DENPASAR, NNC – Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-200 aircraft of Mumbai-Bali flight route, on its first landing at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali, was greeted with a flood of water cannons. Greetings like this were often done by the Ngurah Rai Airport to give an appreciation to the airline that opens the first flight route to Bali.
Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya along with Garuda Indonesia President Director Pahala N. Mansury and VIP entourage from PT. Angkasa Pura I, as well as Indian media crew, escorted historic inaugural flight of Garuda Indonesia airline of Mumbai-Bali route which landed smoothly at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport on Tuesday (4/24/2018).
The opening of this direct flight makes the Minister Arief Yahya set to increase the target of tourist visit from India. Based on data from Bali Central Statistics Agency (BPS), the number of Indian tourist arrivals to Bali jumped almost 46 percent. The number of tourists from Bollywood Country was in the top 3. The figure is below China's 1.37 million people and Australia's 1.06 million people.
"For 2018, I have set a target of 700,000 visits of Indian tourists. This is a big target, but we are very optimistic to achieve this target," said Tourism Minister in a press release on Wednesday (4/25).
Minister Arief said that before Mumbai-Bali direct flights, the number of tourists from India to Indonesia has reached 485,314 in 2017. Optimism for 2018 target achievement is based on the growth of the Indian market which reached 30 percent compared to the period 2016, the second highest after China.
In 2018, tourists from India to Indonesia have exceeded the number of tourists from Korea and Japan. It was recorded the number of tourists from India reached 87,000 people, much higher than the number of Japanese tourists amounting to 74,000 people and 63,000 tourists from Korea.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya added that India is a potential new market. The outbound number is high. The number exceeds 20.3 million people per year. "I am sure, many airlines will follow this step to open the direct axis to India," said Minister Arief.