Chinese tourists were welcomed with flower garlands and souvenirs given to all passengers and liven up by a traditional Balinese dance and a lion dance performance at the international arrival terminal of Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai airport.
Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno welcomed Chinese tourists following the Chinese government’s decision to lift strict international travel restrictions on Jan. 8, 2023.
China is one of the largest market countries for tourism in Indonesia, and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is targeting 255,300 tourist visits from China in 2023, Sandiaga said in his statement on Sunday (Jan. 22) as quoted by Indonesia Window on Tuesday.
“We also continue to apply the health protocols that have been given by the Covid Task Force and the Ministry of Health on the arrival of Chinese tourists. And as of today (Jan. 22), no additional checks are required for tourists from China. All follow the existing standards,” Sandiaga said.
He is optimistic that the arrivals of Chinese tourists can support the target of foreign tourist arrivals, which this year would 3.5 million-7.4 million visits.
The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy will continue to promote favorite destinations including Bali, Manado (in North Sulawesi province) and five super priority destinations in attracting the Chinese market, he noted.
As many as 210 tourists from China landed at Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport after traveling nearly five hours from Bao’an International Airport, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, on Sunday.
The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy/The Tourism and Creative Economy Agency together with tourism stakeholders in Bali officially welcomed the arrival of holidaymakers from China.
Chinese tourists were welcomed with flower garlands and souvenirs given to all passengers and entertained with a traditional Balinese dance and a lion dance performance at the international arrival terminal.
“We rolled out a red carpet for them because our economy continues to grow. We hope that the arrival of Chinese travelers would further accelerate the recovery of this sector and more jobs would be opened,” the minister said.
Deputy for Marketing at the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Ni Made Ayu Marthini, when welcoming Chinese visitors at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, Sunday (Jan. 22), explained why Bali was the first destination to welcome Chinese tourists.
Based on data from Online Travel Agents (OTA) in China, there has been an increase in the volume of searching for tourist destinations abroad by 430 percent. Indonesia is in the top 5 searches and the volume of searching for Bali has increased by 250 percent.
She hoped that the event to welcome the Chinese tourists can be an effective means of promotion for tourists from the country.
“Bali is very popular in China. They love Bali for its nature, hotels and spas. They are very social media savvy. The second is access to flights that can go directly to Bali. To get visas is also easy, and of course (we) provide best services,” Ni Made Ayu said.
Made explained that Indonesia has good experience in crisis management during the COVID-19 pandemic which was accompanied by a massive increase in CHSE Certified Destinations.
CHSE stands for Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environment Sustainability.
In addition, the ratio of vaccination rates per population is relatively high, making Indonesia optimistic that it would welcome tourists from China well, she added.
She hopes that the arrival of tourists from China to Bali would have an impact on the revival of the Indonesian tourism, including that of Bali as the main gateway in Indonesia.
Governor of Bali I Wayan Koster on the same occasion said the number of tourists from China in 2019 reached 1.2 million visits, the second largest after those from Australia.
“Hopefully this year it (the tourism) would revive as planned. In 2023 there would be a revival of the Bali tourism.
“In 2019 the number of foreign tourists to Bali reached 6.3 million, and in 2022, after the pandemic, starting in July, it increased gradually and it was recorded that the number of foreign tourists had reached 2.4 million,” the governor noted.
In 2022, it only reached 37 percent of the normal situation in 2019 and hopefully this year it can reach the target of at least 4.5 million foreign tourist visits, he said.
Reporting by Indonesia Window