Now Chinese tourists led in number visits in Bali over other foreign tourists.
"Most of the Chinese flew in directly from their home country or cities to Denpasars Ngurah Rai International airport with 93 by sea as passengers of tourist boats," head of the Bali office of the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) Adi Nugroho said here on Wednesday.
Adi said Chinese tourists made up 32.10 percent of foreign tourists in number of visits in Bali in January.
In January there were 460,824 visits of foreign tourists in Bali, up 31.44 percent from 350,592 in the same month last year, he added.
"This time China tops other ten main countries sending tourists to Bali putting behind Australia, which has long been the main country of origin of foreign tourist visiting Bali," he said.
Now Australia is the second largest country of origin with 91,515 visits , followed by India with 17,520 visits.
A tourism observer in Bali , Tjokorda Gde Agung, said predicted that Chinese would lead in number of visitors to Bali outnumbering Australians.
The increase in number of tourists from China followed the opening direct flights between Denpasar and a number of large cities in China.
The countrys flag carrier Garuda Indonesia serves direct flights regularly between Ngurah Rai airport and a number of cities in China.
In addition, the government has offered visa free travels for Chinese tourists.(*)