Approximately 100 travel agency managers and members of the press from Osaka, Japan undertook a quick inspection tour of Bali January 27-30, 2005.
The "educational tour" was sponsored by local hotels, Air Paradise International (API) and Garuda Indonesia Airlines to demonstrate to Japanese travelers that Bali suffered no ill effects from the December 25 earthquake and tsunami which devastated large areas of South Asia.
Simon P. Hasibuan, the Marketing Manager of Air Paradise International said that the tour was needed to demonstrate to the Japanese that Indonesia is an immense country and that a natural disaster in one area does not necessarily mean the other areas, such as Bali, are affected.
Japan remains the largest tourist generating market for Bali with some 326,397 Japanese visitors coming to Bali in 2004 accounting for 22.39 percent of all foreign arrivals.
According to Hasibuan, API saw load factors on their Bali to Osaka route drop to an average 60% from normal levels of 80-90% in the period immediately following the December 26 disaster.
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