The number of Indian visitors to Indonesia, especially its Bali Paradise Island, has shown continuous increase over recent years, according to Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu.

As of October 2013, the predominantly Hindu island welcomed nearly 53,000 tourists from southern Asia, a rise of 51.1 percent from the same period last year.

The latest data from the Bali office of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) showed that Indians have continuously increased since 2008, from 21,364 arrivals to 31,735 and 40,351 in 2010 and the following year, respectively.

In order to further explore the Indian tourism market, Minister Elka Pangestu suggested Indonesia promptly set up the Bali-India direct air route and pay more attention to tourism promotion in the Indian capital of New Delhi and other big cities.

As the island is relatively close in distance with India and shares a lot of similarities in culture, religion, and belief with the country, it is expected to be a popular holiday destination among Indians, senior tourism practitioner Bagus Sudibya said.-VNA