feared layoffs and business closures in Bali. The industry is likely to be helped by the announcement earlier this month that the island's first international airline, Air Paradise, will take to the skies Feb. 16. The airline - which will primarily cater to tourist from Australia _ was supposed to be launched on Oct. 27 but was delayed because of the Bali attack.



Posted in Tourism @ 04 February 2003 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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