Every year the Ministry for Tourism and Creative Economies in Indonesia sets targets for the number of international visitors the country should ideally welcome.
With new travel figures released this week, data shows that Indonesia has already surpassed predictions for this point in the year.
The vast majority of international tourists heading to Indonesia visit Bali. The Island of the Gods is the country’s flagship tourism destination, and despite huge efforts to promote other incredible areas of Indonesia like Sumba, Sulawesi, and the Flores Islands, Bali remains the number one destination for holidaymakers in Indonesia.
At the beginning of the year, the Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies Sandiaga Uno set a national target of welcoming 8.5 million international tourists by the end of 2023.
On a provincial level, Bali was set to welcome 4.5 million international visitors. Data shows that both targets will be smashed by the end of the year, showing that both Bali and Indonesia as a whole is a more popular travel destination than even the country’s leading tourism figures could have predicted.
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Speaking to the media, Minster Uno explained how 2023 is proving to be the country’s most successful year for tourism since before the pandemic.
He confirmed that the cumulative number of international tourist arrivals into Indonesia between January and the end of August 2023 reached 7.44 million.
There is always a one-month delay on travel figures from the Central Statistics Agency so we can expect to hear September’s figures in the next few days.
Minister Uno said that foreign tourists to Indonesia, with the vast majority arriving in Bali, reached 1.1 million in August.
He added, “This is up from the previous month, and compared to last year, up almost 70 percent. Successfully achieved the target of 7.4 million foreign tourists at the beginning of the year.”
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With his eyes firmly set on the end of the year, Minster Uno shared his optimism with the press. He explained how targets will be surpassed. “It can be significantly exceeded by 15-20 percent, the target is [now] 10-11 million foreign tourist visits.”
Across the country, the most frequent foreign arrivals in Indonesia come from Malasyaisa, closely followed by Australians and Singaporeans.
In Bali specifically, travelers from Australia remain, and maybe always will, the most frequent international arrivals to the island.
Minster Uno said, “If we look at foreign tourist visits in August, it is dominated by Malaysia at 15.4 percent, Australia at 11.4 percent, and Singapore at 9.3 percent.”
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August saw the biggest increase in international arrivals across Indonesia compared to any other month.
Minister Uno said, “This increase was recorded as the biggest at Ngurah Rai Airport, which increased by more than 280%, then Soekarno Hatta Airport, which increased by 159%.”
So, with Bali proving to be even more of a popular tourist destination than even the Tourism Ministry anticipated, what is it that is making travelers put the Island of the Gods on their bucket lists?
Just last week, Bali was honored as the Best Island in Asia by readers of CN Traveler Magazine. This is one of the highest accolades a travel destination can be afforded, and it’s not hard to see why.
Despite Bali hitting the headlines this year around the world for a series of incidences involving badly behaved tourists, the island remains one of the friendliest, most welcoming, and most accommodating travel destinations in the world.
Tourists have access to everything they could wish for, from world-class accommodation, stunning beaches, forested landscapes, and island vibes.
In terms of entertainment, Bali once again is one of the best destinations in the world, with investment being pumped into creating more beach clubs, cafes, restaurants, and entertainment venues around the island.
In the next year, more funding will also be invested in improving transpiration around the island to help reduce traffic congestion for tourists and residents.
Of course, the incredible cultural heritage of Bali is not to be overlooked even for a second. Travel trends also show that tourists visit Bali to immerse themselves in the truly unique culture of the island.
Over the next few years, leaders on the island want to see Balinese culture and values integrated more fully into the island’s tourism offering, which will once again take the destination to new heights.
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