Thursday, September 12, 2013

Visa: Indonesia Top Destination for Thrifty Tourists

Indonesia remains the Asia Pacific region’s top destination for budget-conscious tourists, according to a survey by credit card company Visa.
The survey, titled Global Travel Intentions Study 2013, released on Thursday, showed that travelers to Indonesia spend an average $1,634 per trip, less than the worldwide average travel budget of $2,390 per trip. The study surveyed 12,631 travelers from 25 countries in the Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Middle East between November and December last year.
“Visitors to Indonesia are budget-conscious tourists who enter the country on low-cost flights, preferring to spend their money staying in luxury hotels and resorts of four-star quality and above once they’re there,” the survey said.
The majority of visitors came from Malaysia (22 percent), Singapore (21 percent), and Australia (20 percent), and mostly chose Indonesia as being “good value for money,” as well as for its good weather and beautiful scenery. Saudi Arabia and Taiwan rounded out the top five nationalities visiting Indonesia.
Visitors to Indonesia average 3 international trips a year, on par with the global average.
“We are happy to see that the results from Visa’s Global Travel Intentions Study confirm that tourism is still resilient despite the uncertainties in the world economy. These results show that we are on the right track in what we are promoting to attract more travelers to Indonesia,” said Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said in a statement on Thursday.
More than 4.2 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia in the first half of this year, up 7.2 percent from the same period last year, according to data from the Central Statistics Agency.
The data suggests visits are on track to meet the government’s goal of at least 8.3 million tourists this year. Foreign tourists spent $9.12 billion last year, up from $8.5 billion a year earlier.
The government expects international events, such as the Miss World pageant and the APEC Summit in Bali, will boost visitors in the second half of this year.
“Travel and tourism have a significant impact on a country’s economic growth,” said Ellyana Fuad, president director of Visa Worldwide Indonesia.
The tourism sector contributed 3.9 percent to Indonesia’s gross domestic product and employed 9.8 million people in 2012, according to data from the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry.
Ellyana said that in the next few years, interest in travel to Indonesia would remain strong, especially among young travelers, who prefer a budget-friendly holiday.
“The ease of travel within the region, coupled with a rising middle class, has seen a growing demand for travel within the region and to Indonesia ,” she said.
“The Asian markets have experienced a huge boom in tourism over the past few years due to the continued strength of their economies and the increased activities promoting their individual country’s unique destination offers.” (Jakarta Globe)

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