Bali Strives to Lure More Chinese Tourists

JAKARTA ~

As more and more high-spending Chinese tourists travel abroad, Indonesia does not want to miss the opportunity of enjoying the share of the Chinese tourist boom.

Over the past several years, the world had experienced a sharp, upward trend in overseas travel among the Chinese people. Around 3.62 billion journeys, or 200 million more than last year, are expected to be made by the Chinese people this year, CNN reported.

The Chinese travel and spend more than anyone else on the planet, according to the United Nations as quoted by CNN. They spent $102 billion on 83 million trips in 2012, and they will continue to dominate the market.

The Indonesian government had intensified tourism promotion in China and launched a Chinese-language website to boost the number of Chinese arrivals by 37 percent to one million by the end of 2014.

Bali is one of the world’s 10-most favorite tourist destinations for the Chinese people, apart from Australia, Cape Town, Edinburgh, Hawaii, Madrid, Egypt, Niagara Falls, Paris and Switzerland, according to the result of the polling of the Beijing People’s Broadcasting 2011.

“Most Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia choose Bali as their favorite destination for a vacation,” I Gusti Ngurah Putra, secretary to the tourism and the creative economy ministry’s tourism marketing director general, said recently.

The number of Chinese tourist arrivals in Bali in January 2014 reached 52,060, a sharp increase of 80.52 percent from 28,839 in January 2013.

Chinese tourists in Bali were the second-largest in number after Australians last year, the Bali tourism office had announced recently.

Last year, a total of 387,533 Chinese tourists visited Bali, up 24.65 percent from 310,904 in 2012.

“China is a potential market for Indonesia’s tourism industry, with Bali as the main destination,” Dewa Nyoman Putra, a Bali tourism observer, said.

In 2013, at least 76 million Chinese people traveled overseas as tourists. This year, the number is expected to increase to 100 million, he explained.

China’s economic growth, which has been improving rapidly, has encouraged its people to travel abroad. This opportunity should be used optimally by Bali, he pointed out.

He urged the Indonesian government to intensify tourism promotion activities in China to attract more Chinese tourists to visit the country.

“I am glad to hear that the Indonesian flagship airline Garuda Airways recognizes China as a potential market,” he added.

In January 2012, the number of Chinese tourist arrivals in Bali increased 222.18 percent, from 17,102 in January 2011, to more than 55,090.

Most of these tourists came to Bali on direct flights from China, while only 30 arrived on cruise ships, Head of the Bali Office of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) Gede Suarsa said.

He said he hoped that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Bali will increase in the future due to China’s robust economic growth and direct flights between China and Bali.

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