The number of foreign tourists who visited Bali in 2023 reached 3.4 million people. According to the former governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, the figures continue to grow. The former provincial leader reported that hotel occupancy on the island has reached 70%.
Pre-pandemic records that seemed unattainable not long ago are now getting closer. To recall, before the lockdown in 2019, 6.3 million guests visited Bali. For this year, the government set a target of 4.5 million. However, Wayan Koster assures that by his calculations, in 2023, the island will be visited by a whole million more than planned – 5.5 million foreigners!
"In 2019, the number of our foreign guests reached 6.3 million. And 17,500 people came to us every day! From Australia alone – 1.3 million, from China – almost 1.2 million, the rest – Europe, America, the Middle East, and Asia," he said. "Now everything is fine with tourism again. The number of Australians is growing again. As of August 24, 2023, the number of foreign guests exceeded 3.4 million. The tourism ministry's goal is 4.5 million. I expect that by December 2023, there will be more than 5.5 million – at least," concluded Koster.
As of today, Australians lead in the number of visits to Bali – 132,939 guests, followed by Indians – 40,843, then China – 36,671, France – 28,783, and England rounds out the top five with 26,916.
Furthermore, Koster believes that foreign tourists coming to the paradise island have become "higher quality." The reason is the rising prices of plane tickets. The former Balinese leader also provided statistics indicating that the world's largest plane, the Airbus A380 owned by Emirates, arrives on Bali fully booked every day. This is confirmed by the carrier. In the 3.5 months that the Emirates' giant plane has been flying to the Island of Gods, it has transported 118,000 people, requiring 200 flights. On average, each flight carries 602 people.
If we follow the logic of the former governor of Bali, the quality of tourists on the island should soon increase even more. In the near future, a mandatory fee of $10 will be introduced for all arrivals in the country. Officials assure that this fee will be used to maintain infrastructure and spiritual heritage monuments. Initially, it was reported that it would start from the new year, but Koster announced it would happen sooner.
The fee can be paid electronically. Before making the payment, foreign tourists must fill in their details in the Love Bali app. "Guests can choose a payment method, such as bank transfer, virtual account, or QRIS. If the transaction process is successful, the Love Bali system will provide a notification that the fee has been paid," explained Koster. "The payment confirmation, which will be requested from foreign tourists at passport control, will be a QR code from the app," he added.
Koster urged foreign tourists to pay the fees before flying to Bali to streamline the service at the island's airport. "Later, payment confirmation will be checked during flight check-in using a scanner installed at the boarding gate," announced the former governor of Bali.
"This fee is also aimed at protecting and developing Bali, including customs, cultural traditions, and local wisdom. In addition, additional funds will help maintain the aura of Bali, protect the island's nature to keep it clean and beautiful," said Koster. The new fee is expected to contribute an additional $55,000,000 annually to the treasury.