Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
Ambassade de la RÉpublique d'Indonésie

Indonesia Sees 8.5% Increase of Tourists until September ThisYear

TEMPO.CO,A�Jakarta -A�Indonesia recorded 8.36 million visits by foreign tourist until September this year or an increase of 8.5 percent year-on-year.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said here on Thursday the increase gave greater optimism that the target of 12 million visits by foreign tourists to the country this year would be achieved.

“In three consecutive months – July-August and September, the number of visits exceeded one million. We hope that the number would be larger in October, November and December,” the minister said.

In September, there were 1,006,653 foreign tourist arrivals or an increase of 9.40 percent year-on-year from 920,128 in the same month last year, he said in a statement.

Based on data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) and the Tourism Ministry, the number of foreign tourist visits in the first nine months of the year was 8,362,963 or 8.51 percent higher than 7,707,034 visits in the same period last year.

In September, significant increase was recorded in the number of visits of tourists from Bahrain, up 46.84 percent, Egypt up 42.86 percent, China up 28.08 percent, India 26.61 percent, and France 18.92 percent.

In the nine months period until September this year, the highest increase was recorded in the visits of tourist from Egypt up 48.72 percent, Bahrain up 46.33 percent, India 28.90 percent, China 24.15 percent, and France 23.15 percent.

Minister Arief Yahya said international events would be increased especially in main gates – Bali, Jakarta, and Batam. in a bid to increase the number of visits of foreign tourists toward the end of the year.

“Bali plans to organize tens of year end events to increase the number of visits . This year, Bali hopes to chalk up 4.8 million visits by foreign tourists or 45 percent of the total number of foreign visits to the country,” Arief Yahya said.

Similarly, Bintan of the Riau Islands, which in November-December 2016 would host a number of events such as international sport tourism and entertainment to attract visitors especially from Singapore and Malaysia.

This year Great Batam/Bintan hopes to chalk up 2.5 visits by foreign tourists.

Arief said the island of Bintan is one of more potential tourist destinations in frontier areas, beside Manado, Papua, Entikong, and Atambua.

The tourism Ministry has launched intensive promotional campaigns by organizing cultural festivals in a number of areas to attract foreign tourists in border areas.

Recently the ministry held a Festival of Wonderful Indonesia (FWI) in Aruk, sub-district of Sajingan Besar, regency of Sambas, in West Kalimantan to attract visitors from Negeri Serawak, Malaysia.

The tourism ministry, however, has focused more on luring larger number of Chinese tourist to visit the country. China has become the worlds largest tourism market.

Earlier, Arief said Indonesia had been lagging behind in taking advantage of the Chinese market.

Indonesia has succeeded only in recording 1.2 million or one percent of outbound Chinese, falling far behind Thailand, which already succeeded in attracting 8 million visits by Chinese tourists year.

Therefore, the Indonesian Tourism Ministry has teamed up with Baidu, the largest Chinese searching engine company called as “Chinese Google” to create a program to promote tourism destinations in Indonesia.

Baidu could create many programs to promote Indonesian tourist destinations from upstream to downstream , from branding , advertising to selling, Arief said.

“It promised to increase the number of Chinese visitors to Indonesia up to 10 million arrivals in 2019,” Arief, who visited China recently, said.

The 10 million arrivals of Chinese tourist would means 50 percent of the governments target of 20 million in number of foreign tourist visits to the country in 2019.