The Jakarta Post
The number of Japanese holidaymakers visiting the tourist island of Bali has increased sharply so far this year.
"The number of holidaymakers from Japan surged 25 percent in early 2015 after a shrinking trend earlier," a tourist guide for Japanese-speaking visitors, Made Sutarka, said in Denpasar on Friday as quoted by Antara news agency.
Japanese holidaymakers began to come in groups to Bali this year, Sutarka said.
Based on data from the Bali Tourism Office, in January this year there were 17,946 Japanese people flying to Bali directly from Japan, up from only 14,256 in the same month a year earlier.
The number was the third largest after visitors from Australia and China, accounting for 5.95 percent of the total number of foreign visitors to Bali, which totaled 301,618 in January, 2015.
The number of visitors from Japan had declined after the devastating tsunami in 2011.
The plan to offer visa-free visits for tourists from a number of friendly countries, including Japan, is expected to contribute greatly to the rise in the number of visitors from Japan, Sutarka said.
"Hopefully the visa-free facility would attract more visitors to Bali," he said. (hhr)