Bali attracted 1.1 million foreign tourists in Januari-October 2006

Denpasar, Bali Province (Antara News) - Bali Island, Indonesia`s most famous tourist destination, was visited by around 1.1 million foreign tourists in the January-October period in 2006, or by about 38 percent more than in the same period last year.

"However, compared to the figure recorded for the January-October period in 2003 after the Bali bombing tragedy on October 12, 2002, the January-October 2006 figure represents a drop by 21 percent," I Gede Nurjaya, head of the Bali Tourism Office, said here on Saturday.

He said the increase from last year`s figure was to be attributed to the continuous efforts that had been made to revive the island`s tourist industry in the wake of the Kuta and Jimbaran bombings in October 2005.

Most of the foreign tourists came from Japan, Taiwan, Australia, South Korea and Britain.

Nurjaya said the Indonesian government would continue to promote Bali`s tourist attractions in those countries and convince the publics there that Bali Island is a safe place to visit.

"In addition to direct promotions in those countries, we will also continue to improve security in Bali which is currently very conducive," Nurjaya said.

But he regretted that despite the increase in the number of tourist arrivals, the hotel occupancy rate on the island was relatively low, namely 42 percent on the average.

One of the factors that had caused the low hotel occupancy rate was the existence of some 500 illegal villas in the island`s rural areas, he said. (*)
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