Australians: No longer the number one source of visitors to Bali

Since the 1970s Australia has been the number one source of foreign visitors to Bali, more than 1 million in 2016, but that will probably change in 2017.

Bali welcomed 4.6 million visitors in 2016, an increase of 15 per cent on the year before.

Each month in 2016 saw higher visitor numbers than the same month in 2015, with major bulges in May, when the island recorded an increase of 33 per cent over May 2015, August with 44 per cent more and November, when the figure was a whopping 52 per cent.

The projection for 2017 is 5.2 million visitors, and since this represents growth of 13 per cent over 2016 that might be conservative.

Most of the surge is coming from a single source, China.

While Australians were still the largest foreign nationality with 23 per cent of all visitors in 2016, China was close behind with 20 per cent.

The real difference is in the rate at which visitor numbers from our two countries is increasing.

The 1.14 million Australians who visited Bali in 2016 represented a healthy 18 per cent increase over the year before, but this number was overshadowed by the 43 per cent increase in the number of Chinese visitors to Bali in 2016 over 2015.

For the first time, in 2017 Australians can expect to be the second most populous foreign nationality visiting the Island of the Gods.

Advertisement

Five essential things to know before you go to Bali

1. Remember you are a guest in someone else's country. Respect religious customs (cover up when visiting temples) and dress codes at restaurants, hotels and bars.

2. Kuta really is as bad as you think, but it's not the real Bali. Steer clear of seedy, cheap bars filled with tourists who find that appealing, and chat with the locals or watch the sunset over a rice field.

3. Bali belly is no longer the worry it once was. You still can't drink the water, but as long as you stick to bottled water (usually provided for free at hotels), you'll find hygiene standards have improved considerably.

4. Don't spend your whole holiday in a bar with other Australians; it's a waste of the airfare. Discover Bali's unique culture (it's all around you) and learn a few words of Bahasa Indonesia. It'll enhance your holiday big time.

5. Bali's rainy season (October-April), may mean cheaper flights and discount hotel prices, but it can really bucket down. Sometimes you can luck out with the occasional rain shower, but May-September is the best time for clear blue skies. - Sheriden Rhodes

See also: 20 things that will shock first-time visitors to Bali

See also: Forget cheap knock-offs, here are the best places to shop in Bali

Listen: Flight of Fancy - the Traveller.com.au podcast with Ben Groundwater

Is being an expat the ultimate travel experience?

To subscribe to the Traveller.com.au podcast Flight of Fancy on iTunes, click here.

Comments