Visa to Boost Trade and Tourism to Bali

Visa International launched the “Explore Bali with Visa” program Tuesday as part of an effort to boost tourism and trade to Bali.

“We hope that the program can give strong and clear signals to the international community that Bali is and will always be a safe and amazing tourism destination,” said Visa Indonesia Country Manager Ellyana C. Fuad.

The program, which commenced July 1 and ends September 30, will target millions of visa holders in Asia Pacific. Collaborating with 220 hotels, restaurants, fashion outlets and companies, Visa offered price discounts to Visa International card holders.

According to Visa, international tourists holding Visa cards spent at least Rp 1.9 trillion (US$211 million) in Bali last year, a 15 percent drop from Rp 2.4 trillion the previous year.

According to the credit card company, Australians and the Japanese were the top two shoppers in Bali last year, spending Rp 350 billion ($39 million) and Rp 294 billion ($33 million) respectively. Visa cardholders spent Rp 145 billion on cloths and Rp 119 billion on art and furniture.

“We would like to have more business partners to participate in the program,” said Paul Wilke, the company’s director and corporate relations manager for Southeast Asia.

According to the Asia Travel Intentions Survey 2007 conducted by Visa International and the Pacific Asia Travel Association, the 2004 tsunami and the 2002 and 2005 bombings have continued to discourage foreign tourists from visiting Indonesia, including Bali.

The Bali Tourism Board recorded that tourist arrivals dropped slightly from 1.38 million in 2005 to 1.33 million last year.

Source: Jakarta Post