Data obtained from the Australia Bureau of Statistics revealed that 105,500 Australians visit Indonesia every month, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya noted in a press statement received by ANTARA here on Monday.
The minister said the figure showed that Indonesia was a favorite tourist destination for Australians.
"The data, which was released a month ago, for the first time revealed that Indonesia was the most preferred tourist destination among Australians," Arief noted.
According to the bureau, earlier, most Australians visited New Zealand, with an average of 99,400 tourists per month.
"This is certainly due to the visa-free policy extended to Australians visiting Indonesia," the minister remarked, adding that the ministry along with the Foreign Ministry and the Indonesian Consulate General across Australia had promoted the policy in the country.
The Indonesian tourism branding called Wonderful Indonesia has been promoted in several regions in Australia through various mass media, including social media.
"Our international openness is assessed by the World Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index as one of the measurable values," Arief stated.
The minister believes that the statistical figures were accurate and can be used in tourism development programs.
The minister said the 10 priority tourist destinations, especially the maritime tourist sites, have been drawing Australian visitors.
Of the 10 tourist destinations, seven are maritime tourist sites: Tanjung Kelayang in Bangka Belitung, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi, Seribu Islands in Jakarta, and Morotai in North Maluku.
The maritime tourist sites are divided into three main zones: coastal, underwater, and sea. The third one is an inter-island tourist zone that can be explored by yacht.
"Most of the Australian tourists prefer tourist sites in the coastal zone, with waves ideal for surfing. We have several new surfing spots in Banyuwangi, Mentawai, and Nias," Arief added. (Antara)