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Tourism Minister : 10.4 million Foreign Visitors Arrivals in 2015: Indonesia Exceeds Target

In the latest press release issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Indonesia’s Tourism Minister, Amir Yahya confirmed that International Visitor Arrivals to Indonesia in 2015 has exceeded the target of 10 million in 2015, reaching 10.4 million or exactly 10,406,759 arrivals. This was concluded from data just issued by Indonesia’s Central Bureau of Statistics, BPS, covering January through December arrivals statistics.

The BPS Statistics itemized the total 2015 foreign national arrivals as follows : a. Those categorized by the Immigration office under the category of “tourists” : 9,729,350 who entered Indonesia through the major 19 entry ports, making up 93.49% of total foreign visitors arrivals.This year BPS included new categories, namely : b. those arriving crossing land borders including at Timor and Entikong on Kalimantan, totaling 370,869 or 3.56% of total foreign visitors, and c. an additional 306,540 or 2.85% categorized under “short term foreign visitors”.

End last year before BPS issued December statistics Minister Amir Yahya projected an arrival of 10.07 million. This meant an increase of 7.2% over 2014 figures, generating US$ 11.9 billion or Rupiah 163 trillion in foreign exchange income, which is based on the average length of stay of visitors in Indonesia at 8.5 days with average spent of US$ 1,190 per tourist/visit.

Minister Yahya said that Indonesia’s 7.2% annual tourism growth means that Indonesia has surpassed world’s tourism growth of 4.4% and ASEAN’s of 6%.

For this year 2016, Indonesia set a significant rise in target at 12 million international arrivals or up 20%, which means 4 times the estimated national economic growth. For this reason the government under President Joko Widodo is accelerating growth of infrastructure and institutions to immediately boost tourism growth.

A major strategic plan is the development of 10 priority tourist destinations (being Borobudur, Mandalika, Labuan Bajo, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru, The Thousand Islands, Lake Toba, Wakatobi, Tanjung Lesung, Morotai, and Tanjung Kelayang) through application of a single destination management concept. For this purpose, the government will form a national authority body that will manage these priority destinations. The structure of the body will include the Maritime Coordinating Ministry Advising Board, the Tourism Minister as Chief Officer, and other related Ministers. “Through accelerated development of the above 10 priority destinations, we are projecting an additional arrival of 8.5 million international tourists” said Arief Yahya.

Another policy is the breakthrough in the visa free policy which currently covers tourists from 90 countries (Presidential Regulation no.104 Year 2015) which will be expanded to cover 174 countries this year. The expansion of the free visa policy is projected to attract an additional 1 million international tourists and an estimated foreign exchange income of US$ 1 Billion.

Another strategic policy, namely the deregulation which eliminates Clearance Approval to enter Indonesia Territory or CAIT (Presidential Regulation no.105 Year 2015) for Yachts is expected to increase the number of yachts and sailing ships arriving in Indonesian waters. It is projected that in 5 years the number of international yachts arriving in Indonesia will reach 5,000 bringing in an estimated foreign exchange income of US$500 million.

In addition, the deregulation on cabotage policy for foreign cruise ships, allowing passengers to board and depart from 5 seaports in Indonesia, namely Belawan (Medan), Tanjung Priok (Jakarta), Tanjung Perak (Surabaya), Benoa (Bali), and Soekarno-Hatta (Makassar) will also boost arrival of foreign cruise ships to Indonesia. It is projected that by 2019, the number of foreign cruise ships arriving in Indonesia should reach 1,000 resulting in an estimated foreign exchange income of US$300 million.

Meanwhile, the total number of domestic tourist movements in 2015 is recorded at 255 million trips. The overall contribution from domestic tourism to GDP is 4% with total spending of IDR155 trillion and workforce absorption of 11.3 million jobs. Globally, the competitiveness index of Indonesia’s tourism has significantly risen 20 points and currently Indonesia ranks at no. 50 from 141 countries.

2016 Tourism Targets

This year 2016, the target for total number of international visitors arrivals is set at 12 million with projected foreign exchange income of IDR172 trillion. For the domestic tourism, this year the target is set at 260 million trips with total spending of IDR223.6 trillion. The contribution of tourism to the national economy is expected to increase by 5% and workforce absorption is targeted at 11.7 million workers.

For the long term target on 2019, tourism is expected to contribute 8 % to the national economy with income from foreign exchange reaching to IDR240 Trillion. The target for workforce absorption is set at 13 million workers. The total number of international tourist arrivals for 2019 is targeted at 20 million, while domestic tourist movement is set at 275 million. Globally, the competitiveness index of Indonesian tourism is targeted to be among the world’s top 30.