The first international arrivals to Bali in 2023 were personally welcome to the Island of the Gods by Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies, Sandiaga Uno, and Bali’s Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhna Sukawati, also known as Cok Ace.
The first tourists to step off the plane were a couple from Canada who arrived in Bali via a layover in Incheon, South Korea. Speaking to reporters at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, Minster Uno said, “On behalf of the government, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is honored to receive visits from foreign tourists. They are a couple from Toronto, they will be in Indonesia for one month visiting Bali in several places, and they will be diving. After that, they will also go to Yogyakarta and several other destinations”.
@sandiuno.official Kalian tahun baruan di mana nih, guys? 🤔 Kalau saya di Bandara Internasional I Gusti Ngurah Rai, untuk menyambut kunjungan wisatawan mancanegara pertama di tahun 2023 ✨🙌🏻 Semoga tahun 2023 ini makin banyak wisatawan domestik maupun mancanegara yang liburan #DiIndonesiaAja supaya sektor pariwisata dan ekonomi kreatif Indonesia makin menggeliat dan kian melesat☝️🚀 Jangan lupa wisata #DiIndonesiaAja dan jadi ROJALI (Rombongan Jadi Beli) ya.. 🤩 #WonderfulIndonesia #BanggaBerwisatadiIndonesia ♬ original sound – Sandiaga Uno
The government officials gifted souvenirs and flower garlands to the Canadian couple and other passengers on the flight. Minister Uno continued, “Apart from Toronto, there were several pairs of tourists from South Korea. So January 1, 2023, hopefully after PPKM (Covid-19 restrictions) ends it will be a new chapter of Indonesian tourism”.
@wonderfulid Here are the first few foreign travelers who visited Bali in 2023. #WonderfulIndonesia #tiktoktravel #fyp #indonesia🇮🇩 #travel #newyear #holiday ♬ Kali Uchis Melting – 𝐽𝑜𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑡𝒉
As of the 1st of January, community, Covid-19 restrictions have ended; these include the requirement for domestic tourists to receive a booster vaccine before traveling and the limit on the number of people at public gatherings. However, it remains the case for now that international arrivals must show proof of a complete course of Covid-19 vaccination, or evidence of exemption, before being permitted to enter Indonesia.
Deputy Governor Cok Ace also shared his warm welcome with the first intentional arrivals of the year, noting that the average length of stay is still below what he would like to see. He told reporters, “Hopefully this is a good start, [we want more] long stay [tourists], while now they stay around five days to one week we hope to get more, back to our former glory days above ten days. Hopefully, this is a good start for the tourism community. Let’s welcome 2023 with full of hope, optimism and we can get back up,”
@montanadarby My 1 month Bali itinerary + things to do. What itinerary do you want to see next? #bali #baliitinerary #backpacking #travelling #budgettravel ♬ Sensual Seduction – Snoop Dogg
Minister Uno also took the opportunity to reiterate his tourism targets for Bali for the year ahead. In 2022, Bali smashed tourism targets set by the Ministry for Tourism shortly after borders reopened. Though final figures are still being collected, the last data set showed that Bali had surpassed tourism targets by the end of November, with over 10 million tourists passing through the airport and hundreds of thousands more traveling and arriving by sea.
Minster Uno said, “We hope Bali in particular can be at 4 million. This year the target [for tourists to Bali] which was initially 1.8 was achieved with 2.2 million”. For Indonesia as a whole, Minister Uno has set a target of 7.4 million international arrivals coupled with at least 1.2 billion domestic tourist movements. Minister Uno continued to explain the highlights of the 2023 tourism calendar, all bulling on the successes of the G20 Summit held in Bali in November 2022 .
He said “[we are] also increasing accessibility, adding attractions, especially events. The big events in 2023 are many and related to sports; there is the FIFA World Cup U-20 [soccer], in Bali, there is the World Beach Games, in Jakarta, there is the FIBA World Cup [basketball]. So this is what we will later use as a strategy to support an increase in the number of foreign tourists”.
Last year Minster Uno launched a series of campaigns to help diversify the tourism offering Bali. All as part of a bigger move to help promote ‘high quality’ tourism across the island. He wants to see a shift away from Bali being a destination synonymous with sand, sea, and sunshine towards ‘serenity, spirituality and sustainability’.
He launched a campaign to promote north and west Bali, and has joined forces with tourism giant Airbnb to promote lesser-visited areas of the island and the newly launched ‘digital nomad visa’. The visa is formally known as the B211a social-cultural visa allows remote workers to live and work online in Indonesia for up to six months at a time tax-free.
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