DENPASAR, — Chinese tourist visits to Bali in the first quarter of 2019 decreased by 29 percent. Primarily, it remains to be affected by the closure of shops of the Chinese mafia network in Bali that carried out unfair business practices. Nevertheless, this condition is believed to be the beginning to attract more qualified Chinese tourists.


“For us, we are now looking for qualified tourists,” said the Head of the Bali Tourism Office, AA Gede Yuniartha Putra, when receiving a visit of the Indonesian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Beijing, at the office of Bali Tourism Board, on Friday (Jun. 21).
Yuniartha supported BTB’s efforts to implement a sales mission to Beijing next July. Moreover, Beijing is the center of government in China. Bali tourism stakeholders can meet local tourism stakeholders as well as their government. It is considered positive to further promote Bali tourism. On the other hand, his office would also propose that Meeting, Incentive, Convention, Exhibition (MICE) events could be held more frequently on the Island of the Gods.
“For MICE event, everything will move ranging from transportation, hotels to destinations. On that account, if possible, it will be better to establish the Bali Convention Bureau,” he explained.
The Indonesian Ambassador to China in Beijing, Djauhari Oratmangun, stated that Bali is actually quite well known in China. A small survey conducted by the Indonesian Embassy indicates that people of the bamboo curtain country even averagely have an extraordinary desire to visit Bali. The existence of trade war between the United States and China can be an opportunity for the Island of the Gods because Chinese government is now issuing a travel warning to the superpower country.
“This is a great opportunity because tourists traveling to the United States are on average belonging to mid class community and upwards. The outbound is estimated to reach 180 million,” he said.
According to Djauhari, the cooperation needs to be established between Bali and Indonesia with cities in China through communication strategies, including connectivity via direct flights that must be further encouraged. In addition, he will also approach the media, especially the People’s Daily newspaper in China. Similarly, the embassy will also hold an article writing competition for influencers on social media about Indonesian tourism and Indonesian-Chinese relations, especially Bali, in the context of tourism.
“I will select the winners later. Besides, I will also coordinate and work with the regional government to send the winners to Bali,” he explained.
By visiting Bali, continued Djauhari, influencers in China can see firsthand the potential and beauty of Indonesia. After that, they can write it into their language so that their followers can understand it. Another program is the embassy will help hold roadshow in four or five cities in China in the second semester of next year as well as hold a culinary week in collaboration with the hotel chains in China. After becoming a resource person at Fintech, Djauhari also wanted to hold a blockchain summit in Bali and make Bali a digitalization city.
“We are transitioning from the average market to the upper level market. Travelers will reduce in terms of quantity but having high expenditure. This is the market that we are trying to catch. The middle class in China is growing so amazingly so the outbound increase is very significant,” he concluded.
Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), IB Agung Partha Adnyana, said that tourism cannot be just for the business of buying and selling. But there must be an emotional connection established. “Don’t think that Chinese people know Bali. Maybe it’s very small. Chinese people need knowledge products to drive more tourists to come to Bali,” he said.
A Chinese native, Zuo Shuai, considered Bali to be famous for its beautiful scenery, especially the sea and sunset. Then, Balinese culture inspired by Hinduism is also a special attraction. This is what distinguishes it from other tourist destinations. It is supported by good accommodation facilities plus the atmosphere of Bali is very relaxed and there are no too high buildings.
“We can use motorbikes if we want to go anywhere. There are many restaurants where we can enjoy Balinese cuisines. Of course, here there are also many shopping places, clubs, and at night we can sit on the beach,” he explained. (Yudi Karnaedi/balipost)

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