Indonesia will most probably achieve its tourism target this year considering that it attracted 4.3 million foreign tourists during the January-July period.
In the coming five months, Indonesia has to record the arrival of another 3.4 million foreign tourists in order to meet its target of 7.7 million in 2011.
"This is good news as the figure shows an increase," Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) Head Rusman Heriawan said.
He earlier announced that the BPS had recorded the arrivals of 4.34 million foreign tourists up to July 2001, an increase of 7.53 percent from 4.04 million in the same period a year earlier.
The BPS chief said it appeared there was a good chance Indonesia would be able to reach its foreign tourist arrival target for this year set by the government at 7.7 million.
"We still have five more months to wait for the arrivals of 3.4 million other tourists. We hope we can reach it but we have to have an average number of visits of 600,000 (per month). We still have a chance to reach it," Rusman said.
Last month, the country`s chief statistician voiced pessimism saying that it would be hard for the country to achieve its target.
Rusman voiced pessimism owing to the fact that the number of foreign tourist arrivals up to June 2011 was still small. It was recorded at 3.6 million, which was actually also up 6.42 percent from that in the same period a year earlier which was 3.38 million.
"The cumulative number of foreign tourist arrivals in the January - June 2011 period is recorded at 3,597,632 which is 6.42 percent higher than that in a corresponding period in 2010," Rusman Heriawan said last month.
He said that with that figure it was still difficult for Indonesia to achieve its target this year which was set 7.7 million tourist arrivals.
"If the figure of arrivals in the first semester is taken into account it seems that the target of 7.7 million is rather high because if 3.6 million is multiplied by two, the maximum figure of arrivals would only reach 7.2 million," Rusman said.
The number of foreign tourist arrivals in June 2011 was 674.4 thousand, up 12.36 percent from 600.2 thousand in May.
"The figure increased by 9.94 percent compared with the number of those arriving in June 2010 amounting to 613.4 thousand. This increase is attributable to seasonal factors as June is the beginning of the peak season," he said.
In the meantime, the number of foreign tourist arrivals in July 2011 was 745.5 thousand, up 10.54 percent from that in June which was 674.4 thousand.
"Compared with the number of arrivals in July 2010 which was 658.5 thousand, the arrivals in July this year increased 13.21 percent," he said.
Ngurah Rai airport in Bali remained the main entry gate for foreign tourists arriving in Indonesia.
Up to June, five main gates through which foreign tourists entered Indonesia are Ngurah Rai airport (245,248 tourists), Soekarno Hatta airport of Jakarta (164,689), Tanjung Uban port of Bintan Island (32,372), Husein Sastranegara airport of Bandung, West Java (11,079) and Tanjung Pinang port of Riau Islands (11,079).
The number of foreign tourists arriving through Ngurah Rai airport in June 2011 increased by 9.15 percent compared with those arriving in the same period a year earlier, namely 224.7 thousands in June 2010 and 245.2 thousands in June 2011.
While in July 2001, the number of foreign tourists arriving through Bali`s Ngurah Rai airport was recorded at 279.2 thousands, up 10.75 percent from 252.1 thousands in July 2010.
"The same is also true if the June 2011 figure of 245.2 thousands is compared with that of July, 2011, which showed an increase of 13.85 percent," he said.
As a whole, from January to July 2011, the number of foreign tourist arrivals through Ngurah Rai airport reached 1.57 million. The second biggest number of arrivals was recorded at Soekarno-Hatta airport, amounting to 1.11 million.
In the meantime, the average star-rated hotel occupancy rate in 20 provinces in July 2011 reached 58.37 percent, up 4.11 percent from that in July 2010, which was 54.26 percent, he said.
"If compared with that in June 2011, the occupancy rate in July 2011 also recorded an increase by 2.36 points," the BPS chief said.
The Indonesian government early this year announced its optimistic target of attracting 7.7 million foreign tourists into the country in 2011, up about 10 percent from 7,000,571 arrivals in 2010.
The foreign tourist arrival target was raised by about 10 percent because the world now had a good perception of Indonesia that could attract more visitors.
"Indonesia has a positive aura in 2011 so that we set an optimistic target of 7.7 million foreign tourist arrivals in the country," Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said in his year-end press conference (early this year).
Besides the optimistic target, the minister also set a pessimistic target of 7.3 million arrivals as a "performance contract" target of the culture and tourism ministry with the Indonesian President.
The minister raised the target for 2011 because his ministry`s target to attract seven million foreign tourist arrivals in 2010 was achieved.
The number of foreign tourists arriving in Indonesia in 2010 was recorded at 7,000,571, or an increase by 8.5 percent compared with that in 2009 which stood at 6,452,259 arrivals.
"The figure of 7,000,571 exceeds the pessimistic target of 6.75 percent which was the performance contract with the President and the optimistic target of seven million," the minister said.