"Most of the tourists came to Bali via Ngurah Rai airport by direct flights from their countries. Only 22,757 of them went to Bali by cruise liners," Head of the Bali Provincial Statistics Office Gede Suarsa said.

Bali has set the target of tourist arrivals for 2011 at 2.6-2.8 million. Over 2.57 million foreigners visited the resort island last year.

With the significant increase in the number of tourist arrivals, he said he was optimistic that the target of 2.6-2.8 million tourist arrivals for 2011 could be achieved.

In August 2011 alone, the number of tourist arrivals increased 6.26 percent to 258,377 compared to the same month last year, he said.

Australia remained the biggest source of Bali`s foreign tourist arrivals in the eight months through August 2011 reaching 501,326, a 25.34 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

China trailed behind in second place with 158,030, up 13.28 percent from 139,501, and Malaysia in third place with 108,448, up 19.91 percent from 90,438.