As the Boycott Bali movement was getting going, Australians went to Indonesia in record numbers


Earlier today the ABS released its international arrivals and departure figures for March.

After seasonal adjustments, short-term international visitor and resident departure numbers both hit record highs in rolling 12-month terms for the month.

In other words, the annual number of holiday makers and businesspeople going in and out of the country between last April and this March was the highest ever.

One of the figures that jumped out at us was the number of short-term Australian departures to Indonesia, particularly in light of the “Boycott Bali” protests seen on social media in recent months, a protest against Indonesia’s death sentence for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran of the Bali Nine.

In March Australians making short-term trips to Indonesia rose to 98,500, a record high.

In the year to March just over 1.1 million short-term trips were undertaken to Indonesia, also a record high. From February 2006, the month the Bali Nine were initially arrested, the total annual increase has surged by 287%.

The chart below reveals the parabolic nature of Australian departures to Indonesia since 2006.

While these figures are for March – not April when Chan and Sukumaran were executed by Indonesian authorities – it is clear that Australians, at least in the lead up the events in April, were not deterred in traveling to Indonesia.

It will be interesting to see what, if any, the Boycott Bali movement has on total visitor numbers to Indonesia in the months ahead.

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