JAKARTA – Indonesia became the only country in the world that recorded growth in tourism industry during the first five months of this year, the deputy secretary general of the United Nations for the World Tourism Organizations (UNWTO) Xu Jing told reporters here on Wednesday.
He said that tourist arrival to Bali, Indonesia’s main tourism destination, increased nine percent while the world recorded eight percent decrease. However, he did not mention the exact figures or the number for tourist arrival in the country.
“This is good news. Indonesia managed to record exception by having growth in tourism industry among other countries whereas Indonesia has “complete crisis,” he said, adding that referring to various natural disasters like earthquake, tsunami, Asian financial crisis in 1997-1998, bomb explosions and others.
He predicted that the recent bomb blasts would have little effect on the country’s tourism.
“This incident is much less compared to tsunami and the previous Bali bombings,” he said.
He said that Indonesia would recover very soon and as the tourism destination country, Indonesia is very resilient against many crisis.
He also praised the government action that quickly responded the attack in terms of information distribution.
“The government quickly established media crisis center so reporters could get the news from the right officials, “he said.
He admitted that the international perception on Indonesia would be negative following the bomb blasts.
“It’s natural. However, it would be short-lived. Tourists will forget the incident and will be back to Indonesia,” he said.
According to the ministry’s data, the arrival of international tourists to Indonesia stood at 6.4 million in 2008, sharply jumped from 5.5 million in 2007. The ministry predicted that in 2009, the tourist arrival would stand at 6.5 million.
Two bomb blasts wrecked JW Marriot and Ritz Carlton hotels in Mega Kuningan business district in South Jakarta on last Friday, taking nine lives and injuring 60 others.