Jakarta, InfoPublik - At least 65 chartered flights transporting 23,000 tourists from 11 Chinese cities landed on the Island of Gods of Bali in Indonesia. The island has become a favorite destination for the citizens from the Country of Bamboo Curtain to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Every year, more than 1.14 million of Chinese tourists visit Bali. "Enjoy your travel and the nature of Wonderful Indonesia! Gong Xi Fa Cai," said the Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya in a statement on Monday (8/2).
In addition to Garuda Indonesia, the 23,000 tourists were also brought here from China by fleets from other airlines such as Hong Kong Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Air Asia, China Southern, China Eastern, Dragon Air, Cathay Paciific, Eva Air, Singapore Airlines, Brunei Air, and others.
Tourism Ministry would use this opportunity to give the best impression to the visiting Chinese tourists. They can become Indonesia’s tourism "ambassadors" for their community in the Land of Kung Fu Panda. When they are back, they will tell their friends back in the country about the Balinese hospitality; the beauty of the Island of the Gods; and the warmth of Balinese culture. Their story will become a positive viral story that spread throughout China. Their arrival was an actual result of vigorous promotion process through branding and advertising conducted by the sales marketing team of Tourism Ministry.
Minister Yahya assigned his deputy and assistants to welcome the tourists, as well as preparing approximately 6,000 souvenirs to take home as a memento. In addition, the Ministry has prepared special games for those who want to release baby turtles and sea horses and to plant coral in the Sea of Bali.
Since 2015, Tourism Ministry has been intensely promoting Chinese New Year celebration in Indonesia. The promotion has been intensively conducted since the end of last year up to this January. People of northern China, such as Beijing and Heilongjiang province, are still experiencing winter, about minus 15 degrees Celsius. They prefer to celebrate the New Year in warm areas. Indonesia is the most ideal place and Bali is very well-known there.
Participant of the Lunar Festival in Bali is also dominated by the people from those areas. The greatest number is from Heilongjiang with 1,000 tourists and followed by Beijing 500 tourists. For 2016, the Ministry puts ambitious target of 1.7 million foreign tourist arrivals. In February 2016, at least 200,000 tourist visits shall be welcomed. "China is a potential market, big market, thus it needs special handling," said Minister Yahya.
He always compares the achievements, projections, and programs of Indonesian tourism with the rival neighboring countries. The champion of attracting Chinese tourists is Thailand. They are professional and benefited by the closer distance which can be reach 2-3 hours faster than to Indonesia. "The number of Chinese tourist arrival to Indonesia is still 1.14 million per year, still far behind Thailand with 8 million. We have been losing from them too long. If they want to go to Thailand, they will also like to go to Indonesia," he said.
Chinese tourists like the beach, white sand, and bright blue sky in addition to shopping branded goods in branded boutiques. "After understanding their interests, vacation time line, economic potential, social closeness and others, we conducted digital marketing," he said. (Translator: Penni Patmawati Rusman)