The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry revealed on Monday that Indonesia welcomed 2,664,176 foreign arrivals from January to April this year, an increase of 5.31 percent from 2,529,826 in the same period last year, mainly due to incoming tourists from the Middle East.
Photo: Bali Daily / Zul Trio Anggono
Data shows that 646,117 foreign travelers visited Indonesia in April this year, up 3.2 percent from 626,100 in April last year.
Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had the highest growth both on a monthly and quarterly basis with 159.59 percent and 86 percent, respectively.
“[The Middle East] is an important market because travelers from there stay longer in Indonesia. They are interested not only in Bali but also in other places,” she said.
She cited the increasing frequency of direct flights from Indonesia to the Middle East as a major factor behind the increasing number of Middle Easterners visiting Indonesia.
A series of meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition (MICE) events in Bali and other major cities was also cited as a major reason behind the increasing number of incoming foreigners.
“To support these events, the government ensures that the ongoing renovation of Ngurah Rai International Airport will be finished on time,” Mari said. “The new international terminal is expected to start operating in September.”
According to Mari, the government is eager to further promote local tourism by collaborating with Middle Eastern airlines, such as Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, while also encouraging local airlines to add more direct flights to the Middle East.
Besides the UAE, the number of travelers from Egypt and Saudi Arabia also increased 22.56 percent and 18.13 percent, respectively, from January to April this year compared to the same period last year.
On a month-to-month basis, Egypt and Saudi Arabia recorded increases of 28.53 percent and 37.2 percent, respectively, between April last year and April this year.
Apart from the Middle East, the number of incoming travelers from Russia and China also grew 26.62 percent and 26.57 percent, respectively, in April this year.
“The number of incoming European travelers, including those from Germany, Britain, France and Russia, is stable,” Mari said, adding that Japan, India and China were the three-biggest Asian markets for Indonesian tourism.
She further revealed that the ministry targeted 8.9 million foreign travelers visiting Indonesia this year, up from 8.04 million last year.
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Sources: The Jakarta Post Travel | Author: Edna Tarigan