Indian, Chinese Tourists to Bali Increase

DENPASAR ~

The arrivals of Indian tourists to Bali increased 29.24 percent to 28,468 people in the January-April 2014 period compared with the same period in the prior year, when it was 23,686.

“The tourism promotions conducted by the Indonesian government yielded concrete results,” tourism observer and operator in Bali Made Sudana said here on Monday.

The local government of Bali is providing a chance for religious leaders to conduct a tirtayatra (holy) trip to India every year so that it will strengthen the relation between the religious communities of the two countries.

He said this was also expected to attract more Indians to Bali because the people in India also needed to know the development of the Hindu religion in the island.

The tourism observer said the holy trip was also an example of concrete promotion in India, expecting that the Indian tourist visits to Bali will increase.

He said the Indian tourists arriving in Bali in the past four months accounted for 2.16 percent of foreign tourists visiting the province in the same period. In the January-April 2014 period, 1.1 million people visited Bali.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Association of Tourism Industries (GIPI) of Bali said the country’s tourist island will gain from the unfavorable political conditions after the military takeover of power in Thailand.

Most of the foreign tourists will change their destination from Thailand to Bali, GIPI chairman Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya said here on Monday.

“Bali will certainly receive more tourists originally planning to visit Thailand,” Ngurah Wijaya said.

Thailand has been the main rival of Bali in attracting foreign tourists, especially those coming to enjoy the beauty of the beaches, he said.

In addition, Thailand now has low season, he said.

He said Chinese tourists, who favor visiting Thailand and Vietnam, where anti-China protest is increasing, are expected to change their destination to Bali.

A surge was already recorded in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Bali, he pointed out.

At least 45 countries have issued warnings to their citizens against visits to Thailand.

Foreign tourists are sensitive to security problem, he said.

Beside Indian tourists, the number of Chinese tourists to Bali also surged 50.17 percent to 151,058 in the first quarter of this year from 100,592 in the same period last year.

Chinese tourists accounted for 18.09 percent of the total number of 835,099 visitors to Bali or the second largest after Australians that accounted for 24.84 percent.

Tourism observer Dewa Nyoman Putra attributed the increase mainly to that country’s improved economic condition which grew 7.4 percent in the first quarter of the year.

In addition, there are many national holidays in China in the first quarter of the year, including Chinese new year from January 31 to February 6 , Nyoman Putra said here on Saturday.

Increase was recorded in the number of visitors from many other countries although decline was recorded in the number of visitors from Japan, Taiwan, Russia and Germany.

The number of visitors from both Australia and China are dominant, but the highest growth was recorded in the number of visitors from China and Singapore.

“The number of visitors from Singapore grew 48.72 percent or the second highest growth after China.

The trend is encouraging and could boost investment in the tourism sector in Bali,” Nyoman Putra said.

China is a potential market for Bali tourism especially with cultural similarities between Bali and China, he said.

“The central government as well as regional administration should fully utilize the favorable trend that Bali will continue to be the favorite tourist destination for Chinese,” Nyoman Putra added.

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