History of Bali Tourism

Part I - Timeline

The first western account of visiting Bali by Dutchman Aernoudt Lintgens.

Early 20th Century
Tourists reached by steamship from Java landing in the port of Buleleng (Singaraja).
The first tourist hotel (The Bali Hotel) was opened in Denpasar.

Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merpes, one of Bali’s famous expats, based himself in Sanur.

Bob Koke and his wife Louise opened the Kuta Beach Hotel, creating an informal (for the period) type of accommodation and atmosphere for visitors.

The emergence of Sanur on the SE coast.

Bali’s international airport, Ngurah Rai in Tuban (although referred to as Denpasar) opened.

The idea for Nusa Dua started with a stretch of mangrove and white sand beach on the eastern Bukit being transformed into a line of 20 luxury resorts.

Mass tourism started to make headway in with Legian emerging as the place to be and Seminyak the next in line.

A bombing by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.

The Indian Ocean Earthquake brought Bali many tourists who planned to go to Phuket or Maldive.

Another bombing by militant Islamists in Jimbaran and Kuta.

The American government lifted its travel warnings.

The Australian government still rates it a 4 danger level on a scale of 5.

The Indonesian Tourism Ministry expects more visitors arrivals, whose target for visitor arrivals is aimed to be the highest ever.

Why Go Bali

Part II - Statistics

As illustrated in the table, number of foreign passenger arrivals grew at a rate of 8.0% from about 491,000 in 1990 to around 2 million in 2008. Between 1990 and 1997, the compound annual growth rate is 14%. This dramatic growth is due to Bali’s growing status as a resort destination in the world. Because of the Asian financial crisis in 1998, visitor arrivals declined by 3.5%. Nevertheless, the number recovered soon and reached 1.36 million high in the next year. However, foreign arrivals began to fall from 2001, dipping to approximately 993,000 in 2003. Furthermore, events such as SARS also impacted the travel demand.

Between 2003 and 2007, the number of foreign arrivals to Bali fluctuated significantly because of the two terrorist attacks.

International visitor arrivals in 2008 hit approximately 2 million, 18.3% higher than in 2007. The growth is mainly due to a variety of promotional activities launched for new markets while maintaining the traditionally strong markets. Even though the number of foreign arrivals was influenced by the financial crisis, the year to date (YTD) August 2009 is still strong as almost 1.5 million, 12.8% higher than YTD August 2008.

Part III - Tourism and Its Impacts on Bali

Here is an interesting article on the impact of tourism on Balinese culture, written by Stephanie A. Thullen. This article is apart of her writing entitled Tourism and its Impacts on the Environment


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