"Direct flights between Moscow and Denpasar (Indonesia) would have big impact with more foreign tourists to visit Bali," Wahid Supriyadi said when attending the ceremony welcoming the arrival of inagural flight of Aeroflot & Rossiya Airlines serving Moskow-Denpasar route, in the International Airport of Ngurah Rai Bali, on Monday.
Wahid Supriyadi said there were 318 Russian tourists on board the Russian aircraft at the Ngurah Rai airport serving the first direct flight from Moscow.
He said direct flight between Moskow and Denpasar could facilitate exports of tropical fruits to Russia in addition to strengthening bilateral relations.
"Tropical fruits like mangoes, mangosteen and papaya are high in demand in Russia," he said.
Wahid Supriyadi said Indonesia is far lagging behind Thailand in attracting Russian tourists as well as Vietnamese tourists. He said around 1.2 million Russian tourists visit Thailand every year as against only 110,000 visiting Indonesia.
"I am confident with direct flights , there would be more Russian tourists to visit Indonesia especially Bali," he said.
Reporting by I Komang Suparta
Editing by Albert Saragih, Fardah