Bali might be Busy but People are not Staying Long
At the moment it is boom time in Bali with record numbers of tourists from around the world visiting the paradise isle. This is not only great news for the Balinese Government but it is also great for the traders on the streets, the restaurants and places of nightlife. Bali is truly rockin’ n’ rollin’. I was reading a good article today regarding this boom time but, it seems that people are staying for a shorter period of time and although you have the entry turnover of mass proportions, does it equate to mass money pouring into the island. Naturally, it depends how you look at the situation. It’s fantastic the increase in tourism but are the tourists spending the same amount as they did on previous visits or less?. Personally, I think it is less. It appears to be a growing trend where airlines such as Garuda offer unbelievably cheap holidays for a great price and this is superb for those tourists wanting a quick break but, they are not staying longer and thus not spending the money.
This brings me to the point of the VOA. A majority of you will remember the good old days when you rocked up in Bali, had your 60 day visa stamped in your passport and then did your thing enjoying yourself and spending heaps of money. I think the VOA was the worst thing that ever happened to Bali and although it might be a money-spinner for the Indonesian government, it restricts the amount of time people are allowed to stay on the island. Not so long ago the Indonesian government floated an idea to offer a 120 day visa which had every frequent traveller to the island filling their suitcases in readiness for the announcement. Alas, it never came and everything returned to normal. If the government were to say that for your USD$25 you have a 60 day visa then I feel quite confident the tourism on the island would increase even more than it has become now, people would stay longer and, spend more money. Of course, we are living in hard economic times, globally, but if holidaymakers can budget for a longer stay then that is a positive outcome for Bali and its people. They will spend more money.