31 December 2012

Bali - again more tourists for 2013

Bali is expecting to welcome some 3.1 million foreign tourists next year, as the island will have better facilities with the completion of its toll road and underpass, as well as the expansion of Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Foreign tourist arrivals next year were predicted to increase by around 10 percent on this year. The island hopes to see 2.8 million arrivals this year. As of October, 2.4 million tourists had been recorded, according to data from the Bali Central Statistics Agency. The 3.1 million targeted for 2013 are foreign tourists that would come directly to Bali through the airport and seaports. The target can be achieved as Bali will host a number of large-scale international events, including the APEC conference, hoping that all the infrastructure and supporting facilities would continue to be improved to support tourism.

With international events lined up on the island’s agenda for next year, it is expected that MICE (meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition) activities on the island would continue to flourish as one of the main tourism segments and a significant revenue contributor. Besides MICE, other tourism segments that are predicted to trend next year are spiritual tourism and agricultural tourism.
The island is also set to develop water tourism, sports and adventure tourism, as well as retirement tourism in the coming years. For retirement tourism, the provincial administration has established the Bali Retirement Tourism Authority to create a master plan. A number of designated villages are preparing themselves to welcome retirees, mainly from European countries, who will spend much of their time in Bali with local people.

The island has also become increasingly popular as a spiritual destination, as travel agents have received requests from groups of foreign tourists to organize spiritual tours for them. In addition, the island is one of the areas in Southeast Asia seeing the fastest growth in water tourism. Businesses in this segment continue to grow, triggered by rising interest from tourists. This year, the growth in foreign tourist arrivals has slowed due to a lack of direct flights connecting Bali with big cities worldwide. He expected that the expansion of Ngurah Rai airport would encourage more airlines to add direct flights.

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