The Jakarta Post
Canadian Alan Philphott walked along the Benoa cruise terminal in Benoa Harbour on Tuesday afternoon, looking for gifts for his family back home before continuing his journey with the Crystal Serenity cruise ship to Semarang, Central Java, in the evening.
He had spent three days in Bali with his wife Karen, participating in tours to explore the beauty of the island.
'I love Bali, it is very nice. The people are very friendly, I love the rice fields and of course, the temples. We really enjoyed our trip here,' Philphott said about his impression of Bali.
This is not the first time Philphott visited Bali by cruise ship. The pleasure of traveling on a cruise kept him coming back for more.
'With cruises, you get to see a lot of different ports, different cities, different countries, and you get an overview. If you like them, then you will fly back,' he said, adding that he would visit Bali again next year.
For 103 days, the Crystal Serenity takes thousands of passengers on a voyage to various beautiful places around the world, and Bali is on its list.
As the country's most famous tourist destination, Bali sees a brighter outlook on cruise tourism this year as Benoa port is scheduled to welcome 60 cruise ships this year.
Last year, a total of 58 cruise ships arrived on the island, up from 49 ships in 2014 and 41 in 2013.
Ali Sodikin, general manager of seaport operator Pelindo III for Benoa port, said that the increase had been recorded from a few years ago as many cruise ship companies had included Bali as one of its favorite destinations.
The high number of cruise ships coming to Bali would definitely contribute to the island's revenue and improving the welfare of the local people.
'The most important thing is not the number of cruise ships docking in Bali, but the duration of their stay here. The longer they are here, the more money they will spend, and that could boost the local economy,' Ali said.
According to a survey conducted by the Tourism Ministry, tourists in Bali spend on average US$125 per day.
Benoa now serves as a turn-around port, where cruise ships can drop off passengers to spend their holiday in Bali. While these passengers take other modes of transportation to leave the island, the cruise ships pick up new passengers before leaving for the next destination.
It is also a destination port, where cruise ships drop off and pick up the same passengers.
Due to the port's development, the island has recorded an increase in the number of passengers, from 49,041 people in 2014 to 71,126 people in 2015. One cruise ship can carry an average of 1,000 to 2,000 passengers.
Currently, the port is expanding its pier to accommodate bigger cruise ships, and to welcome more tourists.
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