Indonesia's tourist arrivals tipped to rise 25 per cent in 2009
Indonesia is confident its number of foreign tourists would increase up to 25 per cent next year despite previous downward expectations because of the global financial crisis, a media report said Friday, dpa reported.
Sapta Nirwandar, the Culture and Tourism Ministry's director general, said Indonesia's tourism industry would continue to grow because of higher spending on promotion combined with large numbers of regular visitors who came to the country to enjoy surfing, scuba diving, natural attractions and cultural pursuits.
Nirwandar said his ministry forecast 8 million foreigners would visit the country in 2009, up 1 million from an initial target. Such numbers would compare with a target of 6.4 million visitors this year.
"We are going to promote more health and beauty tourism, also marine tourism and smaller islands," The Jakarta Post quoted Nirwandar as saying.
Nirwandar said Indonesia expected a decline in tourist arrivals from the United States and Europe because of the financial crisis but an increase in visitors from South Korea, China and the Middle East was likely to fill the gap.
However, this year, the global economic downturn caused the country to revise downward its initial target of 7 million foreign visitors
According to the National Statistics Agency, the number of foreign tourist arrivals had reached 5.09 million by the end of October.
In 2007, 5.05 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia, bringing 5.3 billion dollars into the country.
Indonesia - a sprawling nation of more than 17,000 tropical islands teeming with coral reefs, wildlife, volcanoes and inland waterways - is a nature lover's paradise.