The Jakarta Post
Tanah Lot in Bali serves as one of the island's most popular destinations. (Shutterstock/File)
Bali has set a new continental record, becoming the first Asian destination to be declared the world’s best tourist destination by TripAdvisor, the worlds largest travel site.
The planning and booking travel website honored Bali as the winner of its 2017 Travelers’ Choice™ awards for destinations across the world at a ceremony held in Seminyak, Bali, on Thursday night. The resort island leads among 418 outstanding destinations across the globe.
According to the list, the top 10 Travelers’ Choice Destinations in the world are: Bali, Indonesia; London, United Kingdom; Paris, France; Rome, Italy; New York City, United States; Crete, Greece; Barcelona, Spain; Siem Reap, Cambodia; Prague, Czech Republic; and Phuket, Thailand.
“It is really an honor for us to be chosen as the best in the world this year. I believe this award will strengthen our position as a tourism destination,” said I Gde Pitana, deputy minister for international tourism marketing at the Tourism Ministry.
He said the award would also boost the government’s efforts to reach the target of 20 million foreign tourists by 2019.
Besides Bali’s achievement, Lombok was also awarded as one the top 10 destinations in Asia.
TripAdvisor spokesperson for Asia-Pacific, Sarah Mathews, said Bali was a destination with topnotch experiences for every type of traveler, be they natural, cultural or gastronomical, and thus most users tended to want to share these experiences with the world.
"User-generated content plays such a key role in traveler discovery and we encourage more travelers to share their wonderful Bali experiences with other global users on TripAdvisor to encourage them to visit the island,” Sarah said.
Global reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor have now crossed the 500 million milestone, with the site and app receiving 290 contributions of content every minute.
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Bali has seen steady yearon-year growth in user reviews across all three categories — accommodation (25%), attractions (38%) and eateries (38%) — indicating sustained global interest in the full spectrum of tourism offerings on the island.
In Bali, the most reviewed accommodation options on TripAdvisor are Padma Resort Legian, Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa and Melia Bali Indonesia, while the most reviewed restaurants are Potato Head Beach Club, Ku De Ta and La Lucciola. Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, Waterbom Bali in Kuta and Tanah Lot Temple in Tabanan are the most reviewed tourist attractions.
Award winners are determined using an algorithm that takes into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants and attractions in destinations worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period, as well as traveler booking interest on TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor’s top source market for Bali is China with a search interest on the site that has increased by 73 percent year-onyear, followed by The Netherlands at 57 percent and India at 37 percent.
I Made Widnyana, owner of Celebrity Bike Tour in Bali, said that TripAdvisor’s reach and influence was very important to the success of his business.
“As a small tour operator with little marketing budget, word of mouth is really how people find out about my business. Our free listing on TripAdvisor has opened up opportunities to showcase our bike tours to both local and international travelers,” he said.