Indonesia attracted 9.73 million tourists last year, in comparison to 9.44 million a year prior, BPS data showed. (JG Photo/Alex Perdana)

Indonesia Misses Target of 10m Foreign Tourists in 2015


FEBRUARY 01, 2016

Jakarta. Indonesia missed its target to attract at least 10 million foreign tourists in 2015 despite various promotion attempts, indicating that another approach may be needed to meet this year's target, according to a report released from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) on Monday (1/2).

Indonesia attracted 9.73 million tourists last year, in comparison to 9.44 million a year prior, BPS data showed.

The report also showed that there were 913,828 foreigners who visited Indonesia in December, up from 777,976 visitors in November, but the number slipped from 915,334 visitors in December the year prior.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said last Tuesday in a tourism coordinating meeting that the ministry had prepared even higher targets for this year.

Indonesia aims to attract at least 12 million tourists this year and generate foreign exchange equivalent to Rp 172 trillion ($12.61 billion). Arief also said that the tourism sector must contribute at least 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and contribute to the creation of 11.7 million jobs.

Indonesia's GDP stood at Rp 11,412.30 trillion ($836.98 billion) in 2015, with the tourism sector contributing 4 percent of the GDP.

"We should build a spirit that Indonesian tourism can beat Malaysia or Thailand. Tourism must become the main foreign exchange generator for Indonesia," Arief said in a statement.

According to the minister, Indonesia will adopt a so-called "single destination, single management" concept this year to develop 10 priority tourist destinations including Borobudur in Central Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Labuan Bajo in Nusa Tenggara, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park in East Java, Thousand Islands north of Jakarta, Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Wakatobi National Park in Southeast Sulawesi, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Morotai Island north of Halmahera and Tanjung Kelayang in Belitung.

The concept — which according to the tourism minister has been widely adopted as an international technique to promote tourism  — allows for a specified authority to run and manage various tourist spots.

"In the near [future], we will have a Toba Tourism Authority which will be followed by Borobudur Tourism Authority. The Borobudur Tourism Authority might cover Sangiran, Karimun Jawa, Dieng and Joglo Semar," the tourism minister said.

Arief said the 10 proposed tourist destinations will likely add another 8.5 million foreign tourists to Indonesia's existing record.