Sunday, June 7, 2009

Most tourists are from Asia in second half of 2009

The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia will show a new demographic trend in the second half of this year with most visitors coming from Asian countries, the Culture and Tourism Ministry says.

The new trend is largely caused by two convergent factors, the economic hardships faced by European countries and the US alongside the positive growth of emerging economies in Asia.

"The foreign tourist arrivals will come mainly from Asian countries, *including people* who decided to make holiday trips to Asian nations," minister Jero Wacik said as quoted by the Antara state news agency on Sunday.

Wacik said the number of foreign tourists coming from EU countries and the US was forecast to drop slightly due to the impact of the economic crisis affecting these countries.

In the meantime, he said, Asian tourists preferred to spend their holidays within the region given better affordability and the variety of tourism destinations offered.

"Asian tourists chose to visit nearer countries," the minister said.

The impact of the new trend would result in the total number of foreign tourists arrivals in the country in the second semester growing by three percent compared to the same period last year.

The increase in Asian tourists arrivals would not directly translate into growth in the tourism industry as the average stay of Asian tourists, excluding Japan, is generally lower than that of European tourists.

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