Love Affair Endures
WA’s love affair with Bali keeps smashing records, with the number of holidaymakers from Perth leaping fivefold in the past seven years.
Official figures show 429,000 West Australians travelled to the Indonesian island last year, making it the undisputed number one holiday destination.
Bali is now the second most popular destination after Singapore, which had 492,000 travellers from WA.
But Singapore is also a business centre as well as transit stop for destinations in Europe and the rest of Asia.
The big lure of Bali is its thousands of resorts, which often have extraordinary deals.
A survey by _The West Australian _/booking.com reveals that there are 1200 properties with rooms costing only up to $70 a night available for the first week of February.
Most of those are three and four-star rated. Overall, according to the booking.com website, Bali has 2876 licensed resorts and hotels.
Those properties are spread around the island, with the majority in Ubud with 503.
Next is Seminyak with 496 and then Kuta at 220, Legian has 162, Sanur 180, Jimbaran 126 and Nusa Dua at 62.
The number of hotels is also driving the price down. The head of the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI) Bali, Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, told the Bali Daily last week that the occupancy rate was only 55 per cent.
Mr Wijaya said “the growth in tourist arrivals stood at the highest level in Bali’s tourism history”.
But he warned that “this is not necessarily followed by an improvement in the quality of tourist facilities and services”.
The Bali Daily says the provincial administration has targeted attracting 3.1 million foreign tourists by the end of 2013. West Australians make up about 16 per cent of visitors.
Mr Wijaya warned that some new types of accommodation, such as rental houses, did not have operational or business licences.
Jetstar, Indonesia AirAsia, Garuda Indonesia and Virgin Australia have up to 12 return flights a day between Perth and Bali at peak times.
Fares are often below $100 one-way during the many seat sales.