Mon, 11 Jun 2001

More SE Asians visit Bali

DENPASAR, Bali: The island of Bali registered 17,900 tourists coming from neighboring Southeast Asian countries over the first quarter of the year, a 46 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Head of local tourism agency I Gede Pitana Brahmanda said on Saturday most of the tourists were Malaysian, Singaporean, Filipino and Thai nationals, who flew directly to Bali.

Thai visitors topped the standings with 5,600 people, followed by Singaporeans with 5,400, Malaysians with 5,100 and Filipinos with 1,600.

There were only an average of 100 tourists each from Vietnam, Brunei and Cambodia flying to Bali over the same quarter.

Pitana attributed the hike in the number of foreign tourists to security arrangements that have kept Bali safe despite the heightened conflict between political leaders in Jakarta.

"The tourists know that Bali is safe. Political tension in Jakarta has a little influence here," he said.