Things may be looking up in other parts of the world amid the pandemic, but Bali is still struggling to recover its tourism industry as data shows it only saw 45 foreign visitors in the first 10 months this year.
The data, obtained from Central Statistics Agency (BPS), reflects the number of foreign tourists visiting Bali between January and October 2021. In fact, though Ngurah Rai International Airport began to accept international visitors starting in October, it has only seen two foreigners passing through the facility.
"That is the lowest number of foreign tourists that we have recorded," Nyoman Gede Gunadika, Head of Bali's Tourism Agency, said.
According to Gede, most foreign visitors arrived through Benoa Harbor using their own private yachts.
The data looks grim when compared to the years before the pandemic, where Bali saw millions of tourists visiting from different parts of the world. In 2019, almost 6.3 million foreign tourists visited the popular holiday destination. In 2020, Bali still welcomed over a million visitors in total as the impacts of COVID-19 were felt on its shores.
It's worth noting that BPS' data only tells part of the picture, considering that Bali was closed to international visitors for most of 2021 and only reopened in October. We have yet to see numbers from BPS for after October's reopening, though early indications suggest that the international tourism relaunch has been anticlimactic.
It's also worth noting that considering the looming threat of the coronavirus, things are decidedly better when it comes to domestic tourism. Official data estimates that around 3.6 million domestic holiday makers have visited Bali so far in 2021, and the numbers are expected to increase during the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays.