Bali, the enchanting Indonesian island known for its pristine beaches, vibrant culture, and picturesque landscapes, is set to witness an unprecedented surge in cruise tourism in 2024. PT Pelabuhan Indonesia (PELINDO), the state-owned port management company responsible for seaports in Bali and Nusa Tenggara (NTT), has reported a remarkable 45% increase in requests for port calls at Bali's southernmost port of Benoa for the upcoming year. This surge is indicative of Bali's resurgence in the cruise tourism sector following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and the reopening of international gateways to tourism in Indonesia.
The Cruise Tourism Boom in Bali:
- 45% Increase in Port Call Requests: Ali Sodikin, the Head of PELINDO in Bali and NTT, confirmed a significant 45% increase in requests for port calls at Bali's Benoa port for the year 2024.
- Rising Passenger Numbers: From January 6 to October 6, 2023, Bali welcomed 30 cruise ships carrying a total of 21,679 passengers. This represents a notable increase from the same period in 2022, when 14 ships with 7,000 passengers visited the Port of Benoa.
- Recovery from COVID-19: The surge in cruise ship visits to Bali can be attributed to the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent reopening of Indonesia's international gateways for tourism.
- 2025: Bali's Cruise Tourism Year: Bali is gearing up to become a major hub for cruise tourism in 2025. International cruise ships will have the opportunity for online registration to visit Bali, streamlining the process for both operators and tourists.
- New Marine Tourism Center: A state-of-the-art Marine Tourism Center is under construction at Benoa, designed to enhance the arrival and departure experiences for cruise ship passengers.
- Enhanced Facilities: The new cruise terminal at Benoa boasts foreign currency exchange kiosks, information booths, ATMs, and local kiosks selling merchandise operated by small and medium-sized entrepreneurs.
With its unparalleled natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, Bali is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing interest in cruise tourism. As the industry experiences a renaissance, Bali is poised to shine as a top destination for cruise ship passengers, offering them a seamless and memorable experience.
The surge in cruise tourism to Bali is a testament to the island's enduring allure and its remarkable resilience in the face of challenges. With the COVID-19 pandemic receding and international tourism bouncing back, Bali's Benoa port is set to welcome a record number of cruise ships in 2024. This renewed interest not only benefits the tourism industry but also supports the local economy and small businesses through enhanced facilities and services. Bali's future as a premier cruise tourism destination appears brighter than ever, promising unforgettable experiences for travelers from around the world.