Tourism and creative economy ministry targets to attract foreign exchange revenues Rp13 trillion (US$928.57 million) from foreign tourists in 2020, said the government official on Tuesday (02/25) - Photo: Special

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Statistics Indonesia reported that the number of foreign tourists visiting the country in the first half (1H) 2019 up slightly to 4.01 percent or as much as 7.83 million visits compared to the same period in 2018 which amounted to 7.53 million visits (YoY). This achievement shows that the government is difficult to reach the target of 20 million foreign tourists this year.

Head of Statistics Agency Suhariyanto said, in June, the number of foreign tourist visits to Indonesia also increased by 9.94 percent compared to the same month in the previous year. Likewise, when compared to May, the number of foreign tourists visiting in June increased by 15.48 percent, from May’ 1.26 million to 1.26 million visits in June.

“If we look at the biggest increase from the entrance of Sambas Regency, West Kalimantan. The second increase is at the Lombok International Airport,” Suhariyanto said in Jakarta on Thursday (08/1).

He explained, the composition of foreign tourists in June 2019 was as much as 57 percent through air transportation as much as 4.52 million, 27 percent through sea transportation as much as 2.11 million visits, and land transportation to 16 percent or as much as 1.19 million visits.

Despite experiencing fluctuations, the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia shows a positive number. For example, in the previous period, Indonesia was visited by 6.37 million foreign tourists from various countries during January-May 2019. This number increased by 2.7 percent compared to the same period last year.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya previously said that the increasing number of foreign tourists to Indonesia compared to the same period last year was a good indicator for the tourism sector in Indonesia.

Yahya claimed to be very optimistic that by the end of 2019 the number of tourist visits could reach the target of 18 million tourists, or based on the prospect of Bank Indonesia, it would reach 17.6 million tourists.

However, it seems quite difficult if indeed until the middle of the year, the real number of foreign tourist visits has not reached half of the government’s target. While until the end of the year, there were no promotional activities to attract foreign tourists to come to Indonesia.

Therefore, the government must continue to optimize efforts to achieve the target of foreign tourists in cooperation with tourism businesses. For example, by carrying out four main government strategies, namely the optimization of cross border tourism programs; hot deals, tourism hubs, and low-cost carrier terminals (LCCT).

For the strategy of border tourism, the government relies on the strength of distance and emotional closeness. This strategy is carried out by many countries in Europe and Southeast Asia such as Malaysia which gets foreign tourists from border tourism by 60-70 percent. Meanwhile, France and Spain are above 80 percent because naturally European tourists visiting the country are overland tourists.

Meanwhile, hot deals programs or massive discounts were made to attract foreign tourists during this year’s low seasons. The ministry targets the strategy to produce 2 million to 2.5 million foreign tourists.

Minister Yahya explained, for the hub tourism program carried out through Singapore and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). This program is a solution to direct flight that is difficult to do and requires a relatively long time.

Finally, the decisive program in achieving the target of foreign tourists this year is the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT). The Ministry noted that 2017 foreign tourists visit more than 55 percent using the remaining full-service carrier (FSC) using low-cost carriers (LCC). However, it turns out FSC growth averages below 5 percent, while LCC grows by an average of 21 percent.

To encourage LCC foreign tourist visits, the government must have an LCC terminal. As of May 1, 2019, the Soekarno-Hatta Airport 2F Terminal officially became the LCCT and hopes that there will be a surge of 1 million foreign tourists.

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