Sunday, October 23, 2011

China, Middle East to support Indonesian tourism industry: Mari

New Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu says Indonesia’s tourism will not be hurt significantly by slowing growth in the US and Europe, because of the growing number of tourists from China especially.

The former trade minister expressed her optimism on Sunday in Nusa Dua, Bali, that the number of Chinese visitors would continue to climb following China’s persistent economic growth.

She also said the number of tourists from Russia and Singapore would continue to increase.

“As of August, the number of tourists from these three countries was still up [compared to 2010 figures],” Mari said at a press conference for the ASEAN Fair, which is scheduled to be opened by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Nusa Dua on Monday.

Mari added that she would also target to bring more visitors from the Middle East to Indonesia,
since many preferred Malaysia over Indonesia.

“We’ll grab those Mideast visitors,” she said.

The minister concluded that Indonesia would rely on ASEAN, Asian and Mideast tourists to boost its tourism industry amid the debt crises in the US and Europe.

“As of August, there were 5.8 million [foreign tourists]. I’m optimistic that this figure can reach 7 million this year. As for next year, we’ll see,” Mari said as quoted by tribunnews.com.

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