Bali remained Indonesia tourism’s driving force in 2009

Indonesia can look back with satisfaction to its 2009 tourism performance. According to estimated data from Indonesia Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the world’s largest archipelago was able to attract 6.46 million foreign travelers, compared to 6.43 million a year earlier. The 0.4% plus in arrivals is a turnaround as the Ministry of Tourism still forecast total arrivals to decreasing by 1% to 2% in September 2009.

Looking at results for the first 11 months of 2009, some markets managed last year double-digit growth rates. France was the top performer with total arrivals up by 29.7%, followed by Australia (up by 28.1%), the Middle-East (up by 23.5%), China (up by 19.6%) and Holland (up by 6.3%). Worst performers between January and November 2009 were South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong down in a range of 12% to 25% compared to 2009.

Bali remains once again the star performers among Indonesian destinations. According to international arrivals at Denpasar Airport, the island recorded a plus from 13.6% to 2.16 million. Bali share in total tourist arrivals is up by almost six points, from 32.1% in 2008 to 38% in 2009. Meanwhile, Jakarta and Batam’s market shares in total arrivals declined respectively during the same period from 23.4% to 22.1% and from 16.8% to 14.8%. Other good performing destinations were West Sumatra (+43%), North Sulawesi (+41%) and North Sumatra (+16.3%).

Indonesia expects to reach the seven million tourists mark in 2010 thanks to additional budget and the planned creation of a new body, Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board which will include travel professionals from both public and private sectors.