The Director General of Marketing for the Department of Culture and Tourism, Sapta Niwandar, told Bisnis Indonesia that he is confident that Indonesia will play host to 100 cruise ship visits during the current 2008-2009 season.
Niwandar credited the increase in cruise ship visits to Indonesia's improving security and the traveling public's improved view of Indonesia as a whole. As explained by the man in charge of Indonesian tourism marketing: "Although Indonesia is not yet a main destination, the desire to undertake cruise visits to Indonesia is large. Cruise operators from Puerto Rico, for example, will soon deploy
their ships towards Bali. Puerto Rico earns 1.4 million tourist visitors each year from the cruise sector."
Based on discussions with Puerto Rican cruise operators, Niwandar said that even wider opportunities for cooperation between the two countries remained to be explored. Puerto Rican tourism operators are interested not only in cruise shipping, but also in cooperating on spa projects and creating employment opportunities.
Niwandar said that the recent increase in cruise ships is also attributable to allowing companies other than PT Pelni to act as local agents for visiting ships.
According to Niwandar: "The benefits from ship visits can bring between 200-2,000 people to Bali. The MV Rhapsody came to Indonesia last year with 2,000 passengers visiting Bali, Lombok and Komodo along the way."
Bali as a Yacht Cruise Center
The tourism official also reminded of efforts now underway to establish Bali as a yacht tourism center.
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