Image Credit : Bali Provincial Government

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia’ government continues to accelerate the development of four priority tourist destinations to reach the revenue target of US$20 billion from the tourism sector in 2019. Currently, foreign exchange tourism has reached $17 billion, the fourth largest contributor to foreign exchange after palm oil, oil and gas, and coal.

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

“So it’s speeding up like all infrastructure is related to human resources, hygiene, culinary issues, handicrafts, also concerning the historical value to sell,” said maritime coordinating minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan after conducting a coordination meeting with relevant ministries in Jakarta on Wednesday (07/10).

Pandjaitan said that the tourism sector is one of the main foreign exchange-earners. In 2018, Indonesia’s foreign exchange income from the tourism sector reached $17 billion, rose $2 billion from $15 billion a year earlier. And in 2019, the government targets the tourism sector to contribute $20 billion in foreign exchange.

The target is realistic because, during January-May 2019, Indonesia has arrived at 6.3 million tourists. That figure increased 2.7 percent compared to the same period last year, according to statistics agency last week.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya is optimistic that by the end of 2019 the number of tourist visits could reach the target of 18 million, higher than the Bank Indonesia projection which mentions 17.6 million visits.

That is because the number of foreign tourists in the first quarter of 2019 exceeded the psychological number of 4 million visits. While in the first semester it is estimated that the number of visits will double to 8 million.

The highest number of tourists was from Malaysia, which was 1.2 million visits or 20.48 percent of the total visits in May. Afterward, there were visits of tourists from China which were recorded to be still quite high at 882.9 thousand visits or 13.86 percent of the total visits.

Furthermore, respectively Singapore was 739.7 thousand visits or 11.61 percent, Timor Leste as many as 506.3 thousand visits or 7.95 percent, and Australia as many as 483.9 thousand visits or 7.6 percent.

Whereas during 2018, the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia reached 15.81 million people, up 12.58 percent compared to the same period in 2017 which amounted to 14.04 million people.

Malaysia is the most foreign tourists come to Indonesia with total visitors 2.50 million (15.83 percent of the total tourists), China 2.14 million tourists (13.52 percent), Singapore 1.77 million tourists (11.19 percent), Timor Leste 1.76 million tourists (11.15 percent), and Australia 1.30 million tourists (8.23 percent).

Based on market shares, visitors from Southeast Asia experienced the highest increase of 20.60 percent. It was recorded that 5.45 million visitors came to Indonesia during 2018 from last year’ 4.52 million tourists.

While, the Asian region was 5.84 million, or grew 14.11 percent compared to the previous year 5.12 million tourists. Then, the Middle East region dropped 6.13 percent from 284.4 thousand tourists in 2017 to 226.9 thousand in 2018.

For the American region, there were 567.7 thousand or grew 5.71 percent from last year’ 537 thousand visitors. The European region slightly grew 1.76 percent to 2,0 million compared to the previous year with 1.97 million visits.

Foreign tourist visited from the Oceania region also rose 4.43 percent to 1.57 million from a year ago 1.50 million. Australia made the largest contribution of 1.3 million tourists or grew 3.52 percent compared to 2017 at 1.25 million visitors. The visitors from the African region also lowered 1.82 percent from 91,200 visitors to 88,600 tourists.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com

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