The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), in the center of the island Ubud, to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer development of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.
The American government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. As of 2009, the Australian government still rates it at a 4 danger level (the same as several countries in central Africa) on a scale of 5.
Kuta Beach is a popular tourist spot in Bali
An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula, on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are being developed along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis, have remained stable.
In the last half of 2008, Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry, but not due to any travel warnings.
Bali's tourism economy survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, and the tourism industry has in fact slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels; the longterm trend has been a steady increase of visitor arrivals. At 2010, Bali received 2.57 million foreign tourists. It is surpassed the target of 2.0-2.3 million tourists. The average occupancy of starred hotels achieved 65 percent (last year 60.8 percent), so still capable for accommodates tourists for next some years without any addition of new rooms/hotels, although at the peak season some of them are fully booked.
Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. The award was presented in the show "World's Best Awards 2010" in New York, on 21 July. Hotel Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran also received an award in the category of "World Best Hotel Spas in Asia 2010". The award was based on a survey of travel magazine Travel + Leisure readers between 15 December 2009 through 31 March 2010, and was judged on several criteria. Thermes Marins Bali, Ayana Resort and Spa, (formerly The Ritz-Carlton) got score 95.6 scored out of a maximum 100 of satisfaction index with spa facilities and services as #1 Spa in the world by Conde Naste's Traveller Magazine for 2010 by their readers poll. The island of Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. According to BBC Travel released in 2011, Bali is one of the World's Best Islands, rank in second after Greece.
On August 2010, the film version of Eat, Pray, Love (EPL), which starred Julia Roberts, was released in theaters. The movie was based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir of the same name. It took place at Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali. The 2006 book, which spent 57 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, has already fueled a boom in EPL tourism in Ubud, the hill town and cultural and tourist center that was the focus of Gilbert's quest for balance through traditional spirituality and healing that leads to love. Newly launched packages by luxury resorts and spas like Ubud Hanging Gardens and the cliff-top Ayana promise to recreate Gilbert's four transformative months on Bali in a few passing days with yoga classes, drawn-out beach dinners, massage therapy. Other tours built around the book focus on curative group gatherings and self-discovery of the kind Gilbert had. EPL helped boost Bali’s tourist numbers, together with the stable security situation on the island. Bali had 2.5 million visitors in 2010, exceeding their target of 2.3 million. That figure was also an improvement from 2009’s 2.2 million and 2008’s 1.96 million visitors. The Tourism Office admitted that they had done nothing to maximize the opportunity to promote Bali and surrender to the filmmakers to promote.
Since 2011, China has displaced Japan as the second-largest supplier of tourists to Bali, while Australia still tops the list. China tourists increased by 17 percent from last year due to the impact of ACFTA and new direct flights to Bali.