Bali set a new record of foreign tourist arrivals with 2.2 million in 2009, but local and international tourism industry players doubt the island can equal or break the mark in the future.
Ida Bagus Sidharta Putra of Santrian Group tours and travel network said Saturday Bali was lucky to receive foreign tourists who shifted their destination from Thailand due to a protracted political crisis there last year.
“I think it will be difficult for us to equal the record now that Thailand has regained political stability. Early room booking this year is no better than last year. A number of tourists from Russia and Europe have even canceled their trips here due to global financial crisis which remains unabated,” he was quoted by kompas.com.
Oliver Libutzki, the regional market management director of Agoda, a Bangkok-based international tours and travel agent, warned Bali of the recovery of tourism industry in Thailand and Malaysia. Thailand, he said, has registered 60,000 early bookings per day.
He said traffic congestions and dirty beaches were among the problems Bali had to address in order to attract more foreign tourists.