Indonesia's Bali welcomes back 1st charter flight of Chinese tourists

Tourists walk out of the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia on Jan. 22, 2023. Photo by Dicky Bisinglasi/Xinhua

JAKARTA -- Indonesia's famed resort island of Bali on Sunday welcomed back the first batch of Chinese tourists by charter flight after the Chinese government optimized its COVID-19 rules.

The flight carrying a total of 210 Chinese tourists from China's southern metropolis Shenzhen touched down at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport Bali at 10:40 local time on Sunday.

Local traditional songs and dances welcomed Chinese tourists, and one of them was presented with a flower garland by the governor of Bali, I Wayan Koster.

"I'm convinced Bali tourism will thrive again with the advent of these Chinese tourists. China has been the largest source of tourists to Bali for many years, and the number of Chinese tourists visiting Bali reached as high as 1.4 million," said Koster.

Zhu Xinglong, Chinese Consul General in Denpasar Bali who attended the ceremony, appreciated the thoughtful arrangements made by Indonesia government to welcome Chinese tourists to Bali, saying that Indonesia is one of the first pilot countries for China to resume the business of Chinese citizens traveling abroad, which demonstrates that the Indonesian government's hospitality for the Chinese tourists.

Zhu said that China's Consulate General in Denpasar will strengthen tourism cooperation with relevant Indonesian departments, and promote personnel exchanges and people-to-people bonds between the two countries.

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