Minister Optimistic 2013 Tourism Target Will Be Met

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By SP/Hendro Situmorang (Jakarta Globe)

Indonesia is on-course to meet its annual tourism target of 8.6 million foreign visitors as tourists continued to flock to sites in Bali and Batam, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said on Tuesday.

The ministry recorded some 7.13 million foreign tourists in the first 10 months of the year. The government expects the arrivals to continue through the coming months as the ministry pushes to meet the government target, Mari said.

“The performance of the tourism sector showed a heartening growth,” she said. “It has experience a growth of 8.36 percent compared to the same period last year… I am optimistic that in the last two months Indonesia will be able to meet its target for foreign tourist visits.”

In October, foreign tourist arrivals were up was 4.59 percent over last year’s numbers — reaching 719,903 tourists, Mari said. She pointed to the ongoing World Trade Organization conference and the coming peak month of December as signs that the number of visitors will continue to grow.

“There is the WTO conference in November and December is a peak season for foreign tourists visiting Indonesia,” Mari said.

A planned island-wide sale in Batam is also expected to draw tourists from Singapore in December.