Bali Targets Phuket's China Russia Markets
Indonesia is buzzing over news that the government has announced plans to waive visas for Russia, China, Australia, South Korea and Japan next year.
While the country has less than 7 million international arrivals, Bali is forecasting 3.8 million at the end of this year for 2014.
Currently a visa on arrival program has visitors paying USD25 upon entry to the country.
The Indonesian government is setting up a task force to implement the visa waiver program.
As of the first half of 2014, Russian and Chinese travelers represented 47% of Phuket's passenger arrivals.
Clearly Indonesia and specifically Bali have viewed the power of the emerging markets and are looking to tap into the mass sector.
The move comes at a time when the Russian currency has severely depreciated against the US dollar and while wholesale group hotel for the Eastern European market remain largely intact, there is mounting concern that materialization numbers versus the allocations might falter this high season.
As Asia's resort markets urbanize expect other destinations to adopt a similar strategy to spur growth.