Australia tourism has increased drastically in the last century, but in recent times, it is having trouble competing with the allures of more tropical locations. For the fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers common in Western Australia, Bali seems to be a more popular destination than Western Australia itself. This Indonesian island is filled with beaches, forested volcanoes, and coral reefs, and there are many reasons for its soaring popularity.
Edith Cowan University has recently been studying tourism patterns to see why FIFO workers make the choices that they do. The researchers ended up speaking with several FIFO workers. 75 percent of the workers were male, roughly one third of them were married, and they were all between the ages of 22 and 64. Most of the workers had visited Bali between two to 15 times in the past few years, and every FIFO worker had been to Bali at least once. One had actually traveled to Bali for vacation over 70 times. Some have even been hosting their bachelor parties over there with all of their FIFO mates.
According to Dr. Greg Wilson, the main draw of Bali is that it is affordable. The island is just a short and inexpensive flight away from Western Australia, and lodgings are cheap. FIFO workers’ dollars are very strong compared to the local currency, so the workers can get a lot of lodging, food, and entertainment for their money that would not go as far in Western Australia. Bali often tends to offer a lot of holiday deals, making it even cheaper for FIFO workers to enjoy their time there.
Bali is also considered an excellent vacation location by FIFO workers because it is exotic. In Bali, workers enjoy experiencing the completely different location and the unique culture of the Indonesian people. The complete change in vegetation, location, scenery, and people provides a refreshing vacation for workers who are tired of being in Western Australia.
The proximity of Bali to Western Australia further heightens its appeal. Workers do not have to spend their short vacation time traveling, instead they can spend their time on the beach. Among the workers interviewed by Edith Cowan University, Bali trips were especially common among the workers with a two weeks on and then one week off schedule. FIFO workers with longer breaks would often consider Europe for a vacation, while workers with shorter breaks stayed in Australia. However, since the one week vacation is so common, Bali continues to be popular.
Though there are some tourism options in Western Australia, Bali continues to be the favorite vacation of FIFO workers. It is very close to Australia, so travel there is cheap and short. And once people get to Bali, they can enjoy a fascinating and exotic vacation in an area where everything is very affordable to buy.