Monday, June 4, 2012

Foreign tourist arrivals keep growing

The number of foreigners traveling to Indonesia in April reached 626,100, a 2.96 percent increase from 609,093 tourists in the same period last year, according to data released by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) on Friday.

“The interest of foreign tourists [to visit Indonesia] keeps growing from time to time, reflected by the increase of foreign tourist arrival through the country’s main gateway for tourist arrival,” said BPS head Suryamin.

However, April’s figure saw a 4.92 percent decrease from 658,602 foreign tourists in March, partly due to a seasonal factor. According to Suryamin, April is usually a slow month for traveling.

Despite that, the total number of foreign tourist influx from January to April rose by 8.9 percent to 2.53 million from the same period in 2011, totaling 2.32 million.

This increase in arrival occurred in the main tourist gateways, with Husein Sastranegara Airport in Bandung recorded the highest growth of 24.62 percent, followed by Polonia Airport in Medan and Makassar’s gateway with 15.42 percent and 12.44 percent respectively.

Five gateways suffered from a decline in tourist arrival, with the steepest decline of 2.31 percent taking place in Adi Sumarmo International Airport in Surakarta with 2.31 percent, closely followed by 2.2 percent in Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta.

The majority of foreign tourists still came through Bali, the nation’s main tourism destinations, with 904,495 tourists, or 37.75 percent of total foreign tourists, entering Indonesia through Ngurah Rai International Airport from January to April this year.

During that period, Bali remains the most popular among Australian tourists with 238,001 Australians visiting the island of the gods, up 10.23 percent over the same period in 2011, according to data issued by BPS’s chapter in Bali.

Bali also saw swarms of Chinese tourists, fueled by their surging purchasing power, coming to the island, as they recorded the highest growth from other countries with 74.60 percent jump to 124,293 tourists during January-April 2012.

“Japanese tourists, who usually trail behind Australian tourists, slid to the third position, after its position was overtaken by Chinese tourists, who now claims the second rank,” I Gede Suarsa, head of the BPS office in Bali said on Saturday, as quoted by Antara.

Japanese tourists coming to Bali declined by 14.13 percent to 55,349. In addition, BPS reported that foreign travelers spent less time in the country, with an average of 2.78 days in April this year, down from 3.43 days in the same month last year.

Tourists stayed for the longest time in East Kalimantan with 6.42 days, followed by 4.64 days in North Sulawesi and Bali with 3.89 days.

Tourists spent the least amount of time in Riau islands with 1.59 days, ahead of North Sumatra, South Kalimantan and Central Sulawesi with 1.69 days, 1.85 days and 1.95 days respectively.

April also saw a slight decline in terms of hotels’ occupancy rate, down to 52.03 percent from 52.1 percent in April last year and 52.7 percent in March this year.

Hotels in Central Sulawesi had the highest occupancy rate in April, reaching 73.73 percent, with Bali and Jakarta following with a respective 59.01 percent and 57.91 percent.

The lowest occupancy rate was recorded in Riau, with only 42.56 percent of the rooms in its hotel occupied by guests during April.

Based on hotel classification, 5-star hotels had the highest occupancy rate, standing at 54.25 percent, closely followed by 4-star hotels with 54.21 percent. On the opposite end, only 43.22 percent rooms in 1-star hotels were occupied. (Source: Jakarta Post)

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