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Obama's vacation beneficial to Indonesia tourism: Minister

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, June 27, 2017  /  12:14 pm
Obama's vacation beneficial to Indonesia tourism: Minister

Former US president Barack Obama (2nd L), his wife Michelle (3rd L) and his daughters Sasha (front C) and Malia (2nd R) go rafting at Bongkasa Village in Badung on Bali island on June 26, 2017. Barack Obama kicked off a 10-day family holiday in Indonesia that will take in Bali and Jakarta, the city where he spent part of his childhood, officials said on June 24. (STR / AFP/File)

Former United States president Barack Obama is enjoying his time vacationing in Bali together with his family. Obama who is staying on the Island of the Gods until June 28 was seen visiting places such as Agung Rai Art Museum, Pengosekan Village, Ubud Gianyar Bali and yesterday, June 26, he and his family went rafting.

Bali Tourism Head, AA Yuniartha Putra said Obama's rafting adventure on Monday began in Banjar Karang Dalem I, Bongkasa Pertiwi, Badung. When the Obamas arrived around 11.00 AM local time, the area has been sterilized and closed for media. The former US president and his family went rafting for about 90 minutes. The finish line was at the Four Seasons Resort Bali in Sayan, Ubud, where the Obamas took a rest after their adventure. 

"Several small waterfalls along the route serve as a beautiful background for the rafting adventure. The Ayung river is also the oldest rafting location, also the best if compared to others," Yuniartha Putra adds. 

Ayung river rafting lies in the western part of Ubud and the eastern part of the Canangsari village, about 1,5-hour drive from Kuta. The location is also easily accessible from Jimbaran, Sanur and Nusa Dua.  

Read also: Laid-back places to enjoy sunsets outside of south Bali

Tourism minister Arief Yahya says Obama's visits will bring up the tourist attractions' name into the world's attention. "Obama has 90 million followers on Twitter. Just one tweet from the president will immediately affect his followers. This will be good for the Indonesian tourism. Thank you so much, Mr. Obama," Yahya said.

Yahya also said that his ministry has anticipated Obama's visit to Indonesia by doing promotions in one of the most prominent places in the world, New York's Time Square. "This is the perfect timing to promote Bali in the United States and the rest of the world, and it is why I allocated a promotional budget in the New York Times Square to welcome Barack Obama. We've been pushing it since it was announced that he has plans to visit Bali, Yogyakarta and Jakarta," he added.

The minister also hopes that after Obama departs from Bali, tour operators will create an "Obama Bali Tour" packages to be promoted to the US and European market. "Similar to King Salman from Saudi's trip, a re-creation of former US president Barack Obama's Bali trip will be very interesting," he said. 

Read also: King Salman extends visit as govt to sell his Bali trail to tourists

After Bali, the Obamas will be visiting Yogyakarta from June 28 until 30 where they are scheduled to visit Prambanan Temple and Tebing Breksi Park. (asw)

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