Indonesia tourism minister thanks Obama for taking vacation in country

PHOTO: Reuters

Former United States president Barack Obama is enjoying his time vacationing in Bali together with his family. Obama who is staying on the Island of the Gods until June 28 was seen visiting places such as Agung Rai Art Museum, Pengosekan Village, Ubud Gianyar Bali and yesterday, June 26, he and his family went rafting.

Bali Tourism Head, AA Yuniartha Putra said Obama's rafting adventure on Monday began in Banjar Karang Dalem I, Bongkasa Pertiwi, Badung.

When the Obamas arrived around 11.00 AM local time, the area has been sterilized and closed for media.

The former US president and his family went rafting for about 90 minutes.

The Obamas' holiday in Indonesia

  • Former US president Barack Obama (center) shakes hands with Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika upon arriving at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport on June 23.
  • A Land Cruiser carrying former US president Barack Obama leaves I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport on June 23.
  • Former United States president Barack Obama and his family have reportedly visited several tourist attractions during their Bali holiday so far, including the Agung Rai Museum of Art, the Jatiluwih rice terraces and Ayung River. Obama and his family reportedly walked through the 500-meter hiking route circling the paddy fields. They then visited Pura Subak, meeting local farmers.
  • Obama, his wife Michelle and their two daughters arrived in Bali on Friday evening for a five-day vacation on the Island of the Gods.
  • On Saturday, the family visited Agung Rai Art Museum (ARMA). Located on Jl. Raya Pengosekan, Ubud, the museum exhibits collections of both traditional and modern paintings from foreign and local artists, including Ida Bagus Made and Anak Agung Gede Sobrat.
  • During their museum visit, the Obamas were also welcomed by Pendet and Tumbuk Padi dance performances. According to tempo.co, the former president expressed an interest in a 1930s painting by I Gusti Nyoman Lempad. The next day, the Obamas reportedly went to Jatiluwih village in Tabanan. Known for its breathtaking views of rice terraces, the area is located around 54 kilometers from Denpasar and is included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
  • Former US president Barack Obama (second left), his wife Michelle (third left) and his daughters Sasha (front center) and Malia (second right) go rafting at Bongkasa Village in Badung on Bali island on June 26. Barack Obama kicked off a 10-day family holiday in Indonesia that will take place in Bali and Jakarta, the city where he spent part of his childhood.
  • On Monday, Obama and his family members made their way to Ayung River in Bongkasa Village, Badung, which is located a stone’s throw away from their hotel, the Four Seasons Resort Ubud. Kompas.com reported that Obama and his entourage spent two hours cruising the river, using six boats accompanied by five professional guides.
  • Obama is scheduled to leave Bali on June 28. The former first family will also visit Yogyakarta and Jakarta.
  • Former US president Barack Obama (C) and his family arrive at Borobudur in Magelang on June 28, 2017.
  • Obama kicked off a 10-day family holiday in Indonesia that will take in Bali and Jakarta, the city where he spent part of his childhood, officials said.
  • Former US President Barack Obama visits the 9th-century Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia June 28, 2017.
  • Obama (C) waves while walking with his daughter Malia during a visit to the 9th-century Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia June 28, 2017.

The finish line was at the Four Seasons Resort Bali in Sayan, Ubud, where the Obamas took a rest after their adventure.

"Several small waterfalls along the route serve as a beautiful background for the rafting adventure.

The Ayung river is also the oldest rafting location, also the best if compared to others," Yuniartha Putra adds.

Ayung river rafting lies in the western part of Ubud and the eastern part of the Canangsari village, about 1,5-hour drive from Kuta.

The location is also easily accessible from Jimbaran, Sanur and Nusa Dua.

Tourism minister Arief Yahya says Obama's visits will bring up the tourist attractions' name into the world's attention.

"Obama has 90 million followers on Twitter. Just one tweet from the president will immediately affect his followers. This will be good for the Indonesian tourism. Thank you so much, Mr. Obama," Yahya said.

Yahya also said that his ministry has anticipated Obama's visit to Indonesia by doing promotions in one of the most prominent places in the world, New York's Time Square.

"This is the perfect timing to promote Bali in the United States and the rest of the world, and it is why I allocated a promotional budget in the New York Times Square to welcome Barack Obama. We've been pushing it since it was announced that he has plans to visit Bali, Yogyakarta and Jakarta," he added.

The minister also hopes that after Obama departs from Bali, tour operators will create an "Obama Bali Tour" packages to be promoted to the US and European market.

"Similar to King Salman from Saudi's trip, a re-creation of former US president Barack Obama's Bali trip will be very interesting," he said.

After Bali, the Obamas will be visiting Yogyakarta from June 28 until 30 where they are scheduled to visit Prambanan Temple and Tebing Breksi Park.

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