Monumental Achievement

Soft Inauguration Held on Saturday, August 5, 2018 of Garuda Wisnu Kencana Monument in South Bali

The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism hopes that the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Monument (GWK) designed by Balinese sculptor I Nyoman Nuarta and recently opened in South Bali will attract two-million visitors each year.

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, the Deputy in charge of Market Development for the Tourism Ministry, I Gde Pitana, speaking at a VIP “thanksgiving” ceremony held at GWK on Sunday, August 5, 2018, revealed that the Monument Park already averages around 3,000 visitors per day or about one-million visitors annually.

“With the completion of the construction of this statue,” said Pitana, “it is hoped that at a minimum we will double the number coming to visit the finished monument. This mean we estimate 6,000 visitors to GWK every day or some 2,000,000 visitors over the course of a year."

Based on data collated by PT Garuda Adhimatra, the managers of GWK, only 10.7% of the current visitors to the monument are foreign visitors.

Continuing, Pitana said that he hopes a minimum of 200,000 foreign tourists would visit GWK annually.

In 2017, foreign visitors to Bali increased 16% year-on-year totaling 5,697,739.

Government tourism managers are aiming for tourism arrivals in 2018 to Bali to increase by a dramatic 32%, achieving a target of 7.5 million foreign visitors.

The ceremony on Sunday, August 5th marked the “soft” completion of the statue’s exterior. Work continues on the monument that will eventually allow the monument, that was 28-years-in-the making, be open for visitors to access its interior elements.

Pitana said current strategies are for the GWK Monument to “rejuvenate” Bali tourism. The statue depicting Lord Visnu riding atop a mythical Garuda bird stands 121 meters tall or 271 meters above sea level.

Pitana boasted that the GWK will join a select circle of global landmarks that include the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Sydney Opera House, Santorini in Greece, the Cheops Pyramid in Egypt, the Taj Mahal in India, and the Great Wall of China.

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