Bali has seen an influx of high-spending Chinese tourists in the first four months of 2014, buoyed by convenient air connections and diversions from other South-east Asian destinations. Bambang Sugiono, director of Gajah Bali Tour, told TTG Asia e-Daily during the recent Bali & Beyond Travel Fair:
“What is worth noting is that the number of travelers seeking higher-end accommodation has increased significantly since the fourth quarter of last year.There was some concern that the new law (on optional tours) imposed by the Chinese government would affect arrivals to Bali. Instead, we have not only seen growth in total arrivals but also seen high spenders coming in.”
From January to April, Chinese arrivals to Bali numbered 191,413 compared to 128,125 for the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. Highlighting the good air access between Bali and Chinese cities, he added that other push factors were Thailand’s political situation and the fallout from Malaysia Airlines’ missing flight MH370.
“The pattern is they come for a 5D4N trip with two nights in a villa and the rest in a resort, spending a minimum of US$1,200 per stay,” Bambang observed.
Ayana Resort and Spa Bali sales manager, Rosa Yeoh, said:
“During the Lunar New Year holiday period, for example, our spa facilities were busy with Chinese guests. Even with our Spa on The Rock (the most expensive spa pavilion with exclusive spa treatment), the Chinese contributed some 95 per cent of sales.”
The Stones Legian, Bali, an Autograph Collection Hotel has also been getting high-end business from China. Irawan Hadiwijaya, the hotel’s sales manager, said:
“We not only get Chinese guests staying at our Pool Suite but also (those) requesting helicopter transfers from the airport to the hotel, which by car only takes 15 minutes.”
A helicopter ride costs around US$2,700, including a 30-minute scenic ride.