The Indonesian Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies, Sandiaga Uno, has reviewed the country’s tourism data for 2022. He proudly announced that Indonesia has smashed tourism targets set earlier this year. It was confirmed earlier this month that Bali had already beaten their provincial tourism targets by the end of November. As Minister Uno looks ahead to 2023, tourism leaders and other businesses in Bali have come together to talk about a sustainable future for the sector.
Speaking from Magelang, Central Java, on Saturday, 17th December, Minister Uno said that by the end of the year, Indonesia will have welcomed 5.3 million international visitors. This is significantly more than his initial target of 3.6 million foreign arrivals. On Tuesday, 1st November, the Head of BPS Bali Province, Hanif Yahya, told reporters that by the end of September, Bali had welcomed 1,185,829 foreign tourists, with a further 305,244 international visits in October.
Data for the number of arrivals to Bali for November has not yet been shared by the Provincial statistic agency. The November figures will include the increased arrivals for the G20 Summit. As the most popular destination in Indonesia, Bali typically receives the most domestic and international tourists.
He revealed that in 2023 he wants the country to welcome 7.4 million international tourists. He explained, “This can be achieved if the focus is on two strengths, namely nature and culture. In addition, tourists with special interest in ecotourism, spiritual tourism, and religious tourism”.
For 2022, Minster Uno set a target of 1 million international arrivals to Bali alone. The island is now preparing to welcome over 1.4 million tourists over the Christmas and New Year holidays. Bali Airport has reported receiving requests to facilitate over 400 additional flights over the festive season.
Minster Uno continued, “We believe that even though there is a threat of a global recession, Indonesia will grow 5 percent next year and another 5 percent in 2024 so that the target of creating 4.4 million jobs can be achieved”. In terms of domestic tourism, Minister Uno has also set ambitious targets.
He shared, “Then from [the 2022] target of 660 million domestic tourists, there is a chance that it will reach 800 million [in 2023], meaning this increase is above 40 percent of the target that has been set”.
Although 2022 was set to be a recovery year for Bali, a chance to make up for the losses incurred by the pandemic. Yet, despite worries that this year would result in further financial losses, many of Bali’s leading tourist attractions have made up for the lost time. This week the Head of the Tabanan Tourism Office, I Gusti Ngurah Agung Suryana, shared that Tanah Lot Temple has smashed revenue predictions for 2022.
He explained that the temple management team had predicted a turnover of IDR 15 billion from entry fees, but by the end of November, had racked up IDR 32 billion. He explained that the high number of visits to Tanah Lot stood out, making the temple the leading destination in the regency, but areas like the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces and Lake Beratan had also exceeded expectations.
Meanwhile, in Ubud, the team behind the green business directory Becik KemBali held a public discussion focusing on the need for more promotion of green tourism in Bali. According to a 2021 survey conducted by Udayana University, 63% of Balinese residents agreed that tourism development must ‘go hand in hand with environmental sustainability’. Yet, according to Becik KemBali Campaign Manager Michelle Winowatan, demand for green tourism is increasing, but promotion is lagging behind.
She explained, “sustainable tourism is still experiencing challenges on the supply chain side which is unstable and haunted by high costs because the ecosystem is not yet strong”. Attendees of the event agreed that more businesses in Bali must use the network and directory to promote sustainable tourism further and ensure that “green tourism will no longer be an exclusive and expensive business.”
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