The number of French tourist arrivals in Bali went up 36,12 percent to 37,256 from January to May 2009, from 27,370 in the same period a year earlier.
"Especially for May 2009, the number of tourists from France was recorded at 11,147 people, down 8.49 percent from that in May last year," Ida Komang Wisnu, head of the Bali provincial central bureau of statistics (BPS) said here on Thursday.
Most of the French tourists arrived through the Ngurah Rai international airport, and only ten of them used cruiser to enter the island, he said.
"The French tourists accounted for 4.28 percent of the total foreign tourists (870,029) visited Bali in the first five months of 2009," he said.
In 2008, Bali received a total of 792,657 foreign tourists, he said.
France was on the seventh rank in the list of the ten top countries contributing to the Bali`s dollar earnings.
The largest number of foreign tourists visiting Bali are from Australia (137,018 people), Japan (132,122), China (85,828), Malaysia (58,192), South Korea (52,311), Taiwan (48,168), The United Kingdom (29,215), Russia (28,829), Germany (26,881), and other countries (234,209).
Last year, a total of 77,379 French tourists visited Bali, up 15,359 or 24.76 percent from 62,020 people in 2007.
In 2008, Bali were visited by a total of 1,989,850 foreign tourists, up 19.40 percent from 1,668,531 in 2007, Ida Komang wisnu said.
Indonesia hopes to attract 480,000 Australian tourists during the Visit Indonesia Year 2009.
"We are optimistic that we will be able to achieve the target, as the domestic tourism industry is not affected by the global economic crisis," Sapta Nirwandar, director general of the tourism and cultural ministry, said here on Sunday (July 5).
A total of 165,137 Australian tourists visited Indonesia in January to May 2009, up around 34,338 or 26.25 percent from 130,799 in the same period last year.