"The number of visits by holiday makers from China is now the second largest after those from Australia, which has continued to top the list of 10 largest countries of origin of foreign visitors to Bali," head of the regional branch of the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) Adi Nugroho said here on Saturday.
Adi said currently China accounts for 20.38 percent of the number of visits by foreign tourists to Bali.
There were 3.63 million of visits by foreign tourists to Bali in the January-September period this year or an increase of 21.69 percent from 2.99 million in the same period last year.
Adi Nugroho Australia contributed 23.36 percent to the total; number of foreign visits to Bali. Japan was the third place contributing 4.94% followed by Britain accounting for 4.52 percent, India for 3.57 percent, France for 3.56 percent, Malaysia 3.55 percent, the United States 3.44 percent, South Korea 3.04 percent, and Germany for 3.22 percent.
He said the increase in the number of tourists from China was attributable to improved economic condition of the worlds most populous country and second largest economy.
In addition, the countrys flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has provided direct flight between Bali and a number of cities in China such as Shanghai, Baijing and Guangzhou since 2015.
China has become a target for market expansion by Garuda Indonesia for its international services.
More than 100 Chinese travel abroad every year making that country the most potential tourist market which would benefit airlines.
Chinese Consul General in Denpasar, Bali, Hu Yinquan, asked the government to provide sufficient interpreters for Mandarin to facilitate Chinese visitors, who could not speak in English.
Hu Yinquan also asked that Mandarin also included in signposts as he believed more Chinese tourist would visit Bali in the coming years.
In Manado, North Sulawesi, Chinese made up around 50 percent of foreign visitors in the third quarter of this year.
"Chinese guests contributed 50 percent to the occupancy rate of the Lion Hotel and Plaza Manado," says Sales Marketing Manager of Lion Hotel and Plaza Manado Anatje Pingkan Pinaria.
Indonesia, however, is still far lagging behind Thailand in attracting Chinese holiday makers.
Altogether, Indonesia recorded 8.36 million visits by foreign tourist until September this year or an increase of 8.5 percent year-on-year.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said earlier this week, the increase gave greater optimism that the target of 12 million visits by foreign tourists to the country this year would be achieved.
"In three consecutive months - July-August and September, the number of visits by foreign tourists exceeded one million. We hope that the number would be larger in October, November and December," the minister said.
In September, there were 1,006,653 foreign tourist visits or an increase of 9.40 percent year-on-year from 920,128 in the same month last year, he said in a statement.
Based on data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) and the Tourism Ministry, the number of foreign tourist visits in the first nine months of the year was 8,362,963 or 8.51 percent higher than 7,707,034 visits in the same period last year.
(T. H-ASG/A014) 05-11-2016 09:05:02