Monday, May 7, 2012

Malaysian tourists top Jakarta foreign visitor statistics

Malaysians topped the list of foreign tourists visiting Jakarta in March, a month that saw a 7.85 percent increase in the visits of overseas tourists, according to the Jakarta Statistic Agency.

Out of the 172,126 tourists visiting Jakarta in March, 14.61 percent came from Malaysia, 9.84 percent from Japan, 9.8 percent from China, 8.97 percent from Singapore, 4.23 percent from South Korea and 3.89 percent from Australia.

Jakarta Tourism Agency head Arief Budiman said that most Malaysians visited Jakarta for shopping instead of for business activities like citizens from other countries.

During the first three months of the year, the number of foreign visits increased by 12.37 percent to 494,092 from 439,672 in the period of 2011.

Meanwhile in March, the visits increased 7.83 percent from February, which saw only 159,598 foreign tourists visit Jakarta.

The office’s head for statistics distribution, Dody Rudyanto, said that foreign tourists stayed in hotels in Jakarta for an average of 1.92 days, meaning that they spent more than two days in the city.

He also said that most foreign visitors came to Jakarta for business activities.

“Foreign tourists usually inundate Jakarta when there are international events being held, such as international conventions and exhibitions,” he said.

Arief said that besides attending conventions and exhibitions, foreign tourists were also attracted to visit shopping centers, golf fields, heritage spots and other recreational sites.

“We are famous for our international show businesses, especially music concerts like Java Jazz and theatrical performances,” he said, adding that although business trips were still the main intention of their visits, tourists also came for leisure.

Arief said that the Jakarta Tourism Agency used several methods for tourism promotion, like facilitating tourism companies in promoting their businesses through road shows in potential markets.

“By holding road shows, they can directly sell their products and explain to the tourist what quality and uniqueness Jakarta has,” he said, adding that Jakarta’s main markets are Southeast Asian countries, China, Japan, South Korea and the Middle East,” he said.

Arief also added that his agency had broadcast tourism commercials in printed and electronic media in those countries while inviting their journalists to visit and write about Jakarta.

“We also maintain and improve the quality of our events so more foreigners will come and come again.”

Recently, the Jakarta Tourism and Culture Agency planned to showcase 720 Betawi (“native” Jakartan) art groups at public places, such as hotels, malls and parks starting in May and continuing until October.

The events aimed to not only preserve Betawi art but also to promote it to local and foreign tourists. The groups will perform traditional dance and music including Nandak Ganjen, Lenggang Nyai, Lenong, Gambang Kromong, Topeng and Keroncong. (Jakarta Post)

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