The Indonesian tourism ministry has kicked off its first- ever Chinese New Year celebrations where more than 1,300 Chinese tourists were present.
Officially entitled "Wonderful Indonesia Chinese New Year," the event started Wednesday on the country's famous resort island of Bali.
Some 65 commercial flights including airlines from the Chinese mainland, China's Hong Kong, China's Taiwan, and other Southeast Asian countries, carried thousands of the Chinese tourists to Bali.
"Bali seems to be a favorite destination for people from China," Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said, adding that such event could help Indonesia attract more Chinese visitors into the archipelago.
Last year, Indonesia recorded some 1.3 million Chinese tourists, but expected to increase the number of Chinese tourists to 2 million by the end of this year.
"China is a huge potential market, and so it needs special treatment," Arief said.
Chinese Indonesians account for 2.8 million, or 1.2 percent of the nation's total population of about 240 million, according to census data from the Central Statistics Agency.
During the three-decade rule of the late dictator Suharto, the festivities for the start of the Lunar New Year and other expressions of Chinese cultural identity were prohibited.
In 2001, then-president Abdurrahman Wahid revoked the Suharto-era prohibition and three years later then-president Megawati Soekarnoputri declared the Chinese New Year a national holiday.