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Australian interest in Bali holidays spikes after TV show What Really Happens in Bali

NRL bad boy Todd Carney’s Bali break has raised a few eyebrows, but he’s part of a wider trend.

The former Sharks star was spotted hanging out with convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby and sister Mercedes as new figures came to light showing Australians’ love affair with the Indonesian island is stronger than ever.

Statistics on Bali interest in the wake of the reality TV show What Really Happens in Bali reveal rather than being put off by the high-rating show’s depiction of the destination, Australians appear to be even more inclined to take a break there.

Figures from hotel search site trivago.com.au show Australian interest in Bali has grown in the two months since the show first went to air.

Searches spiked for some of the most popular — and notorious — holiday spots among Australians, including Kuta (a 59 per cent increase), Nusa Dua (64 per cent) and Seminyak (86 per cent).

The Channel 7 show, which premiered to more than 1 million viewers, drew attention to the seedier side of the popular destination, from the spread of STDs to dangers lurking in locally brewed drinks. 

In comparison to last year, Indonesia jumped from the third most searched-for country during June to the second most popular this year, trivago spokeswoman Bianca Delbao said.

“Although the majority of television series reveals the negative reality of a Balinese holiday, our data shows that the exposure actually creates hype and increased travel interest to the featured destination,” she said.

Official figures also show an increase in Bali travel. From January to the end of March, 831,625 foreigners visited the island, compared with 727,013 in the same period in 2013.

Most (25 per cent) were Australians — 207,475 compared with 179,375 last year.  

Political instability in Thailand, which culminated in a coup in late May, has also been credited for driving renewed interest in Bali, with the local tourism industry ramped up promotions and deals in a bid to capture holiday-makers reluctant to go to Thailand.

“I don’t want to laugh over our neighbour’s misery, but this kind of opportunity must be used to its maximum,” the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association’s Bali chairman Tjokorda Artha Ardana Sukawati said in the wake of the coup.

Source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/travel/travel-news/australian-interest-in-bali-holidays-spikes-after-tv-show-what-really-happens-in-bali/story-fnjjv9zn-1227009043058?nk=b39c4d53e4163b0e0c9879f88452f71a