JAKARTA, Indonesia – An Indonesian minister said that tourism industry is important for Indonesia to cope with negative impacts of the ongoing global crisis, local media reported here on Monday.
“The tourism sector is Indonesia’s safety belt against global crisis because it is apparently not vulnerable in dealing with the impacts of global crisis,” Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said as quoted by the Antara news service on the sidelines of the country’s 1st National Tourism Conference held here.
The minister said the tourism sector contributes not only to the national income but also to people as it created job opportunities.
Regarding the country’s efforts in developing the tourism sector, Mari added that Indonesia is facing challenges that comprised inadequate facilities at tourist destination sites, deficient services at airports, bus terminals and the poor availability of tourist guides who speak fluent foreign languages.
Over the past three years, Indonesia saw an increasing number of foreign tourist arrivals, from 6.4 million in 2009 to more than 7 million in 2010.
In 2011, the Tourism Ministry is targeting 7.7 million arrivals. Next year, the target is to be raised to 8 million.