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Bali Tourists Could Be Directed To East Java Airport To Discover West Bali

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As stakeholders have spoken up about their hopes for progress on North Bali Airport in the coming months, Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Economics has expressed his wishes for airports in East Java to be better utilized to support Bali tourists.

West Bali National Park

Minister Sandiaga Uno told reporters that East Java’s Banyuwangi Airport could be promoted as an alternative Bali Airport for those seeking domestic connections in Indonesia.

Currently, the island of Bali has just one airport, I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.

While the airport currently has enough capacity to serve upwards of seven million international arrivals a year, due to its location in the central south of the island, tourists often overlook tourism opportunities in the far west of the province. 

@greygriy place you should visit in west Bali🏝 📍Menjangan island, Buleleng, Bali #westbali #buleleng #giliputih #menjangan #menjanganisland #sumberkima #fyp ♬ son original – nathaellabat

Bali is in fact surprisingly big, most first time visitors fail to realise that areas like Amed in the east, Lovina in the north and West Bali National Park lie at least a 4-hour drive from Bali Airport, longer if traffic is bad. 

When asked about his feelings regarding the development of North Bali Airpot, Minister Uno instead suggested that East Java could be better utilized for tourism.

This is a concept Minister Uno and the tourism ministry have been quietly promoting for a while.

They want to see East Java and West Bali managed as combined tourism areas.

@po0tatotie underwater beauty💙 #bali #banyuwangi #snorkeling #westbali #underwater #coralreef #westbalitour #westbalinationalpark #balibarat #indonesia ♬ End Credits – Takeshi Furukawa

Minister Uno said, “Perhaps visits can be optimized via Banyuwangi Airport, which can be connected via sea or land routes to several destinations in West Bali.” It is currently easy, if not all that comfortable, to travel by ferry from Banyuwangi to Gilimanuk Habor, with crossings happening throughout the day and night.

Minister Uno revealed that the average number of domestic tourists who travel by air is only 10%, with overland travel making up 80% of domestic travel and travel by sea routes making up 10%.

He wants the incoming government to conduct an in-depth study as to whether North Bali Airport is really viable or whether the most environmentally friendly and economically viable option is to promote Banyuwangi Airport and invest in leveling up ferry services between East Java and West Bali. 

@k.alexik 📍West Bali National Park #bali #indonesia #balidog #nusapenida #gilitrawangan #gili #nusa ♬ Pretty (Sped Up) – MEYY

Minister Uno said “if we don’t manage it well, this will have an impact on the environment, but as far as I know, these studies are still ongoing.”

“So that the next government and ministers can take a stand and provide a road map to provide certainty for the new airport, whether it needs to be built new or whether it can rely on the existing one, namely the airport in Banyuwangi.”


Minister Uno acknowledged that although I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport has sufficient capacity for now, the airport is approaching its maximum limit.

Minister Uno said, “We are not in a position to provide support or not support, but in overseeing tourism in Bali and Indonesia in general for quality visits and environmental sustainability, of course, this plan must be thought through carefully because there is now a large airport in Banyuwangi.”


The idea behind North Bali Airport has been on the table for years, yet the first formal discussions were facilitated by the then Governor of Bali I Made Mangku Pastika in 2016.

The project was then taken up by Bali Governor I Wayan Koster for the 2018-2023 period, where the project was facilitated through to the location assessment stage.

However, in 2022, the construction of North Bali Airport was removed from the National Strategic Project (PSN) by President Joko Widodo as insufficient progress had been made, and funds had not been generated to proceed.


However, the plans to create North Bali Airport are up for discussion again after Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming won the 2024 Presidential Election celebration. Subianto visited Buleleng during his election campaign and pledged his support for the project. 

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Tuesday 28th of May 2024

Another brain fart

For international tourist going to Buleleng or Jembrana it would involve a domestic flight, ferry to Gilimanuk the transport to their destination. Even with today's congestion going by road would be far quicker and more comfortable.

For domestic tourists look at your own stats. The majority come from Java and the majority choose to come by car or bus. If East Java or North Bali were desirable they'd be currently going there


Monday 27th of May 2024

"Minister for Tourism and Creative Economics has expressed his wishes for airports in East Java like Banuwangi airport to be better utilized for tourists."

The same minister has via his investment company part ownership in a huge gold mine in Banuwangi: Tumpang Pitu gold mine is covering around 4 x 2 km area causing damage to one of the few forests left in Java! The mining company is now developing a copper mine in the same area!

Gold mining can have devastating effects on nearby water resources, contaminating them with toxic mine waste that contains dangerous chemicals such as arsenic, lead, mercury, and cyanide. [GreenMatch dot org].

This is just unbelievable: Tycoon with indirect ownership in gold mining is also in charge of promoting the nations nature for tourism?

Protests by local people to no avail:


Wayan Bo

Sunday 26th of May 2024

šŸ¦§: There are thousands possibilities to be directed also to another islands šŸ¤£

Mr Bear Snr

Sunday 26th of May 2024

We were abducted at knife point in a bemo in Banyuwangi a few years back. You wouldn't catch us going near there, ever again.


Tuesday 28th of May 2024

@Mr Bear Snr, lightning does not strike twice in the same place. Sigh...


Sunday 26th of May 2024

I think it's a smart idea from Mr. Uno, should be realize...