Every year millions of tourists come to Bali for leisure. The island even exceeded its target of attracting 3.1 million tourists by reaching 3.27 million a couple years ago, according to Jakarta Post.
But when exactly did Bali become ’noticed’ by tourists and travellers?
According to first data released by Official Netherlands Bureau there were 213 tourists visited Bali in 1924.
Koninklijke Paketcart Maatsckapy (KPM) or Royal Dutch Voyage Associate built Hotel Bali in Denpasar in 1928, where the Puputan Badung 1906 (Puputan Badung war of 1906) took place.
KPM started to provide weekly sailings to Bali since 1924 after previously built Bali’s transportation infrastructure in 1917. The sailing routes were from Singapore, Batavia (Jakarta), Semarang, Surabaya, Buleleng (Singaraja Harbour), and Makassar – the route was known as Bali Express. This is considered as the starting point of tourists travelling to the island of Gods.
Two years later after 1924, magazine Tourism in Netherlands East Indies stated that on February 8th 1927, the number of travellers had increased into 480 people.
Seeing the significant increase of visitors to the island, KPM decided to build Hotel Bali to cater for the tourists. Furthermore, the hotel also had an important role in Indonesian national history as it was where the Denpasar Conference was held in 1946, which resulted in the first recognition of east Indonesia.