Bali is the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia. The island has been in high demand as a vacation destination by international tourists and domestic visitors alike for decades.
But as domestic travel across the archipelago becomes more affordable and accessible, there are hopes that the Island of the Gods will become a gateway of exploration for international visitors.
For the last few years, the Indonesian Ministry for Tourism and Creative Economies has been on a mission to showcase the best of Indonesia’s travel destinations to the world.
In a campaign that was referred to locally as the making of ‘five new Bali’s’ the ministry appointed five new super-priority destinations.
These destinations have received financial and operations support from the government to elevate the tourism experiences on offer.
The five super-priority destinations are Lake Toba in North Sumatra, which is the world’s largest volcanic crater lake and sits just a few short hours from the Leuser Ecosystem which spans across North Sumatra and Ache.
The Leuser Ecosystem is the last place on earth where rhinos, tigers, elephants, and orangutans still co-exist together in the wild.
The other super-priority destinations include Borobudur in Central Java, which is home to the world’s biggest Buddhist temple, as well as Labuan Bajo in the West Flores Islands, best known as the gateway to Komodo National Park.
The final two super priority destinations are Mandalika in Central Lombok, a coastal resort that makes for a great addition to a beach and island hopping vacation from Bali, through the Nusa Islands, the Gili Islands, and on to Lombok.
Finally, there is Likupang in North Sulawesi, which is a breathtaking 200-hectare stretch of white sandy beaches showcasing some of the finest coastlines in all of Indonesia.
One of the key ways in which Bali is becoming a launchpad for tourist explorations around the archipelago is through greater provision of domestic flights.
Earlier this year the long-awaited direct fight from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International to Kualanamu, Medan Airport in Sumatra meant that tourists could finally explore all of Bali on the first week of their vacation and tick off their bucket list adventures in Sumatra trekking to see an orangutan in the wild, and of course stop by Lake Toba too.
The big news on the domestic travel front this month is that Kertajati Airport in West Java is now fully operational. This means the Denpasar-Bandung (DPS-BDG) flight route has now changed to Denpasar-Kertajati (DPS-KJT).
The General Manager of Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, Handy Heryudhitiawan, told reporters, “We hope that the operation of Kertajati Airport can increase flight traffic and connectivity between Bali Island and West Java Province as a whole.”
He added, “In the future, we also hope that other flights can also enliven the Bali-Kertajati route…By connecting the provinces of West Java and Bali, there will be more space for synergy and collaboration in the tourism sector.”
One passenger aboard the first Kertajati-Bali flight last week told reporters, “The atmosphere is exciting because it departs from the new terminal.”
“This route is very helpful because it makes it easier not to have to go to Jakarta to go to Bali.”
What Does West Java Offer Bali Tourists?
For tourists looking to add an extra couple of nights onto their Bali adventure and see a little more of what Indonesia has to offer, the new Bali-Kertajati flight opens up a wealth of travel opportunities.
Including the incredible Gunung Padang, a megalithic site that experts believe could be the oldest pyramid in the world.
Adventure lovers and avid hikers will feel right at home in West Java, home to the Mount Ciremai National Park. The huge nature reserve offers magical hiking trails around and up to the summit of the active volcano.
Mount Ciremai National Park is just a 2-hour drive from Kertajati International Airport.
Source: The Bali Sun