Tourism arrival means revenue up for Indonesia

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The number of tourist arrivals in Indonesia in the first half of 2009 rose 2.61 percent to 2.97 million from the same period last year, a tourist official said.

“In June 2009 alone, the number of tourist arrivals rose 4.06 percent from a year earlier,” Domestic Promotion Director at the Culture and Tourism Ministry Fathul Bahri said here on Wednesday.

He expressed his belief the global economic downturn, the spread of H1N1 flu virus and the July 17 bomb attacks at JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels in Jakarta would have no significant impact on the number of tourist arrivals in the country this year.

The number of tourist arrivals in Jakarta only fell 5 percent in the wake of the bomb attacks that left nine people dead and more than 590 others injured, he said.

“But there was no decline in the number of tourist arrivals in other tourist destinations such as Bali and Lombok (following the bomb attacks),” he said.

Data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) show the number of foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia in June 2009 reached around 550,600, up 4.07 percent from June 2008, or 5.53 percent from May 2009.

The number of foreign tourist arrivals through the country`s 11 main entry gates in June 2009 went up 4.95 percent to 466,900 from 444,900 in June 2008.

“The figure is promising now that the number of tourist arrivals in neighboring Malaysia and Singapore recorded negative growth,” he said.

He said he remained optimistic that the country would be able to achieve its tourist arrival target of 6.5 million for 2009.(*)