BALI, December 18, 2013 (by Desy Nurhyati, the Jakarta Post): India has become an emerging tourism market for Bali as the number of Indian visitors has shown continuous increase over the last several years. The latest data from the Bali office of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) showed that the number of Indian tourists to Bali increased by 51.1 percent year-on-year as of the end of October.
[Total foreign tourists to Bali for 2011 was 2.8 million. First country of origin is Australia with 790,000, second China with 240,000, third, Japan with 183,000 and fourth Malaysia with 170,000. Tourism brought US$8.6 billion into Indonesia in 2011.]
Ranked 14th among the island's main foreign arrivals, India contributed 52,993 tourists during the January to October period, rising from 35,071 in the same period last year. Despite being a large potential market, India has not yet become a main promotions target for the government and tourist businesses, said senior tourism practitioner Bagus Sudibya.
"Furthermore, the predominantly Hindu island has a strong bond with India as both are rich in Hindu culture, making India more relevant for promotions," Sudibya said, adding that India and Indonesia shared many common interests and values. According to Sudibya, Indian tourists could contribute significantly to Bali's tourism as they were big spenders and usually preferred to stay in luxury hotels.