It’s official! Bali will be busier than at any other time of year this Christmas and New Year period.
Leaders have confirmed that Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International will be receiving a huge surge in passengers from the 19th of December to the 3rd of January, with one million travelers set to pass through the terminals.
The latest figures from the team at Bali Airport state that 1,089,048 passengers will be served over the festive season, which is an increase of 20% compared to 2022, when the airport served 909,143 passengers.
These figures are just for Bali Airport.
The vast majority of domestic tourists who visit Bali during the Christmas and New Year holidays arrive on the island from Java, catching the ferry into Gilimanuk.
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The General Manager of Angkasa Pura I I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport Handy Heryudhitiawan, told reporters that the peak of travel is set for Friday 22nd December with 72,754 passengers already booked onto flights across 408 aircraft movements.
He added that the peak travel day over the New Year period is predicted to fall on Tuesday 2nd January 2024, with 69,237 passengers and 392 aircraft movements.
Heryudhitiawan explained, “The consideration is that school holidays have already started, so it is likely that some will take leave early to avoid crowds ahead of the Christmas holidays.”
Bali Airport has committed to serving passengers to the best of their ability over the festive season, as they always do.
In anticipation of the huge numbers of passengers Heryudhitiawan and his team at Ngurah Rai Airport have opened a Nataru Command Post which will operate for 16 days.
Natatru is the Indonesian name for the Christmas and New Year holidays. The temporary coordination centre will operate from 19th December 2023 to 3rd January 2024.
A security post will also implemented in the vehicle entrance area with support from the Indonesian Army and Bali Police.
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Heryudhitiawan said that there has been a huge increase in the number of airlines requesting additional flight service over the Christmas break.
For tourists struggling to find a last-minute flight to Bali, there could still be hope.
Heryudhitiawan told reporters, “We have also received 605 applications for additional flights with a total of 110,294 seats available, consisting of 302 arrival flights and 303 departure flights.”
While the new flight services are largely for domestic routes for tourists yet to find a flight to Bali, these additional domestic flights give more options to tourists who have the time to schedule a layover.
Heryudhitiawan continued, “For domestic purposes, there are eight airlines that have applied for destinations Jakarta, Surabaya, Bima, Solo, Dili, Lombok, Tambolaka, Labuan Bajo and Makassar.
“Meanwhile, for international, it was submitted by one airline with the destination Singapore.”
It is not just Bali Airpot who are preparing to best serve a huge number of tourists, but the island’s leading attractions too.
The Bali Tourism Office has mapped out the areas of the island predicted to receive the most tourist interest and is arranging additional staff and more traffic support.
The Head of the Bali Tourism Department Tjok Bagus Pemayun, told reporters, “Nataru still has the most potential at Bedugul in Tabanan because it has temples and lakes, then Kintamani, Tanah Lot in Tabanan, and Uluwatu, including beaches in Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu, become religious and beach tourism.”
Pemayun has confirmed that more officers will be available to help coordinate the huge number of vehicles that will be on the roads in the coming weeks.
He added, “We have coordinated with friends from the district and city tourism offices to remind [tourism] managers in each region and the tourism industry to pay attention to existing facilities, especially safety, cleanliness, and comfort, in order to anticipate a surge in tourists.”
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