The Chairman of the Indonesian Sea Lovers Foundation (Yayasan Cinta Bahari Indonesia), Raymond T. Lesmana, says the time has arrived for Bali to have a dedicated cruise port facility in order to increase cruise visitor totals and bring much-needed foreign exchange to the Island.
Speaking to Bisnis Indonesia, Lesmana said: "Bali is currently mixing the function of the Benoa port facility between handling passengers, fishing boats as well as cruise vessels. This is not beneficial to Bali's tourism."
Lesmana went on to explain that Bali should have a dedicated port facility that could act as a turn-around port for foreign and domestic cruise ships. Such a facility, he argued, would also become a stimulus for opening up the cruise industry's penetration of eastern Indonesia.
He bemoaned the fact that every year some 2,000 sailing yachts pass the southern boundaries of Indonesia without stopping at an Indonesian port. According to Lesmana, every sailing yacht that visits Indonesia carries an average of 3 passengers and spends Rp. 17.5 million in foreign exchange (approximately US$1,900).
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