Swelling interest among Chinese tourists in Bali could lead its initial recovery phase, with the popular Indonesian island expected to receive the first wave of Chinese travellers as soon as 4Q of this year, according to a C9 Hotelworks’ survey.
Out of the six million overseas tourists Bali hosted last year, China made up 19 per cent of the total.
Speaking at the Bali Tourism – The Way Back webinar last week, Bill Barnett, managing director of C9 Hotelworks, said that compared to Australia, which is also Bali’s top source market, he believed that China will come back earlier. “Over 50 per cent of the people (in China we surveyed) want to travel either late this year or early next year,” he added.
Barnett shared the results of the China Bali Travel Sentiment Survey 2020 that tracked Chinese travellers’ inclinations towards visiting Bali amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“About 35 per cent of Chinese travellers think that Bali is a safer holiday destination than other places during the present situation,” revealed Barnett, who surveyed 1,041 respondents in first-tier cities within China in June.
Some 86 per cent of respondents said that they would like to travel to Bali late this year or early next year, with youths likely to lead post-Covid-19 travel to the island as 43 per cent of the respondents are aged 20 to 29.
Jasper Palmqvist, area director Asia Pacific of STR Global, however, thought otherwise. He said: “I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think China will travel (to Bali) in 2020 given the fact that there’s no drive market in Bali, like in Bangkok, for example, where the domestic market will spur the reboot.”
For Bambang Sugiono, director of marketing and overseas promotion of Bali-based RD Tours, the response from his business partners in China has stirred optimism.
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