Statistic Indonesia reported number of foreign tourist visit the country until July only rose 2.63 percent to 9.31 million peoples of this year target' 20 million people - Photo: Privacy.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Statistic Indonesia reported, number of foreign tourist visit the country until July only rose 2.63 percent to 9.31 million peoples of this year target’ 20 million people. In the same period of 2018, the bureau data showed the visitors reached 9.07 million visits.

In July itself, total foreign visitors dropped 4.10 percent to 1.48 million compared to the number of visits in July 2018 which amounted to 1.55 million. Compared to June, the number of tourist arrivals in July 2019 increased by 2.04 percent.

“Compared to last year the numbers was down,” Chief of Statistic Indonesia, Suhariyanto told TheInsiderStories.

Based on origin, most foreign visitors came from Malaysia with 240,300 tourists (16.19 percent), China 193,800 visitors (13.06 percent), Singapore 145,000 tourists (9.32 percent), Australia 138,300 visitors and Timor Leste 108,600 tourists (7.32 percent).

According to the region, he adds, most of the foreign visitors still came from Southeast Asian, which rose by 17.60 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. As for the other Asian region declined 8.66 percent.

Cumulatively during January to July, foreign tourists coming from ASEAN had the highest percentage increase, which was 17.60 percent compared to the same period before. Malaysians are the mosts visitors in Indonesia with 1.84 million tourists (19.78 percent) followed by China 1.25 million visits (13.37 percent) Singapore 1.07 million visits (11.50 percent), Australia 745.5 thousand visits (8.01 percent), and Timor Leste 717.1 thousand visits (7.70 percent).

The government is targeting Indonesia as a leading Asian and World tourism destination by 2045 with a total of 73.6 million foreign tourist visits, from the 18 million people set for 2019, said National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro recently.

He continued in 2020 the government will focus on developing leading destinations with a target of 21.6 million foreign tourists, in 2025 increasing competitiveness with a target of 31.8 million people, in 2030 increasing diversity of tourism with a target of 42.8 million people, in 2035 increasing the integration of tourism with a target of 57.5 people.

Furthermore, in 2040 the strengthening as Asia’ flagship destination with a target of 65.1 million people, and finally in 2045 the strengthening as the world’s flagship destination with a total of 73.6 million people visiting.

“In 2045 we celebrated 100 years of Indonesian independence, we were already in the high-income country category. Currently, our status is still middle income,” said the minister.

Besides the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, he went on, the tourism sector also directly contributed to foreign exchange revenues so as to strengthen the economy externally. Then tourism must become a government’ concern so that it can become the backbone of the Indonesian economy in 2045.

While, Tourism minister Arief Yahya is optimistic that by the end of 2019 the number of tourist visits could reach the target, higher than the Bank Indonesia projection which mentions 17.6 million visits.

The minister said that the tourism sector is one of the main foreign exchange-earners. In 2018, Indonesia’ foreign exchange income from the tourism sector reached US$17 billion, rose 13.33 percent from $15 billion a year earlier. In this year, the government targets the tourism sector to contribute $20 billion.

President Joko Widodo had previously established 4 super-priority tourism destinations like Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, and Komodo Island – Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara to support the target.

The government plans to disburse funds up to Rp2.4 trillion ($171.43 million) in 2020 to build infrastructure in an effort to encourage the tourism industry in the Lake Toba National Tourism Strategic Area in North Sumatra to become an international-scale tourist destination. This year the government has budgeted Rp821.3 billion.

US$1=Rp14,200

Written by Marcel Gual, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com