It is not surprising that the number of foreign tourist arrivals has continued to increase, as Bali has been awarded the title of "the best island destination" for the 12th consecutive year by the DestinAsian Readers Choice Award (RCA) 2017.
In 2016, some 4.92 million foreign travelers had visited Bali, an increase of 23.14 percent as compared to 4.001 million in the previous year.
Of the total, 4.85 million tourists arrived through the Ngurah Rai International Airport, and 75,303 arrived aboard cruise ships or boats, Adi Nugroho, head of the Bali statistic office, stated here, Saturday.
In December 2016, some 442,800 foreign tourists had visited Bali. They comprised 437,947 people who landed at the Ngurah Rai International Airport, and 4,845 who arrived at seaports.
The number increased by 19.47 percent compared to that in December 2015, or 7.16 percent in comparison to that in November 2016.
Of the 10 countries contributing tourists to Bali, eight countries saw a surge, while two experienced a decline.
The number of Malaysian tourists dropped by 5.6 percent from 190,381 recorded in 2015 to 179,721 in 2016.
A decline was also observed in the number of South Korean tourist arrivals, from 152,866 visitors in 2015 to 151,440 in 2016, a decrease of 0.93 percent.
More number of tourists arrived in Bali from Australia, China, Japan, the UK, India, the US, France, and Germany.
The number of Australian tourists visiting Bali last year had reached 1.14 million, an increase of 18.23 percent, from 966,869 in 2015.
Some 990,771 Chinese tourists arrived in Bali, a surge of 43.91 percent from 688,469 in 2015.
Japanese tourist arrivals in Bali also recorded an increase of 2.99 percent as compared to 228,185 visitors in 2015 and 235,009 noted last year.
The number of British tourists rose by 32.15 percent from 167,628 to 221,521.
The number of tourists from India also significantly increased by 57.04 percent from 119,304 in 2015 to 187,351 last year.
Tourists from the US visiting Bali increased by 27.43 percent from 133,763 to 170,457.
France recorded a surge of 25.74 percent from 131,451 to 165,291, while 120,347 German tourists had arrived in 2016, up by 27.9 percent as compared to 153,925 in the previous year.
The Indonesian government has lauded the DestinAsian award presented in Singapore on February 15, 2017.
Deputy for International Marketing Development of the Ministry of Tourism I Gde Pitana explained that DestinAsian had implemented an open voting system for over 12 years and has bestowed awards based on the readers choice.
The voters highlighted areas, such as staff hospitality, quality of service, convenience of location, facilities, and culinary attractions.
The poll was conducted in August and October 2016, featuring 31 different categories, including hotels and resorts, serviced residences, spas, airlines, airports, and destinations.
DestinAsian Publisher Ronald Liem said there were some changes made in DestinAsian RCA this year in an attempt to offer greater freedom and competitive value.
"In addition to including several new categories, DestinAsian has expanded in areas, such as special awards for the industry in some countries, and the assessment is no longer only given to the first and second winners but also to those on the top 10 list," he revealed.
Earlier, Bali had also been selected as one of the worlds best islands by the US Travel+Leisure Magazine at the end of 2015.
Based on the New York-based Travel+Leisure Magazine, the ratings of the worlds best islands are the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, with a score of 90.82; Bali in Indonesia, 88.98; the Maldives, 88.53; Tasmania in Australia, 88.32; Santorini in Greece, 87.93; Moorea in French Polynesia, 87.9; Maui in Hawaii, 87.89; Kauai in Hawaii, 87.88; the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, 87.31; and Malta, 86.9.
Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office A.A. Yuniartha Gede Putra said foreign tourists in Bali mainly came from 10 countries: Australia, China, Japan, the Great Britain, France, India, Malaysia, the US, Germany, and South Korea.
"Given the uniqueness of Balinese art and culture, it attracts tourists from various countries around the world," Putra noted.
Putra said he had promoted the region in various countries to attract more travelers to Bali. The Ministry of Tourism has also undertaken similar efforts.
Besides this, steps were taken to boost cultural tourism, as Bali has its own regional identity.
Meanwhile, Assistant Deputy for Tourism Human Resource Development of the Tourism Ministry Dr. Wisnu Bawa Tarunajaya stated that Bali is expected to attract 40 percent of the total target of 15 million foreign tourists to Indonesia in 2017.
The province has been allocated a bigger share compared to the other regions, as it continues to be a prime destination for foreign tourists.
"Bali is still number one as compared to the other regions in Indonesia," he added.(*)