The island nation of Indonesia has set out a plan to expand its tourism industry by upgrading its infrastructure in the hope of creating “10 new Balis”.
Speaking this week, the tourism ministry’s deputy assistant for development, Sigit Wicaksono, said that “many foreign tourists still only know Bali” and neglect “other beautiful places in Indonesia”.
“Some of them do not even know that Bali is part of Indonesia,” Sigit said.
According to Voice of America (VoA), Bali accounts for around 40% of the 15.8m visitors to Indonesia overall each year.
However, the country’s president Joko Widodo is hoping to change that with the “10 new Balis” initiative.
But while the archipelago, which has over 200m inhabitants, contains plenty of stunning beaches and jungle landscape, questions linger over its safety for tourists.
Although terrorism has declined significantly since the devastating Bali bombing of a nightclub in 2002, last year concerns were reignited by an “Isis-inspired” attack on a police station, which itself followed a bombing attack on a series of churches which killed 13 people.
In addition to terrorist violence, VoA notes that some outsiders still worry about potential “cultural friction that might accompany the influx of more non-Muslim visitors”.