Thursday, March 22, 2018


Jakarta, March 22, 2018 (Antara) - Several countries contributing to the largest number of tourists to Bali Island have shifted from those considered as traditional markets, such as Japan and Europe, to China and India.
         India is one of the growing markets, with a high potential for Bali tourism. But its tourism potential had slowed down due to the recent eruption of Mount Agung.     
    Bali has become one of the favorite destinations for Indian people, after the Indonesian government implemented the free-visa policy for India since 2015.
        A significant increase in Indian tourist arrivals was recorded after the policy was implemented, from 19 thousand tourists in 2015 to 250 thousand tourists in 2017, up by 45.59 percent from 187,351 in the year before.
          India is the third biggest contributor of foreign tourists after China and Australia, out of the total 5.8 million foreign tourists visiting the island.
         In January 2018, the number of Indian tourists visiting Bali rose by 29,016, or 65.62 percent, from the same period last year.
         "However, it was down by 107, or 0.37 percent, from the previous month. In December 2017, the total number of Indian tourist arrivals was recorded at 29,123," head of the Central Statistics Agency office, Adi Nugroho, stated.
        Most of the Indian tourists come by direct flight from their country, while others travel by cruise ship.

          India maintains its third position after Australia and China, which contribute 358,065, or 8.10 percent, of the total foreign tourists to the island in January 2018, up from 42,156 in December 2017.
           Australia is the biggest supplier, with the number of tourists from that country contributing 24.20 percent of the total number of foreign tourists, followed by China, contributing 13.15 percent. Japan is in the fourth place.
         Tourists from Britain contribute 3.92 percent, the US 3.83 percent, Russia 3.63 percent, Malaysia 3.61 percent, South Korea 2.52 percent, and Singapore 2.17 percent.
         Meanwhile, the majority of Indian tourists, however, still prefer to visit Thailand, considering the more number of direct flights to Thailand.
            Therefore, Indonesian national airlines are also encouraged to open more direct flights from Bali to a number of cities in India and vice-versa, in order to improve the island's tourism competitiveness.
           Indian Consul General in Bali, Sunil Babu, believes that more direct flights will bring more Indian tourist to Bali.
          Indonesia has also intensified tourism promotion in non-traditional markets, such as China, India, and Russia, over the last several years.
        In early March, the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD) of Badung District held a table-top meeting to attract more Indian tourists, who currently become the third biggest foreign tourists visiting the island.
          "We invite them to feel the real experience and knowledge and receive complete information on how to attract potential Indian tourists," BPPD Badung's Head I Gusti Ngurah Rai Surya Wijaya remarked after attending the table-top meeting between Balinese and Indian businessmen in Kuta.
          Around 200 travelers and 70 travel agents from India joined the business forum held by a local travel agency, Tria Uma.
            The meeting between Indian buyers and Balinese sellers was aimed to boost the number of Indian tourist arrivals in Bali, as they can directly talk and make some business deals.
         Also, earlier in March this year, the Indonesian Embassy in New Delhi, India, held a gala dinner under a theme "Bali Yatra" to attract more Indian tourists to Indonesia, which is expected to reach 700 thousand people in 2018.
          "The event featured traditional dances and Balinese culinary delights, as well as the unveiling of a curtain flax, which illustrated the history of Balinese and Odisha interactions, hosted by Arto Suryodipuro, the Indonesian Ambassador to India, and Sudip Sen, the Director of Resource of Indica Pvt. Ltd., a company which is engaged in commercial advertising, " the embassy revealed in a statement on March 12.
          The gala dinner was attended by 170 guests, consisting of tourism industry actors, tour and travel operators, artists, academics, media, and friendly associations, such as the India-Indonesia Friendship Society (IIFS) and the World Wide Friendship Association (WWFA).
          The event is an opportunity for the Indian people to see Indonesia as a close friend and to increase public interest to visit Indonesia to understand the cultural interactions between the two nations.
          The gala dinner also featured the launch of a book entitled "The Pride and Glory of Bali Yatra" and a documentary screening of Bali and Odisha relations.
          The book "Pride and Glory of Bali Yatra" contains a collection of photographs by Sen, depicting the charm of Bali's beauty and the grandeur of the Prambanan and Borobudur Temples.
            The photographs were exhibited at the Odisha State Maritime Museum, in collaboration with the Indian National Trust for Cultural Heritage and the Times of India & Indonesia Tourism in 2017. The work received positive attention from local media and the state government of Odisha.
        Suryodipuro, in his speech, invited all partners to identify various potentials of Indonesia that could be explored in order to encourage the enhancement of bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the future.  ***1***

(T.F001/A/BESSR/A. Abdussalam) 22-03-2018

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