The recent earthquakes that struck Indonesia have had a notable negative impact on tourism bookings, according to data from research firm ForwardKeys.
The company’s figures suggest that since the major earthquakes that occurred on 29 July and 5 August, respectively measuring 6.4 and 6.9 on the Richter scale, which killed nearly 600 people, inbound bookings to Indonesia have dropped by 26 per cent. Before the disasters, 2018 had been an overall positive year for tourism in the country, with bookings from January onward registering a 10-per-cent increase compared with the same period last year.
However, once the July quake struck that growth stopped entirely, and after the second quake a sizeable decline was seen. While Bali is the most popular destination for visitors heading to Indonesia, Lombok – where the two earthquakes hit – is very close by, so confidence has been severely shaken. Looking at Bali specifically, ForwardKeys found that between January and the end of July this year, bookings were 15-per-cent higher than the equivalent span last year; after the first quake, a painful 42.9-per-cent drop was seen.
The capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, however, has not been hit quite so badly, with bookings down by only two per cent.
“In the face of such an overwhelming natural disaster, it is not surprising that there has been a collapse in bookings,” commented ForwardKeys’ Chief Executive Olivier Jager. “One can only feel enormous sympathy for Indonesia and for the people of Lombok.”