Chinese parliament speaker Wu Bangguo was not surprised by Bali becoming a very popular tourist destination of China as many of its new married couples spent their honeymoon in the island paradise.
The Chinese government had encouraged increased visits of Chinese tourists to Bali, Wu said when meeting Bali Governor Mangku Pastika, the Bali provincial administration`s chief spokesman Ketut Teneng said Thursday.
Wu, who said that he was in Bali for the very first time, and visited the painter`s village of Ubud, was impressed by the development of tourism in the island paradise.
He said the Chinese also knew Bali as an island of paradise. The strong emotional and cultural relations between China and Bali had a great contribution to expanded relations with China.
The Chinese parliament speaker promised Governor Pastika to double the number of Chinese visitors to Bali from the current 200,000 in the next few years.
Mangku Pastika told his guests that the relations between Bali and China had been increasing along with the harmonizing relations between Indonesia and China, marked by the increase in trade between Bali and China.
This is apparent from the fact that big investors will operate in Bali in the power sector, and a Chinese company Chen Zhen helping the area to become a Green Province, Pastika said.
The number of foreign tourists to Bali in the January-September 2010 period reaching 1,919,126, including 157,009 Chinese, is ranking third of the tourist suppliers for Bali after Australia 463,189, and Japanese 195,288.