Is that light at the end of the tunnel?

2022 was a year of reducing or entirely removing Covid-19 travel restrictions, with the world gearing up to travel again. Foreign arrivals to Bali started picking up in May 2022, when it recorded 115,611 foreign tourists, which was double April’s foreign arrivals. By December 2022, foreign arrivals to Bali were only 32% less for the month compared to the pre-pandemic level of 2019.

On the other hand, domestic arrivals continued regardless of government traveling limitations, mandatory PCR swab tests, and vaccination certificates for departure and arrival permits. The nation’s tourism recovery is inevitable, timeframe being the only unknown, with the government removing all COVID-19 restrictions on 30th December 2022.

International arrivals to Bali fell to around 1 million in 2020, with international travel on hold for 2021; Bali recorded only 51 foreign arrivals. In 2022 with the restrictions being eased throughout the year, Bali recorded 2,155,747 foreign arrivals, which is almost double that recorded in 2020 but still only one-third of pre-pandemic 2019 levels. Domestic tourism in 2022 provided the island its much-needed lifeline, with 8,052,874 domestic visitors recorded, which is only 24 percent less compared to 2019.

Overall Bali Hotel Performance

YE 2022, Bali hotels recorded an increase in all metrics over YE 2021, which is entirely due to the easing of restrictions throughout the year. Remarkably, and admirably, recorded ADR FY 2022 was higher than that recorded in 2019 in both IDR and USD, despite the devaluation of the IDR. Occupancy could not, of course, reach the same levels as 2019 however with FY 2022 creeping over 50% the hotels are back on track. Q4 2022 outstripped Q4 2019 in almost all metrics riding the wave of increased accessibility, the G20 submit and year-end celebrations.

2023 YTD Feb Outlook

As Bali continues to woo travellers with its picturesque landscapes and exotic culture, its hotel industry has been on a rollercoaster ride in the past couple of years. However, the first two months of 2023 have brought a glimmer of hope, signalling a spectacular revival for the hospitality sector. Against all odds, Bali’s hotels have not only surpassed 2022 figures but also shattered the pre-pandemic benchmarks of 2019. With no travel restrictions (other than PRC for a part of Q1), the island has welcomed a wave of visitors, and the latest metrics paint a promising picture for the industry. Occupancy rates for Bali overall reached 62.8% YTD Feb 2023, which is only 1.8% point lower than the 2019 YTD Feb figure.