Bali welcomes back 1st flight from China as COVID rules ease

DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) — A direct flight from China landed in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali for the primary time in practically three years on Sunday after the route was suspended because of the pandemic.

At the very least 210 individuals had been on board the chartered aircraft operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air from Shenzhen in China’s southern Guangdong province.

Some Chinese language vacationers who arrived on the airport in Bali mentioned they had been glad to have the possibility to journey internationally once more after China ended its strict COVID-19 restrictions.

“I really feel very pleased and relaxed. It was a very long time we didn’t go overseas,” mentioned An Pei, a Chinese language vacationer who was on the flight.

The flight adopted the Chinese language authorities’s resolution to raise journey restrictions introduced on January 8 and it coincided with the beginning of the Lunar New Yr, which was being marked Sunday.

The Shenzhen-to-Bali route will function as soon as per week throughout its preliminary part, in accordance with an announcement from Danang Mandala Prihantoro, a spokesperson for Lion Air.

Indonesia is focusing on 255,000 vacationers from China in 2023. Indonesia recorded 94,924 visits from China from January to October 2022. Greater than 2 million vacationers from China visited Indonesia every year earlier than the pandemic.

The return of Chinese language vacationers is predicted to help the general goal of international vacationer arrivals this yr. Indonesia goals to document 3.5 million to 7.4 million international visits, mentioned Sandiaga Uno, the Minister of Tourism and Inventive Financial system, in an announcement Friday. China is without doubt one of the largest markets for inbound tourism in Indonesia.

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“Based mostly on on-line journey agent knowledge in China, there was a rise in search quantity for abroad vacationer locations by 430%. Indonesia is within the high 5 searches and Bali’s search quantity has elevated by 250%,” Uno mentioned.

Indonesia’s authorities is exploring methods to draw extra Chinese language vacationers, together with the potential for direct flights from three important cities in China, reminiscent of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

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