The Indonesian language Bisnis Indonesia reports that no less than three international cruise operators are currently considering Bali as a turn-around port.
The Secretary General of the Department of Culture and Tourism, Sapta Nirwandar explained that the development reflects the growing interest in cruise tourism worldwide.
International Cruise ship visits to Indonesia continue to grow with tourism authorities expecting the targeted 82 visits for all of 2007 to be easily exceeded. The targeted ship visits for 2007 is 100.
According to Sapta, Bali is becoming increasingly viewed as a possible base port for cruise ship operators, a change from its past role as merely a cruise stop.
"There are now three international companies who have expressed an interest in making Bali a turn around port. This means (Bali) will no longer be just a cruise stop, but a port. This also means that cruise voyages will begin and end from Bali." Sapta told Bisnis Indonesia.
The tourism official would not specifically name the cruise operators eyeing Bali as a base port, but did confirm the companies involved are American and European cruise operators, among the 10 largest worldwide.
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