Direct flights between Moscow and Indonesia’s resort island of Bali have boosted tourism in the Southeast Asian archipelago, said Indonesian Ambassador to Russia Wahid Supriyadi.
“The increase in Russian tourists in 2018 was 6.95 per cent from 117,500 in 2017 to 125,700 people,” Wahid said, as quoted by kompas.com.
Russia is reportedly one of the top five European countries that contribute to tourist arrivals to Bali.
According to its schedule, Aeroflot serves the Moscow-Denpasar route three times a week, on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Meanwhile, the Denpasar-Moscow route operates on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, departing from Denpasar at 10:05 a.m. and arriving in Moscow at 5:50 p.m.
The distance of 10,600 kilometres is covered through the direct connection as a convenient travel mode for Russian tourists with a travel time of around 12 hours. by Russian carriers Aeroflot and Rossiya Airlines which officially launched their Moscow-Denpasar route last fall under a codeshare agreement. The direct maiden flight using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft carries 297 passengers.
He added that that was the result of efforts by various parties, including tour operators, tourism agents, media companies and airlines in promoting Indonesian tourist destinations to the Russian public.
Wahid said the opening of direct flights between Moscow and Bali’s capital of Denpasar by Russian airline Rossiya Airlines in October 2018 was a key factor for increasing the number of Russian tourists.
Wahid noted that Indonesia had been recognised as a popular destination for global travellers, including being named the sixth-most beautiful destination byRough Guides and one of the safest countries for solo travellers at number 9 in the Global Peace Index.
Indonesia even had three of its islands named as the most beautiful islands in the world, according to Travel + Leisure, namely Java at number 1, Bali in second and Lombok in third place.
Various programs by the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow in collaboration with Indonesia’s Tourism Ministry seek to lure Russian tourists to Indonesia, such as sales missions, joint promotion programs, the participation in tourism exhibitions, familiarisation trips as well as the annual Indonesian Festival in Moscow.
The Indonesian Festival, organised by the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow since 2016, is a platform for the promotion of trade, tourism and investment and also aims to increase people-to-people contact between Indonesia and Russia.
In 2018, the number of visitors to the third annual Indonesia Festival reached 135,000, and for the upcoming festival to be held from Aug. 1-4, the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow has set a target of 140,000 visitors.
Indonesia and Russia relationship:
Relations between Indonesia and Russia seem to be getting closer and closer as top officials agreed to speed up the drafting of a new strategic partnership agreement in Moscow
The progress in bilateral relations materialised less than a year after Retno and Lavrov signed a Plan of Consultation for 2017-2019, which was aimed at intensifying dialogue between the two countries.
The document was signed as part of Lavrov’s visit to Jakarta in August, during which Indonesia and Russia agreed to strengthen cooperation in trade, exchange of information and counterterrorism efforts.
“At this moment, we are negotiating it [the draft] and we are hoping that Indonesia-Russia’s strategic partnership agreement can be signed when President Vladimir Putin visits Indonesia, hopefully later this year,” Minister Retno said at the time, published in a video provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and seen by the Jakarta Globe.
When the two countries celebrated 65 years of diplomatic ties in 2015, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin touched on his country’s readiness to increase cooperation, as part of an effort to guarantee stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region.