Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Indonesia may miss 8-million target for foreign tourists: industry group

Despite the government's optimism that it would be able to attract 8 million tourists to the country by the end of 2012, a tourism industry group has said that Indonesia may not reach that target as travel agents were seeing a decrease in demand from European travelers during the year-end holiday.
“We've seen decreasing demand in hotel bookings and (tour and travel) packages from European tourists since November due to the eurozone crisis that has hindered (European) tourists from travelling far from their home countries,” Rudiana, vice chairman of the Association of the Indonesia Tour and Travel Agencies (Asita) Jakarta branch, told The Jakarta Post.

“I think it will be hard for us to significantly increase the number of (foreign) tourists within a month (December),” he added.
He refused to reveal the current number because Asita would monitor the figure up to Dec. 10, but he said demand in November and December had decreased by almost 10 percent from the same period last year.
Central Statistics Agency data released yesterday showed that the number of foreign tourist arrivals during the first 10 months of 2012 reached 6,583,629, a 5-percent increase on the same period last year.
In October alone, the figure reached 688,341, up by 4.93 percent from the same period last year.
Indonesia would need to bring in 1.5 million tourists in November and December in order to achieve the 8-million target, while Rudiana said the country might only add around 1.3 to 1.4 million, bringing the total number of foreign arrivals to 7.9 million.
“(The number of tourists from) Asia and Australia are not enough to compensate (for the decrease in European tourists) and push up the number of foreign tourist arrivals,” he went on.
Separately, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said the government remained upbeat about attracting 1.5 million tourists within two months because both the government and private sector were working hard to reach the target.
Pangestu said both had a lot of year-end festive programs in regions close to the neighboring countries Singapore and Malaysia, such Batam, Riau Islands; Medan, North Sumatra; and Pontianak, West Kalimantan.
In Batam alone, the programs included Vegetarian Food Fiesta and the concert of Rhoma Irama, the country's dangdut king who had a large fan base in Singapore and Malaysia, she said.
“Adam Lambert and Rod Stewart will also have their concerts in Indonesia during New Year's Eve. I am sure they will attract foreign tourists,” she said.
According to the statistic agency data, the number of foreign tourist arrivals in November and December 2011 was 1,379,487. If the growth continues to remain at 5 percent, Indonesia would only bring in 1.447 million tourists, slightly less than 1.5 million. (Jakarta Post)

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