Antara News are reporting that the first direct flight from China in nearly three years landed in Bali on Sunday with 210 Chinese tourists on board, as Beijing eases its COVID-19 restrictions.
“This is officially the first flight (from China.) It is a good momentum to bring back the Chinese tourists to Bali,” Deputy for Marketing of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Ni Made Ayu Marthini said in Bali on Sunday.
The 210 tourists who departed from Shengzhen, on a Lion Air flight were greeted at Ngurah Rai International Airport with a garland of flowers, traditional Balinese dances and the traditional lion dance or barongsai.
Marthini hoped that after the first flight, there would be more Chinese tourists coming to Bali.
“The Indonesian Government has set a target of attracting 255,300-tourists from China coming to Indonesia this year. However, the targeted number of Chinese visitors can hopefully be exceeded, and if possible, it can be similar to that of 2019,” she said.
According to the information she received, the Government of People’s Republic of China would also allow group tours to visit several countries, including Indonesia, starting from February 6, say Antara News.
Bali Governor Wayan Koster said he believes that the returns of tourists from China will help Bali’s tourism get back to normal.
“We hope our tourism will return to normal like before the pandemic. At that time, it drew 6.3-million foreign visitors a year. However, we hope, this year, it can reach at least 4.5-million visitors,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, China’s Consul General in Denpasar Zhu Xinglong said before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were around 1.3-million Chinese citizens traveling to Bali in 2019.
After this first flight, there would be a number of direct flights from China arriving in Bali in the very near future.
“We will also encourage other cities in China such as Beijing and Shanghai to make more direct flights to Bali. In February, there will be more flights from China coming to Bali,” Xinglong said.
Source: Antara News