Cruise tourism is having a moment in Bali! The island is receiving a huge amount of investment to level up its infrastructure to help establish Bali as the next biggest cruise destination in Southeast Asia.
Benoa Harbour is becoming increasingly welcoming to cruise tourists.
Indonesia’s Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Erick Thohir, has given his assessment of the new renovations at Benoa Harbor.
He says that the upgrades will not only help improve tourist’s experience of arriving on the island but also boost the economy too.
Minister Thohir said that the Ministry of State Owned Enterprises (BUMN) “[with] Pelindo is building public transportation facilities, especially world-class ports.”
“This facility can increase the number of tourists and also open up employment opportunities for the Balinese people.”
One of the most impactful improvements at Benoa Harbour is the extension of the pier. The arrivals now stand at 500m long, rather than 350m as it originally was.
This 150m extension means that jumbo liners can now dock at the harbor. The extension has come as part of the development to create the Bali Maritime Tourism Hub.
The partnership between the BUMN and Pelindo is also targeting the completion of a special route for passengers disembarking and boarding cruise ships by 2024.
The 46-meter gangway currently in use is a temporary structure.
Benoa Harbor is not only improving the experience for tourists at the port itself. The harbour is now offering an ‘Immigration on Ship’ program which helps speed up the arrivals process and reduce queues in the port.
All of these efforts to improve Benoa Harbor for cruise tourists really can’t come a moment too soon.
It has been confirmed that ten jumbo cruise ships will be coming into dock in Benoa Habor in December 2023 alone.
This means that by the end of the year, fifty cruise ships measuring over 250m in length will have arrived in Bali. In total, these ships will have brought 75,000 people to Bali.
These major improvements to Benoa Harbour will go a long way in encouraging more tourists to book cruise adventures to the island.
Accessibility and ease of travel are one of the top considerations for many cruise enthusiasts.
Tourism leaders in Bali are keen to encourage more cruise tourists to come to the island since they are perceived to be high-spending.
According to a spokesman from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economies, Vinsensius Jemadu, the average cruise tourist spends USD 1,500-2,000 during their whistle-stop visits to the island.
Following a rise in badly behaved and culturally disrespectful tourists on the island, there has been a concerted effort to help promote Bali to higher-spending visitors.
The arrival of the jumbo cruise liners caused quite a stir in Bali. The Virgin Voyages super cruise liner that arrived in Benoa Harbour last week delighted onlookers as the whole ship was lit up at night with a sign reading I Love Bali. The endearing gesture went viral on local social media sites.
As Bali braces for more cruise tourists arriving by the end of the year and into 2024, it’s clear that air travel will remain the transportation method of choice for the majority of Bali’s tourists.
Travel data for last month has been revealed by the Bali Tourism Board. The figures show that over half a million international arrivals landed on the island in October. In total 501,345 people from 20 countries arrive in Bali.
As ever, the highest percentage of international arrivals traveled to Bali from Australia. The Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board, I Nyoman Astama said Austrian travelers love Bali due to “the close distance and consider Bali as their ‘second home’.”
He added that more promotions are needed to continue encouraging a wide range of high-quality tourists to Bali.
Astama said, “Even though we are in the era of digitalization, conventional promotions still have to be carried out. Because direct touch clearly has a different impact. The government should not ignore promotions.”
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