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Monday, 04 July, 2016, 10 : 00 AM [IST]

‘Bali Tourism targets high-spending Indian tourists’ - Gilda Sagrado, Executive Director, BTPB

With significant year-on-year growth of about 40% from the Indian market, Gilda Sagrado, Executive Director, BTPB in an interaction with Akansha Pandey, pins hope on the high-spending Indian arrivals emerging as one of the most promising spenders with an average spend of USD 1,000.
Glida SagradoQ. What made Bali Tourism Promotion Board foray into the Indian market last year as a solo destination?
Earlier, we used to majorly focus on the promotions at the top 10 inbound source markets globally, with Australia, Europe and China being the top three. However, Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BTPB) has always monitored India, its 11th strongest source market for inbound arrivals in 2015. Moreover, with the Indian market always generating better figures for Bali, we were keen on increasing our visibility among the Indian travel trade and travellers.

The figure of 80,000 Indians coming directly to Bali in 2014 has seen an increase of over 35% in 2015, going up to 118,000 Indian arrivals. The Indian arrivals are significantly increasing at about 40% year- on -year from the past three years.

Last year, out of the total tourist arrivals from India, Bali recorded 5% of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) travellers generating 30% of the total tourist revenue from India. MICE travel is increasing at 3-5% from the Indian market and we are confident of leveraging it further.

Talking about the average spend of tourists in Bali, Indian travellers have emerged as one of the most promising spenders with USD 1,000 as compared with the European travellers spending USD 1,600 and Chinese travellers spending USD 500. This was another significant factor which has pushed us to consider India as a potential market.

Such results strengthened our belief to invest in the Indian market and ensure targeted promotions and marketing. Finally, BTPB opened up to the Indian market as a solo destination last year wherein we appointed Vineet Gopal, Director, Representation World LLP as the India Representative for Bali Tourism in India.

Q. How do you plan to capitalise on the cultural connect between both the nations?
Both India and Indonesia share a great emotional connect which has always boosted the tourism ties between the countries. Both the nations worship the same religious deities and have a lot in common when it comes to culture and history. The Balinese are predominantly a Hindu community with over 10,000 temples on the relatively small island. A majority of their art and craft are inspired by stories from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

To capitalise on the same, BTPB appointed the Brand Ambassador of Bali Tourism in India in June last year - Monica Mohindra. She is Balinese with roots from India and has pro-actively assisted and inspired us with her eloquent vision to work towards generating even better figures from the Indian market.

Bali Tourism

Q. Direct connectivity is a major challenge for travel between India and Bali. How do you plan to address this?
The permit for direct flight connectivity to India has already been given to Garuda Indonesia, the national carrier of Indonesia. We have been highlighting the growth in arrivals and the immense potential lying untapped from the Indian market to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Hopefully, by August our flag carrier will launch direct flights between Mumbai and Jakarta. Among the other carriers, Air India could also initiate direct flights. We hope the direct connectivity to Bali will also follow soon.

Q. Which are the major segments that the Bali Tourism Promotion Board will be promoting in the Indian market?
Bali has got five different segments that we mainly promote including leisure, MICE, elderly, festival and sports travel. Though leisure travellers form the biggest chunk of arrivals from India including honeymooners, the MICE travellers too are an important segment as they spend six times more than a leisure traveller, making them quality travellers. We equally concentrate on the silver market which comprises travellers above the age of 50 years. Such travellers are mostly long-staying tourists. Festival promotion also remains on our cards many travellers are inclined towards culture, heritage and local traditions. Lastly, Sports Tourism too, is an integral part of our offerings.
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