Bali tourist numbers up, still Indonesia’s most popular destination
Bali accounts for 35% of Indonesia’s tourist traffic and up to 45% of its foreign currency exchange, according to news agency Antara.
Tourists contributed Rp34 trillion (US$3.7bn) to Indonesia’s economy (time period not specified) in total. Other regions such as South Sulawesi, North Sumatra, Central Sulawesi and West Papua have noticed Bali’s success and are busy forming promotional alliances in the hope of attracting more foreign visitors.
Bali’s tourism service admits there are still improvements to be made in facilities, infrastructure and security, but visitor numbers have increased every year for the past five years, except 2006. Two million visitors arrived there from overseas in 2009, and 2010′s figures already show an 18% improvement on that figure.
Nearby Australia is still the number one country for foreign arrivals but in the past year, China replaced Japan as the number two source. South Koreans and Malaysians rounded out the top five. Bali is responding to the big increase in Chinese tourists and there are now nearly 800 Mandarin-speaking tour guides in the province, the Tourism Service said.
(I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Indonesia has a beautiful setting and is sitting on a potential tourism goldmine, so long as it develops the right infrastructure and promotes itself effectively.)
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