Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - The number of Australian tourists in Bali reached 432,480 during the January-July 2011 period, up 26.58 percent from 341,664 in the same period last year.
"The significant increase puts Australia in the first place among the top ten sources of Bali`s foreign tourists," I Gede Suarsa, the head of the Bali Central Bureau of Statistics, said here on Tuesday.
Most of them came through Ngurah Rai airport by plane straight from their country, and only 7,135 came by ships or yachts.
In 2010 the number of Australians holidaying in Bali reached 641,588, a 43.67 percent increase compared to 2009 when the figure -was 446,570.
Australians have become increasingly interested in Bali, as they consider the paradise island their "second home". Besides, Bali is just a short flight away from Australia while the Australian economy is improving.
Gede Suarsa said Australia contributed 27.25 percent of the total number of foreign tourists coming to Bali totaling 1.58 million during the period of January-July 2011.
The figure increased 10.60 percent from 1.43 million in the same period last year.
He added the numbers of tourists from nine out of ten of the biggest contributors of tourists to Bali had increased significantly and that of only one of them had declined.
The nine countries, including Australia, were China up 11.63 percent from 118,008 to 131,731; Malaysia 19.27 percent from 80,406 to 95,898; Taiwan 1.41 percent from 78,059 to 79,162 ; South Korea up 0.54 percent from 71,019 e to 71,399 ; Singapore up 30.97 percent from 48,020 to 62,893 ; France 7.18 percent from 56,744 to 60,817 ; England 8.49 percent from 51,491 to 55,864 ; and the United States up 25.58 percent from 39,806 to 49,989.
The country with the declined number of tourists to Bali was Japan which was down 26.07 percent from 141,743 in the first seven months of 2010 to 104,788 in the same period this year.