China leads in number of foreign tourists visiting Bali

Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - Chinese are the largest in number of foreign tourists visiting Bali in the first eight months of the year, statistics said.

"There were 1.04 million Chinese tourists visiting Bali in the January-August period this year," head of the Bali office of the Central Bureau of Statistics Adi Nugroho said here on Monday.

Almost all of the Chinese coming to Bali by air via the Ngurah Rai international airport with only 153 on board tourist boats via Balis seaports, Adi said.

The number of Chinese arrivals in the first 8 months of the year surged 58.7 percent from 661,462 in the same period last year, he said, adding Chinese tourists made up 26.21 percent of the total number of 4.005 million foreign tourists visiting Bali in the 8 month period.

Adi Nugroho said the number of arrivals of foreign tourists in Bali in the 8 months period, rose 24.4 percent from 3.193 million in the same period last year.

Second to China was Australia accounting for 18.57 percent of the total number of foreign tourist arrivals in Bali in the January-August period, followed by India accounting for 4.38 percent, Japan 4.33 percent, Britain 4.15 percent, the United States 3.37 percent, South Korea 3.13 percent, France 3.10 percent, Germany 2.91 percent and Malaysia 2.88 percent.

A significant increase was recorded in the numbers of tourists from all 10 main countries of origin .

Observers attributed the growing number of visitors from China to cultural similarity , improved relations between the governments of China and Indonesia and the opening of more direct flights between China and Bali mainly by the nations flag carrier Garuda Indonesia.

The opening of direct flights between Denpasar and a number of Chinese cities contributes significantly to the increase in the number of Chinese tourists visiting the island.

Chinese Consul General in Bali Hu Yinquan has said his office takes part in promoting Bali tourism in China on similarity of the arts and cultures between Bali and China.

Hu Yinquan said he encourages Chinese tourists to visit Bali to see and learn the cultural arts of Bali.

"Chinese feel encouraged to visit Bali because of the similarity of cultural arts," he said.

Meanwhile, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika invited 33 foreign consul general in Bali to meeting telling them that their is cause for concern with the growing activities of Mount Agung.

The volcano in the district of Karangasem has shown growing activities lately spewing volcanic materials and thick smoke forcing evacuation of many people from that area.

The governor hopes that foreign tourists would not cancel plan to visit Bali because of the growing activities of the angry volcano.

He said the government has taken the necessary steps to ensure security of tourists even if the volcano erupted. Currently, people from 28 villages around the hill foot have been evacuated.

The area 12 kilometers from the volcano has been declared as dangerous .

Source: ANTARA News

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