CHINESE tourists accounted for the majority of international visitors to Indonesia last year. From January to November 2017, a total of 1.97 million Chinese travelers vacationed to the paradise archipelago.
“The number grew 42.22 percent from the previous year,” the Tourism Ministry’s division one deputy of marketing, I Gde Pitana, told The Jakarta Post.
“There is even a surplus of 98,405 from the targeted number,” he added.
These numbers fit perfectly with the Indonesian Tourism Ministry’s target of attracting 20 million foreign tourists by 2019.
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But what attracts Chinese tourists to Indonesia?
China isn’t known for its stunning beaches and tropical climate, and this is something Indonesia most certainly offers.
While much of the enticement for Chinese travelers comes from the stretches of golden sands, family reunions also a good excuse to visit, as well as cultural experience and art.
Here are Chinese tourist’s favorite destinations in Indonesia:
Bintan Island, Riau
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Data from the Tourism Ministry stated that 5,000 Chinese tourists visited Bintan island in February.
“There were 800 tourists in the first wave alone, they came from Hangzhou and Ningbo,” the deputy director for Greater China at the Tourism Ministry told Tempo.co.
Bintan has some of Indonesia’s most beautiful flora and fauna found in Indonesia. Turtles, dolphins and giant squid can be found in the oceans surrounding the island while jungles play home to silver leaf monkeys and sunbirds.
The island also boasts luxury resorts and golf courses. Not forgetting the unspoiled beaches, perfect for family fun and relaxation.
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It’s not just Chinese tourists who love Bali. Any tropical paradise hunter will have Bali on their list and for good reasons.
Full or high-end resorts, backpacker hostels, secluded beaches and bustling streets – a little bit of everything and perfect for any kind of traveler.
A reported 15,000 Chinese travelers visited Bali over Chinese New Year which reinforces the island’s popularity, but also means the Mount Agung warning is no longer having an effect on travel plans.
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This region of Indonesia is located at the very top of the north Sulawesi peninsular. Not often thought of as a major tourist top, but this is changing due to a steady increase in hotel bookings from Chinese tourists.
“It is usually low season in December. But due to the thousands of Chinese tourists who visited last December. The occupancy rate in Manado reached 76 percent,” Moh. Edy Mahmud, the head of Statistics Indonesia North Sulawesi province, told The Jakarta Post.
Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara
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It seems that Chinese tourists are also flocking to Indonesia for arts and culture, as well as beaches and relaxation.
In aid of Chinese New Year, The East Nusa Tenggara (NNT) government along with China’s General Consulate in Bali held an art exhibition in Kupang for the final day of the three-week celebrations.
“This is the fourth Chinese art performance in the NTT, in conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebration,” NTT’s head of the Welfare Bureau, Bartolomeus Badar told reporters last week.
The head of China-Indonesia East Nusa Tenggara social community, Hangki Liyanto explained last week that if just 10 percent of the tourists who visited Bali came to East Nusa Tenggara, the region would receive at least 200,000 tourists every year.
Reaching this number shouldn’t be an issue if the local government keeps planning events and culture experiences for visitors.
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