Foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia rose by 4.86 percent year-on-year to 1.35 million in October - Photo: Privacy.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia rose by 4.86 percent year-on-year to 1.35 million in October. Considering the first ten months of 2019, the number of tourist arrivals rose by 2.85 percent to 13.6 million from 13.2 in the same period last year, Statistics Indonesia reported today (12/02). For 2019, Indonesia set a target of 20 million foreign tourist arrivals, compared to 15.81 million in 2018.

The number of visitors in Bali resort island, the center of the Indonesian tourism industry, went up 9.88 percent to 566.1 thousand. Also, tourist arrivals in Batam advanced 12.7 percent to 159.2 thousand. In contrast, visitors in Jakarta dropped by 22.7 percent to 189.2 thousand, the agency noted.

“The tourists came through the air entrance as much as 8.25 million visits, 3.47 million sea entrances, and the land entrance of 1.90 million visitors,” said the head of statistic’s agency Suhariyanto in a press conference in Jakarta.

Tourists came mostly from Malaysia as many as 241.1 thousand visits (17.80 percent), China 160.4 thousand visits (11.85 percent), Singapore 145.2 thousand visits (10.72 percent), Australia 131.9 thousand visits (9.74 percent), and Timor Leste 92.0 thousand visits (6.79 percent).

Meanwhile, the occupancy rate of star-rated hotels in October reached 56.77 percent, down 2.07 points compared to the same period in 2018 which was recorded at 58.84 percent. But it increased by 3.25 points from September 2019. The length of stay was recorded at 1.80 days, down 0.10 points compared to October 2018.

The government has set a target of 20 million foreign tourist arrivals this year. With 13.6 million visits so far, the country still needs to increase the number of tourists by around 6.4 million by the end of the year to meet the target. This requires a number of creative breakthroughs that can increase visitor arousal.

Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio wants to make it easier to shoot Hollywood-style movies in Indonesia, reasoning that movies could expose the beauty of Indonesia to potential visitors across the globe.

“The permit procedures should be simplified, as movie shooting is a form of investment in Indonesia. Permits should be issued with convenience, and we will simplify the process,” the minister told reporters last week.

He went on to say that other ministries also had to be involved to ensure easy permit applications for filmmaking. Moreover, the minister said, he would study what could be done to ease the permit application process.

“This is based on the experience of people who have asked for such permission,” said Wishnutama, adding that he had once helped a Hollywood filmmaker obtain the permit for filming in Indonesia, and it had been very difficult.

Previously, his deputy Angela Herliani Tanoesoedibjo said movies offered a chance to promote Indonesian tourism destinations in a more creative way.

“There are many creative ways to promote tourism, including filmmaking,” said Tanoesoedibjo, noting that the 2010 Hollywood movie Eat, Pray, Love had been filmed in Bali.

Tanoesoedibjo said it was often easier to obtain a permit for filming abroad than in Indonesia. She cited New York City as an example of convenience for filmmakers, where a reasonable fee was all that was required to allow moviemakers to film in different corners of the city.

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