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Indonesia aims to welcome 9 million tourists in 2013

Despite difficult global economic conditions, Indonesia looks forward to welcoming between 8.5 million to 9 million tourists in 2013, Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, ass

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Despite difficult global economic conditions, Indonesia looks forward to welcoming between 8.5 million to 9 million tourists in 2013, Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, asserted. This is a significant increase of between 7%-12.5% from the 8 million international arrivals in 2012.

This confidence is based on the fact that in 2013, Bali will host the APEC Summit along with 10 other Indonesian cities hosting related ministerial meetings prior to the Summit. There will also be the WTO Ministerial Meeting. Additionally, Bali and Jakarta will host the Miss World Pageant, for which events the airports of Bali and Jakarta and of many destinations are being improved and expanded and many access roads are under construction.

Meantime, hotel investments and construction has hit a record high with investments across the country, as hotels are built in major cities as well as in remote tourist resorts, said Minister Pangestu. Foreign investments in hotels and restaurants have also hit a record US$729.7 million, with US$86.1 million in domestic investments, said Yanti Sukamdani, Chairperson of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurants Association.

Large events are similarly planned in almost all parts of the country, from the annual Sail Indonesia 3-month regatta, which this year will focus on Sail Komodo, to the Tour de Singkarak in West Sumatra, as well as regional traditional events ranging from the Baliem Valley in the highlands of Papua to the shores of Lombok and Bali, to international concerts studded with singing superstars that attract crowds from Indonesia and overseas.

More cruise ships have also booked to sail in Indonesian waters where the Benoa harbor in Bali and other ports of call have been widened to serve and accommodate the larger cruise ships.

Meanwhile, a number of Indonesian airlines have acquired whole fleets of brand new aircrafts, flying to more remote destinations, connecting domestic secondary destinations and offering direct international connections, most notably from China, Southeast Asian countries, and Australia, while Garuda Indonesia plans to fly to London direct from Jakarta, said Emirsyah Satar, Garuda Indonesia CEO.

Indonesia’s own burgeoning middle class is also expected to travel, creating a large demand for attractions, transportation, hotels, and restaurants all across the archipelago.

For this year, therefore, Indonesia will focus on developing the MICE sector; cruises and yachting; health and wellness; cuisine; sports including golf, cycling, marathon races, and diving, said Minister Mari Pangestu.

All the above developments boost confidence in Indonesia’s positive tourism prospects for 2013.

8 million target in 2012 foreign visitor arrivals expected to be surpassed

In the latest statistics, the National Statistics Bureau revealed that until November 2012, the accumulated number of foreign arrivals through Indonesian air and sea ports was 7,277,496, up 5.09% compared to the same 11 months last year. Since last December was peak travel season, it is almost certain that the target of 8 million foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia until the end of the year has been achieve, and even surpassed said Deputy Minister for Tourism and the Creative Economy Sapta Nirwandar.

The 5% increase is higher than the average global tourist growth of between 3% to 4% worldwide, said Nirwandar.

Indonesia’s total foreign currency receipts are estimated to reach US$ 9.07 billion or an increase of 6.03% compared to 2011.

Today, Indonesia’s tourism is the 4th highest ranking foreign currency earner for the country outside oil and gas, following coal, palm oil, and rubber products. Tourism ranks higher than the production and exports of apparel, electrical goods, textilesm and paper products.

Domestic tourists are estimated to have made 245 million trips during 2012, up 3.81% compared to 2011. When counting that each person spends Rp. 700,000 per trip, total spending of domestic tourists during the whole of last year totaled Rp. 171.5 trillion, up 9.31% compared to 2011.

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