King Salmans activities in Bali kept under wraps

Kuta, Bali (ANTARA News) – Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Sauds activities during his holiday in Bali have been kept firmly under wraps to safeguard his privacy.

“The king and his delegates have a personal agenda, which we do not know for certain. However, we are grateful that the royal family chose Bali to spend their holidays, and we should uphold their privacy,” Nia Niscaya, the deputy assistant for market development for Europe, Middle East, US, and Africa of the Tourism Ministry, informed Antara on Saturday.

King Salmans visit to Bali is expected to help boost the image of Bali as one of the major tourist destinations in Indonesia, which has all necessary aspects to host VIP state guests, such as the Saudi King.

Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya also stated that King Salman was “the best endorser,” taking into account his strong influence both on the people of Saudi and the Middle East nations.

Yahya made assurance that King Salmans visit to Bali will be able to lead to a 50 percent increase in the number of Arab tourists to Bali from 240 thousand visitors in 2016 to 360 thousand this year.

Based on the passenger exit data of the ministrys survey and research development, 66 percent of Arab tourists who had visited Indonesia in 2015 obtained information from word of mouth.

The percentage of Arab tourists who visited Indonesia was 80 percent of the total foreign tourists from Middle East countries.

“If we rely on the percentage and word of mouth approach, which is quite effective to attract Arab tourists, we believe that the arrival of a good endorser, such as King Salman, will help to bring about a positive growth in tourist arrivals from the Middle East,” Niscaya explained.

To this end, she suggested that Balinese people, tourists, including the press, should cooperate to maintain and uphold the privacy and comfort of King Salman and his delegates in order to create a meaningful and unforgettable impression about Bali.

Such an impression is believed to be an effective way to attract more tourists from Saudi and the Middle East to visit Indonesia.

The Tourism Ministry has recorded that tourists from Middle East countries constituted only 30 percent of the total foreign tourists visiting Indonesia who mainly came from countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Asia Pacific.

However, tourists from the Middle East have a high spending power, which is almost two folds higher than that of most foreign tourists.

With an average stay of 11 days, Middle East tourists can spend as much as US$2,342 per day during their holidays.

“They mostly stay in five-star hotels and bring along their families as well as housemaids,” Niscaya stated.

King Salman and his entourage of 1.5 thousand delegates will be staying in Bali from Mar 4 to Mar 9 after his brief state visit to Brunei Darussalam.

Regarding the visit, the Bali provincial government has made various preparations, including the welcome ceremony, facilities and accommodation, as well as security personnel to ensure that the king and his delegates would be content and comfortable during their stay in Bali.

Staying in five luxury resorts in Nusa Dua, Bali, King Salman and his delegates are scheduled to visit some popular tourist attractions, such as the Besakih Temple, Tanah Lot, and Kuta Beach.(*)

Source: Antara News