HONG KONG – The Bali travel trade expressed optimism that demand for the island will normalise by December.
Robert Kensall, chair of the Bali Hotels Association told TravelWeekly, “We sincerely believe from the data collected so far that the recovery process will be much faster than on the previous occasion and would expect things to be returning to normal for our peak season in December.”
The bombings’ impact on the tourism business still cannot be determined.
“It is still very much early days,” he said. “There were relatively few early departures and most holidaymakers chose to stay and finish their holiday.
“Cancellations are being received by hotels, as would be expected. These are predominantly for within the next ten days as we are in a state of ‘limbo’ as the consumers are awaiting the conclusions and outcomes and reassurances.
“BHA hotels are averaging around 70 percent occupancy five days after the incident. New bookings are also being received. Airlines are reporting a reduction in the load factors inbound of around five percent,” he said.
The travel trade is currently busy in focusing on damage control and addressing the island security.
“Bali Tourism Board has established a Crisis Media Centre to handle all the media. All Bali stakeholders are working in a consolidated manner to develop strategies to aid in the recovery process,” he said.
“BHA has developed sub-committees to focus on different aspects such as security, marketing strategies, public relations, etcetera.”
BHA is providing updates on the situation in Bali in its website (www.balihotelsassociation.com) under “News”.
Kensall said that it is still too early for the hotels to review their sales and marketing plans.
“We are still in the early stage of the aftermath impact and, as a united association, the hotels are still monitoring and reviewing its impacts over the business.
"We would be able to get a clearer picture in few weeks and would certainly come up with action plans including promotional activities whenever necessary,” he said.