Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - Balis Association of Travel Bureaus (Asita Bali) is optimistic of witnessing a surge in the number Chinese tourists visiting Bali in 2016.

Direct flights from Chinese cities to Bali Island could help increase the number of Chinese tourist arrivals, Chairman of Asita Bali I Ketut Ardana stated here, Monday.

On January 12, 2016, Garuda Indonesia launched a direct flight connecting Shanghai in China with Denpasar in Bali Island.

"Recently, additional flights have been started to Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzou," he added.

With a population of over a billion people, China contributes at least 100 million tourists making overseas trips a year.

The number of Chinese tourist arrivals in Bali has increased significantly over the past few years, placing China as the second-largest tourist contributor, after Australia.

From January to November 2015, Bali received 642 thousand Chinese tourists, up 19 percent from 539,371 tourists recorded in the same period in 2014.

Bali has set a target to attract 4.2 million foreign tourists in 2016, a slight increase from four million in 2015.

In the meantime, the nations flag carrier Garuda Indonesia recently opened a new route to China between Denpasar in Bali and Shanghai.

Earlier, Garuda had already operated regular flights on the Denpasar-Beijing and Denpasar-Guangzhou routes.

Commercial Director of Garuda Indonesia Handayani noted in a statement on Thursday that China had been one of the priority areas for the airlines international flights aimed at facilitating tourists from the worlds most populous country.

The number of Chinese visitors to Indonesia has increased year on year, up 25 percent in the first eight months of 2015.

Garuda Indonesia serves the Denpasar-Shanghai route thrice a week on every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday using the A330-300 aircraft, with a seating capacity of 360 passengers.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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