"Logically, when their King came here, his people would also like to visit. Moreover, the royal family seemed to very much enjoy their vacation in Bali," Cokorda Bagus Pemayun, secretary of the Bali tourism office, said here, Sunday.
The King's visit was fresh air for Bali's tourism because there had been a difficulty in attracting Middle Eastern tourists to Bali so far, he said.
He believed the King's visit has changed a perception of the Saudi people about Bali, and therefore it would be a golden opportunity for Bali to explore the Saudi market.
The fact that the King and his family decided to extend their visit to Bali showed that King Salman al-Saud and his family felt happy with their vacation in Bali, he added.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud left Bali for Japan on Sunday at 11:15 a.m. local time after enjoying an eight-day holiday on the island.
The Saudi King was holidaying in Bali from March 4 to 12, after paying a state visit to Jakarta on March 1-3, which is considered to be historical as a Saudi king had lasted visited Indonesia 47 years ago.
The Bali tourism official has seen the King's visit as a major tourism promotion for Bali.
Middle Eastern tourists are in general high spender, with an average spending of US$ 1,800 per person per visit, compared to US$1,2000 per visit by other foreign tourists.
The Arabs usually spend 10.08 days per visit, which is also much longer than other foreign tourists.
"They usually come during Hajj pilgrimage season and summer," he noted.
Over the last five years, the number of Middle Eastern tourists visiting Bali, has increased by an average of 38.7 percent a year, he remarked. ***1***
Editor: Guido Merung
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