The Christmas holidays are fast approaching. With Bali anticipating a huge influx of tourists over the festive break, tourism leaders are giving their assurances to the public that the island is ready and excited to celebrate the end of the year.
Officials from the Bali Tourism Department have issued a statement for tourism operators on the island to be meticulous in their safety and security preparations ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Speaking from Denpasar the Head of the Bali Tourism Office, Tjokorda Bagus Pemayun, told reporters that Bali has exceeded its tourism target of welcoming 4.5 million international arrivals in 2023.
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A huge influx of international and domestic tourists is set to start arriving on the island from 20th December onwards.
Pemayun is instructing all tour operators and attractions to make sure everything is safe and ready to manage the increased number of visitors.
He confirmed that the Tourism Task Force will still be working throughout the festive season and running patrols around the island’s busiest resorts.
The Tourism Task Force is tasked with ensuring tourists are behaving in a legal and culturally respectful way.
They are also on hand to ensure that tourists are not being scammed or mistreated on the island.
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Pemayun also confirmed that border officers will continue to conduct temperature checks on tour arrivals amidst a surge in the number of child pneumonia cases in China and a recent outbreak of Monkey Pox in Jakarta.
Speaking separately, the Chairman of the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI) Bali, Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana, has called on drivers and tourists to brace themselves for traffic jams.
Though he noted, “We hope there will be a solution to overcome traffic jams.”
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Not only will there be a huge increase in the number of international arrivals being driven on Bali’s roads from destination to destination, but the vast majority of domestic tourists arrive in Bali via their own vehicle. Over the festive season, tens of thousands more vehicles are on the island’s roads, which only adds to the already mounting traffic issues.
Agung is calling on tourists to look for places to stay that are a little off the beaten track, especially for those who want to escape the crowds and traffic queue.
He said, “We hope there will be no clusters in southern Bali…we hope that tourist visits can be more evenly distributed.”
Tourists planning a last-minute trip to Bali are being advised to book accommodation in advance wherever possible.
Predictions from the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) in Badung Regency, which is the area home to resorts like Seminyak, Kuta, Legian, Canggu, and Uluwatu, say that room occupancy will reach upwards of 70% across the district.
The Chairman of the PHRI Badung, I Gusti Agung Ngurah Rai Suryawijaya, told reporters, “We hope that at Christmas it can reach 80 percent and at New Year I hope it can be fully booked or the availability of rooms has run out, meaning it can reach 95-100 percent.”
He has also warned tourists to book their flight tickets and their ferry and fast boat tickets as soon as possible to help reduce the risk of disappointment.
Suryawijaya said, “Transportation tickets, both land and air, are in great demand in the third week of December. More and more extra flights from within and outside the country are coming to Bali. Good infrastructure in Bali also supports land travel, especially via Gilimanuk Harbor.”
He stressed that after the election campaign security will be heightened around the island, although tourists have been assured that the political activities happening around Indonesia will not impact their vacation.
Suryawijaya continued, “We hope to work even harder to provide opportunities for all countries who want to visit Bali.”
“We also have to maintain the conduciveness of our area because tourism is very close to security. Otherwise, there are no tourists. It is mandatory for us to maintain regional security so that tourism can increase.”
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