Bali Vice Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati said he would like to see Chinese tourists return en masse after the island recently welcomed the first direct flight from China since the pandemic.
A chartered flight from Shenzhen touched down in Bali on Sunday, carrying 210 passengers. In the past three years, Chinese travelers mostly arrived in Bali via Jakarta and Singapore.
Yesterday, during a press briefing with Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno, the vice governor, or Cok Ace as he is affectionately called, said he would like to see even more direct flights from China.
“We are really hoping for 20 direct flight routes operated by 15 airlines, as it was in normal times before the pandemic,” Cok Ace said.
“Their country is so vast, so they have to go a long way to find a coast. That’s why Chinese people are so enthusiastic about holidaying in Bali.”
After China loosened travel restrictions in early January, Indonesian carrier Lion Air recently announced that it will soon establish a route between Shenzhen and Bali, which will then be followed by other major Chinese cities.
Numbers wise, Chinese travelers were amongst the highest by volume on the island prior to the pandemic. In 2019, out of 6,275,210 recorded arrivals, 1,186,057 or almost 20 percent came from China.
Indonesia has not imposed a travel ban on Chinese travelers despite soaring COVID-19 cases in China.