Bali expects to lure 5 m foreign tourists in 2015
Amidst the positive growth in numbers of tourists from year to year, Governor Made Mangku Pastika has ambitiously aimed at welcoming a staggering 15 million foreign and domestic tourists in 2015.
“With the stable and conducive political, security and social situation, as well as the momentum from the 2013 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, I’m sure that in 2015 we will be able to welcome 5 million foreign visitors and 10 million domestic visitors,” the governor said earlier this week.
Last year, Bali welcomed 2.75 million foreign tourists and 5.67 million domestic tourists.
Pastika expressed confidence that his stunning target would be backed by numerous local improvements in tourism-related infrastructure, including to roads and hotels. Better public infrastructure is continuously being constructed as Bali polishes itself for next year’s hosting of two world-class events, namely the Miss World beauty pageant and the APEC meeting.
Numerous international events that had been and were going to be hosted in Bali would also be a window to showcase Bali’s good tourism image internationally, Pastika said.
“We will get free promotions next year. As long as we can maintain a positive atmosphere, ensure better infrastructure and sufficient electricity, this target is not a make-believe one,” said Pastika, who estimated that this year there would be up to 3 million foreign tourists arriving.
For the first five months of this year, the Bali tourism agency has recorded 1,131,462 foreign visitors on the island. The figures show a 9.7 percent surge from the recorded number of foreign tourists for the same period last year.
Australians are among the highest number of visitors, with 307,288 people or 27.16 percent of the 162 different nationalities identified as Bali’s foreign guests. So far, there have been 143,455 Chinese visiting Bali, making them the second largest group, comprising 12.68 percent of the overall foreign visitors as of May.
However, UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) member I Gde Ardhika urged the provincial administration to consider applying a limit on the number of both foreign and domestic tourists due to the island’s limited carrying capacity.
“It is high time now that Bali, as a small island, prioritizes welcoming high-quality guests rather than merely targeting numbers. High-quality tourists should not be narrowly defined as those who have money to spend on the island, but more importantly, those who are capable of appreciating the cultural values of Bali,” said the former
According to a 2010 census, the 5,780-square-kilometer island is home to a population of 3,891,428 people.
Ardhika stated that space in Bali was very limited and thus it was urgent that tourism development in Bali be based on the concept of cultural tourism that adheres to the Balinese religious principles of Tri Hita Karana.