Jakarta — The first Karangasem Travel Mart that was held in Bali from September 14 to 17 was a huge success as evidenced in the total financial transaction during the event that reached 2.5 billion rupiahs. “This is the first event yet we have managed to gain 2.5 billion rupiahs of transactions. The most important goal was for [participants] to get to know East Bali, especially Karangasem that has its own charm for overseas tourists. Each and every corner of Bali is beautiful and tourists can explore the entire island of Bali,” explained Karangasem Travel Mart 2017 committee head Thomas Raja. The event was attended by local and international sellers, 12 people were from Bangladesh, five from Japan, five from Malaysia, 29 from India, 12 from Singapore and the rest were from Indonesian cities such as Padang, Bandung, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Batam, Denpasar, Pontianak and Banjarmasin. “The graphics for tourists visits to Karangasem in the past four years has been significant, more than five thousand tourists visited Karangasem during the years 2012 and 2016. For 2017, our target is 10,000 international tourists. We have the potential and human resources to welcome them,” Thomas added. During their downtime, the event’s participants were taken to explore tourist objects such as Tirta Gangga, Telaga Waja where they could do rafting, Besakih Temple, Salak agro-tourism and Asah Hill. “We saw it ourselves when we are on a tour, there were plenty of European tourists. At a restaurant during lunchtime, almost 90 percent of the eateries were international tourists,” said tourism ministry’s incentive trip promotional head, Hendri Karnoza. On their last day, participants were invited to do Yoga and Zumba with the beautiful view of Karangasem in the background. “They seemed very enthusiastic and amused. [..] Other than tourists, Karangasem in East Bali also has the potential to attract domestic tourists who don’t like crowded places. East Bali boasts the beauty of Mount Agung, the environment here is calm and the temperature here is quite low. International tourists, especially those from Europe love this kind of environment,” Thomas said. Tourism ministry’s archipelago tourism marketing development deputy, Esthy Reko Astuti said the event was the ministry’s effort to increase the number of overseas tourists in the eastern part of Bali. By shifting the destination from the south to the east, Esthy hoped that the number of tourist visits could be spread evenly in all parts of Bali and it would in turn, attract more visitors to come to Bali.