Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Foreign tourists have restored Bali, Indonesia`s most popular tourist destination, on their world renown tourist destination map, after canceling trips to the island paradise for some time following the terrorist bombings which not only claimed the lives of hundreds of people but also devastated the local tourism sector, an official has said.
"Foreign tourist arrivals in Denpasar dropped by 47 percent following the 2002 bombings and the decline continued following the bomb attacks in 2005," Visa Indonesia country manager Ellyana C. Fuad said in a press statement made available to ANTARA News here Friday.
The increasing flow of foreign travelers to Bali was marked by a rise in the use of credit cards by foreign tourists in Bali, she said.
"A year after the 2005 bombings, the number of foreign tourists using Visa cards grew again year-on-year and remained stable until June this year," she said.
In the first six months of this year, Ellyana said, the use of International Visa cards grew by 39 percent compared to those in the same period last year.
Tourism industry is the source of income for Bali that the first bombing in 2002 which killed about 200 people mostly Australian holidaymakers and the second one in 2005 which murdered 26 people had affected tourism sector in the country.
The rise in the use of the credit card has not only occurred in Bali but also in Thai popular tourist destination of Phuket after it was hit by devastated tsunami in December 2004.
She said, however, the use of International Visa cards dropped in southern part of Thailand and Sri Lanka.
Sectarian conflicts in the southern parts of Thailand as well as political and social upheavals in Sri Lanka have discouraged foreign tourists to visit the two regions.(*)