THE Bali local provincial government in collaboration with tourism will intensify efforts to target tourist visits outside China, following the decline in travelers from China due to the corona virus outbreak.

According to the Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office I Putu Astawa said the decline in tourists did occur, but that was specifically the market of China alone, around 25-27 percent. While other markets are still on schedule, no one has canceled. Tourist arrivals to Bali are indeed reduced because of the closure of flights to and from China.

However, he denied the existence of information that likens the Bali island such as the Ghost City because of the lack of tourist visits, as a result of the spread of the corona virus outbreak in China and a number of other countries.

“So, in addition to this month it is ‘low season’, the closure of this flight also has a significant effect on tourist visits to Bali, because this month there are usually many Chinese tourists visiting Bali, coinciding with the Chinese New Year,” he said.

He added, out of 6.2 million more foreign tourists visiting Bali, 1,185 million were tourists from China. The reduction only occurs for tourists from China, but for tourists from other countries it is still relatively safe.

“In addition, our party is aiming for tourists besides China to come to Bali. “Because of this case we will attract European, Australian or American tourists to come to Bali. To smooth out the plan various efforts will be made to bring foreign tourists to Bali, such as coordinating with relevant parties to divert flights that were originally from China to Bali and make packages cheap tours by giving discounts such as flights, hotels, travel agents, to tourist attractions,” said I Putu Astawa

He explained, for that we need to coordinate with relevant ‘stakeholders’ and tourism associations. In addition, we have also written to the President of Indonesia to hold international meetings to Bali, in order to build a positive image of Bali tourism. After this meeting it seems like they agreed, hopefully this will work out well.

On the other hand, said Astawa, with various preventive measures taken by the government, such as the closure of direct flights to and from China and the installation of thermal scanners at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, so based on the facts at this time, there was no one at Bali suspect suspect Corona virus.

While the Chairman of the Bali Hotel Association, Ricky Putra confirmed the decline in the number of foreign tourists to Bali, but that was only for Chinese tourists.

“Tourists from other countries are still in Bali. Especially if we appeal, the length of stay of Chinese tourists to Bali is around 4-5 days, while European, Australian and American tourists can reach 2-4 weeks, so let’s say 500,000 Chinese tourists, Bali can be covered with around 125 thousand-150 thousand European tourists can compensate,” he added.

He added, at this time, the tourism community was also targeting tourists who would visit China. Around 30 million foreign tourists travel to China each year. However, because of this case of course many flights there were closed. So we will work with airlines and travel agents to divert them from coming to Bali.

“To smooth out the plan, our party needs to build a positive image of Bali. We can invite foreign journalists to preach that Bali is safe from corona, we can take it to hospitals to prove it. After this news, we hope that tourists will be comfortable visiting Bali,” he said.

In addition to targeting foreign markets, Ricky said he was aiming at domestic tourists who had been visiting China. There are around 3,000 wisdom who go to China every year. Because of this calamity, of course they diverted their journey, for that reason we are hooked they came to Bali too. [antaranews/photo special]