With the greater availability of charter flights, more Chinese and Indian tourists heading to Indonesia are choosing destinations beyond the traditional hotspot of Bali.
Charter flights from China and India have increased 40-50 per cent from last year, driven by intense promotions and multi-destination packages, said Gajah Tour Bali general manager Bambang Sugiono.
Lombok, Banyuwangi, Bromo, Komodo and Belitung are most popular, according to Bambang, who added that tourists typically stay five days and favour water sports. Gajah Tour is planning to add more destinations such as Padang and Morotai.
Meanwhile, a recent charter addition is Korean Air’s seven flights from Incheon to Lombok between July and October 2017.
Testament to their success, some charters from China have turned into scheduled flights. These include Lion Air’s services to Jakarta from Sanya (Hainan) and to Manado from Shanghai and Guangzhou, as well as Garuda flights linking Jakarta to Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Charter flights are a way to escalate arrivals as the government works towards the target of 20 million visitors by 2019, said Eddy Sunyoto, international marketing manager at Association of The Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies.