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Bali hotels aim to boost Iranian tourists

A number of Indonesian hotel management companies and travel agencies are taking part in a three-day tourism exhibition in Tehran, Iran, to promote the resort island of Bali to Iranian travelers.

Five hotels – Bvlgary Resort, Karma Kandara, Sun Island Property and Double Six Luxury Hotel Seminyak – are coordinating with travel agency Indo Persia, which has been working to bring more Iranian travelers to the archipelago, particularly Bali.

“The number of Iranian tourists has been increasing in the last year and a half, ” said Sun Island general manager Ismullah.

According to the Indonesian embassy in Tehran, the number of tourist visas it issued for Iranians increased from 8,349 in 2016 to 13,120 last year.

Ismullah said that compared to other tourists from the Middle East, Iranians were known to be more casual and more lavish in their spending.

Bali is the most popular tourist destination among Iranians, who are mostly familiar with the resort island compared to Indonesia as a whole.

“We are now trying to increase the number of Iranian tourists at other tourist destinations such as Lombok, Jakarta, Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Bandung,” said Alireza Ebrahimshah of Indo Persia.

He said that more people were expected to visit Indonesia during the March holiday season in Iran, when the people celebrate Nowruz, or the Iranian New Year.

Alireza said he hoped that the Indonesian government would grant the visa-on-arrival (VOA) facility for Iranian nationals to boost the number of visitors from that country.

Indonesia removed Iran from the list of VOA countries amid a wave of asylum seekers that passed through Indonesia to reach Australia.

Iranians were last-minute travelers, Alireza said, adding that with the visa-on-arrival, the number of Iranian tourists could increase threefold.

The 11th Tehran International Tourism Exhibition, organized by Tehran International Trading & Exhibition Corporation (TITEX), is being held from Jan. 23 to Jan. 26. (dmr)

Source: The Jakarta Post