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North Bali To Receive Boost To Tourism Over Festive Season

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Bali has welcomed over 10 million tourists in 2022 alone. While this number is significantly higher than targets set by the Minster for Tourism earlier in the year, the positive impact of tourism returning to Bali has not been distributed evenly across the islands.

Even before the pandemic, tourism was concentred in the south of Bali, and as such, it has returned to these areas more quickly. This has left many areas, like Buleleng Regency in north Bali, struggling to bounce back from the impacts of the lockdown at the same pace.

Buleleng Harbor In North Bali

As the festive season gets underway, tourism leaders in Buleleng Regency have spoken with reporters to share their relief that hotel occupancy and tourism bookings have increased for the holidays. The Head of the Buleleng Tourism Office, Gede Dody Sukma Oktiva Askara, told reporters, “The Christmas and New Year holidays will definitely increase the number of tourists.”

He confirmed that they are expecting over 6,000 international tourists to enjoy their vacation stay in Buleleng. Askara continued, “then there are more domestic tourists. It can reach 15,000”. While this makes up just a small fraction of the 1.4 to 1.5 million tourists to arrive in Bali over the festive season, Askara and his team are viewing this as a positive development. 

View Of Lake Buyan in Buleleng Regency

Askara shared that he and his teams have issued instructions to tourism operators in the area to prepare for an increase in day-trippers to the regency over the festive holidays. The Buleleng Tourism Office is expecting an increase in visitors to key destinations like Lovina Beach, Lake Buyan, and Lake Tamblingan, as well as West Bali National Park and Menjangan Island. 

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View Of Mountains From Buleleng Regency Lookout Point in Bali

Earlier this year, Tourism Minster Sandiaga Uno launched a campaign to promote lesser-visited areas of Bali, like Buleleng Regency. Partnering with popular social media creator Damien Hoo, Minster Uno said, “I invited Damian Hoo as part of a concrete step to promote tourist destinations in North Bali and West Bali, especially in Buleleng Regency“.

This campaign was launched as a part of Minster Uno’s mission to promote the diversity of tourism opportunities in Bali. He wants to increase awareness of other must-visit destinations around Bali away from the hotspots of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, and Canggu. Buleleng Regency also offers a range of tourism activities that align with Minster Uno’s new mantra for Bali tourism of ‘serenity, spirituality, and sustainability’.


Buleleng Regency has already received a huge boost in tourist arrivals this week before the Christmas holidays officially begin. Cruise ship Genting Dream, the largest cruise ship in Asia, arrived on Bali’s north coast on Wednesday, 21st December. The ship, carrying nearly 4,000 passengers and 1,800 crew, could not dock at the Celukan Bawang Harbour Pier due to its size. Instead, passengers boarded shuttle boats to reach the land. Many tourists took part in a tour of Buleleng’s leading tourist destinations.


Cruise tourism is a sub-sector of the industry that Buleleng Regency is looking to promote further in the next few years. Speaking at the arrival of Genting Dream, Aksara said, “The momentum of tourist arrivals through the arrival of cruise ships can boost the economy, especially in the tourism sector, which had slumped after the Covid-19 pandemic. We also hope that the arrival of this ship will be an indicator of increasing the interest of tourists coming to Buleleng”.

Cruise ship on the ocean at sunset

Bali is heavily investing in developments to support cruise tourism. Benoa Harbour is undergoing a massive renovation to transform into the Bali Maritime Tourism Hub. The area is receiving over USD 80 million in investment to help establish the island as a leading cruise destination in Asia. The new tourism hub will include a yacht marina, yacht club, theme park, and water sports facility.

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Sunday 25th of December 2022

NO ! Never ever is this the correct number of arriving tourists. Must be more than 100 millions ! lol ... simply count the incoming, the outgoing tourists AND the people who enter the airport and leaving it, count the people who are leaving and coming in by car, ferry boat and the ones who are leaving that way, count the taxi drivers, the G20police force from Indonesia and people who work at the airport and the people who want to come to Bali and the ones who want to leave Bali ... lol - and the correct number would be just about 2 million ... lol ... ask business owner at Bali ...

Karen North

Sunday 25th of December 2022

I do the bookings for my friend in Lovina and we have no bookings at all for Xmas He had one guest for one night in August. In 3 years he has had one guest for $20au. Lovina is struggling.


Tuesday 27th of December 2022

@Karen North, Lovina, as a tourist attraction has been dying for 10+ years ,I first came to Lovina early 90,s, the place was a mini Kuta, Night bars.restaurants full nightly, Perama bus ran services 4 services per day from the south ,during the peak season May to sept accomodation was tight,I can remember backpackers (bad word) they spend money,I have been married to a Balinese raised 2 children and lived in central Lovina since 1999.I have seen and know so many reasons tourists do not stay in Lovina, Best described as Locals have kicked an own goal by killing the golden goose years ago.Buleleng Tourism Office?? I wonder what their task is when tourism has been dying for years well before Covid .

Karen North

Monday 26th of December 2022

@Randy, I have found that since covid people are looking for somewhere quiet and more the old Bali. Everyone who comes to Lovina comes back. Everyone who comes north is pleasantly surprised. I know families who say "No more Kuta, Canggu, it is Lovina for us". And yes, us retirees who have village lives that you won't get in the south.


Sunday 25th of December 2022

@Karen North, lovina is more of an ideal retirement for older people. There isn't any vibrant energy at all except for the area that is less congested, cleaner and laid back. That's all...been there, done that.

I would never invest there at all, it's just too far from the airport, too far for medical attention.