Thursday, December 30, 2010

Indonesia Targeting $8.4b From Foreign Tourists in 2011

Indonesia expects to earn $8.4 billion in tourism revenue next year, up from $7.6 billion this year, according to Tourism Minister Jero Wacik.

Total foreign arrivals are expected to increase to as many as 7.7 million next year from 7 million tourists this year, he said in Jakarta on Thursday.

“Tourism grew 9.3 percent this year, which is higher than the 6 percent economic growth. That means tourism contributes much to the economy,” he said.

Indonesia received 6.4 million visitors last year. Next year’s foreign tourists are expected to number between 7.3 million and 7.7 million, with an average spending of $1,100 per visitor.

“The foreign exchange revenue per visit this year is beyond our target of $1,000,” he said.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism also announced a new branding for Indonesian tourism. After calling both 2009 and 2010 “Visit Indonesia Year,” it is taking a new approach.

“Wonderful Indonesia, which means the country has wonderful nature, culture, food, people, and also wonderful value for money,” Jero said.

Marketing director general Sapta Nirwandar said “wonderful” is an apt choice.

“It is suitable for Indonesia, es pecially after Komodo island was nominated as one of the finalists for the new seven wonders of the world,” he said.

Herna P. Danuningrat, chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (Asita), said MICE — meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions — played a significant part in the tourism business this year.

“We can have 7.7 million tourists or more next year if the political situation remains stable,” Herna said.

I Gede Pitana, the ministry’s head of resource development, said most tourists came from Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and Japan. Bali remains the most popular tourist destination.

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