The number of Australian tourists visiting Bali has seen a rebound recently, but the surprise increase has come from China.
The Jakarta Post reports:
In March, the number of Chinese tourists reached 21,492, a whopping 88.16 percent increase compared to the number recorded in February. The increase is expected to continue in the following months.
I spent most of last year in Beijing last year for the Olympics, and the country has undergone massive growth in its economy and spending power. Yes, there is still large amounts of poverty in rural areas, but in metropolitan areas, people are starting to make salaries which gives them larger spending power, with enough left over for domestic and overseas travel.
It is difficult for Chinese to get visas to most western countries, but it seems that Thailand and Indonesia it is not so difficult to travel to. Also, direct flight routes between mainland China and Bali are starting to open up.
With the outbreak of swine flu, I would expect Japanese tourist numbers to drop this year.