Indonesia government pushes to finish Bali port

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Bali’s new cruise terminal is slated to be ready by the end of 2018.

The new facility, which will be built at Port Benoa, will help boost Indonesia’s tourism figures.

It’s expected that the Port of Benoa will be transformed into a world-class port that will not only be able to accommodate for super luxury yachts, but also large cruise ships.

Currently, cruise ships that visit Benoa have to moor off shore and passengers are tendered ashore.

Chairman of Bali Tourism Board, Ida Bagus Agung Partha said the terminal was vital due to Denpasar’s current shortage of capacity.

“We hope Benoa Port will open soon (as it has been delayed several times), as Bali is a hub to Indonesia and also being the central of tourism activity,” he told TTG Asia.

Indroyono Soesilo, the special advisor to the minister on marine tourism development said that part of the Benoa Master Plan included dredging the sea 12m deep and widening the area up to 200m which would mean that some of the world’s largest cruise ship could visit the region.

“The Cruise Ship Terminal will be able to accommodate 5,000 passengers and 1,500 crew members, or equal to 44 Boeing 737 planes,” he said.

He also said there are plans to develop a second port in northern Bali which will accommodate seven ships at a time, each with the capacity to accommodate up to 1,000 passengers.

“Celukan Bawang Port already has the sea level that fits the standard so no further dredging is needed. The huge area of the part provides easy access for hundreds of vehicles to transport arriving tourists to attractions,” he said.

The government also hope to develop five other ports in Indonesia including Belawan in North Sumatera, Tanjung Priok in Jakarta, Tanjung Perak in Surabaya and Soekarno-Hatta in Makassar.

Last year, 320,000 passengers visited Indonesia by cruise ship, an increase from 200,000. The country is hoping to boost visitors to 500,000 passengers and at least 500 cruise calls by 2019.