REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, DENPASAR -- The number of Japanese tourists visiting Bali in 2017 rose 7.65 percent to 253,000 from around 235,000 in the previous year. "Most of them flew in here directly from Japan with only 651 by tourist boats," head of the Bali branch of th Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) Adi Nugroho said here on Sunday.
Japanese were the fourth largest foreign tourists in number after Chinese, Australians and Indians. Japanese tourists made up 4.44 percent of the total number of 5.69 million foreign tourists visiting Bali in 2017.
Earlier head of the Bali Tourism Office AA Yuniarta Putra said he hoped Japan Airlines (JAL) would serve regular flights between Bali and Japan.
Yuniarta said Garuda Indonesia and Japan-based airline ANA (All Nippon Airlines) and Air Asia already served regular flight between Bali and Tokyo and Osaka.
Meanwhile, the number of Indians tourists visiting Bali grew 45.59 percent to 272,761 in 2017 from 187,350 in 2016.
Indians accounted for 4.79 percent of the total number of foreign tourists visiting Bali in 2017.
Among ten largest countries of origin of the foreign tourists eight countries recorded a significant increase in the number of tourists with two -- Australians down 4.21 percent and Malaysians 5.15 percent lower in 2017 compared with in 2016.
The eight countries of origin included China, India, Japan up 7.69 percent, Britain up 10.07 percent, The United States 12.11 percent, France 7.61 percent, Germany 15.11 percent and South Korea 15.45 percent.
Adi attributed the increase in the number of visitors from India to Bali to similarity of culture and religion. The vast majority of people in India and Bali are Hindus.
The opening new route between Bali and Mumbai of India by the nation's flag carrier Garuda Indonesia in January 2018 is expected to increase the number of visitors from India to the tourist island.