Tourism leaders in Bali have announced that they have their sights firmly set on a hugely successful Chinese New Year festival on the island.
With Bali set to welcome 7.5 million international tourists in 2024, leaders are keen to welcome more Chinese tourists than ever.
The Director of Regional Tourism Marketing for the Indonesian Tourism Ministry, Wisnu Sindutrisno, told reporters that he and his teams are targeting to welcome 1-1.5 million tourists from China in 2024.
This is up to 1.5 million Chinese tourists across the country, not only in Bali; though since Bali is Indonesia’s flagship tourism destination, it remains the most in-demand with travelers from all nations.
Sindutrisno revealed, “Last year, we targeted 361,000 Chinese tourists, and we achieved 707,000. This year, the target has been readied to 1-1.5 million; this will be achieved by 13 [regular] flights.”
“So far, we have calculated this seating capacity to be 1.1 million.”
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According to travel data sourced by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economies, 65% of tourists who travel internationally from China are in the younger demographics who want to travel for longer, seeking out adventure, culture, and nature activities.
Sindutrisno said, “Equality is what we encourage. That’s why in all promotional programs to China this year, there are promotions for tourist villages, homestays, and several destinations that return tourists to communities and villages.”
“Like in Yogyakarta, tourists will be making chocolate, bathing buffalo, etc; that’s the experience we encourage them to have.’”
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He noted that this new trend for more adventure, culture, and nature-based activities has been amplified by social media travels.
Data shows that more tourists from China are feeling comfortable and excited to book climbing tours, nature-based tours, and diving experiences.
Sindutrisno noted that “China has four holidays a year, and it is Chinese New Year [soon], which is the low season [in Bali] of February to March and in September and October, so we encourage [their visits].”
He concluded ‘We will increase the promotion, but starting this year, the Chinese government seems to be starting to open up more and be OK with citizens making trips abroad.”
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“We have integrated cooperation with several large tourism companies there to encourage [visits] and increase flight connectivity.”
Speaking separately, the General Manager of Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, Handy Heryudhiatiawan, told reporters, “Not only has there been an increase in the frequency of routes, but also at this time, there are also additional airlines operating.”
He added, “We believe that the potential for aircraft and passenger traffic on Chinese routes in the future is still quite high, and there are still many new opportunities that need to be explored together.”
This month sees the launch of another direct flight to mainland China, the new Shanghai-Bali-Shanghai, with Juneyao Airlines, launched on the 20th of January.
Yet, while tourism leaders target more Chinese tourists in 2024, visitors from mainland China pale in comparison to the number of Australian tourists who visit the country.
Currently, the most popular direct flights to Bali from China and its territories are from Guangzhou, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
As has been the case for years, Australian tourists are still the most frequent international arrivals into Bali. Closely flowed by tourists from India. But this may change in 2024.
Travel data from online accommodation search engines shows that although Australian tourists are the top visitors to Bali, Bali is no longer the top destination for Australians.
In 2023, Japan became a top destination for Aussie travelers, a trend that appears to continue into 2024.
Airbnb has revealed that Bali is in the top ten most in-demand destinations for tourists this Chinese New Year.
The top international vacation destination is Thailand, followed by Japan and New Zealand.
Indonesia comes in a fair seventh place amongst the most highly sought-after locations for a holiday over the Chinese New Year festival between the 8th and 18th of February 2024.
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