Thursday, February 9, 2012

Number of tourists to South Sumatra up 20 pct

The number of tourists to South Sumatra in 2012 may increase by 20 pct from last year`s.

"We will try to increase the number of tourists here by holding and organizing various activities and programs," head of the South Sumatra culture and tourism agency Toni Panggarbesi said in Palembang Thursday.

He said to reach the number of tourists he will cooperate with the relevant authorities in the area.

He said Indonesia last year had 7.6 million tourists, and was planned to reach eight million, but they reached only 7.8 million.

The tourists in South Sumatra came from Malaysia, and also from Jakarta, Bali, Yogyakarta, and Batam, and he will try to increase their number by 20 pct this year, he said.

He said while in 2011 the number of Indonesian tourists reached 2.7 million, the number of foreign tourists reached 36-40 thousand to South Sumatra.

"This year we need to cooperate with the world of tourists and shareholders. We make souvenirs, but the readiness of the regencies and cities are also expected in the development and arrangements of tourism objects and destinations," he said.

He said it is also necessary to hold activities such as holding a festival like the recent "cap go meh" (end of Chinese new year), for instance.

He will also invite the South Sumatra Arts Council to hold regional dances on Saturdays and Sundays, especially to entertain tourists.

The cultural and tourism agency will also cooperate with tourist operators in Malaysia, and the promotion of hotels in the province, he said.

South Sulawesi has a number of tourist objects and destinations including Pulau Kemarau (dry season island), Bukit Siguntang, Plaza Benteng Kuto Besak, and Lake Ranau, Gunung Dempo and many others.

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