Indonesia tourism industry still waiting to rebound

Posted on November 26, 2008. Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , |

Indonesia, a vast archipelago nation with the world’s second-longest shoreline, has consistently underachieved in the tourism sector and 2008 is proving no exception.

“The global economic crisis has started to have an impact,” said Sapta Nirwandar, director-general for marketing at the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

“With the looming crisis, I’m afraid we will not have the expected peak of foreign tourist arrivals in December,” Nirwandar said, referring to the usual end-of-the-year surge of tourists to the tropical isles.

Despite record-breaking tourism numbers at Indonesia’s prime beach resort of Bali, the country will again miss this year’s overall target for foreign visitors, he predicted.

Due to the global economic downturn, the government has revised down its targets for 2008 foreign tourist arrivals to “realistic figures” of around 6.4 million, from initial goal of 7 million.

According to the National Statistics Agency, the three quarters spanning January to September brought nearly 4.6 million tourists, a 12.2 per cent increase from the same period of 2007, or 4.1 million.

Indonesia’s tourism industry has been hit by a string of calamities over the past five years, ranging from bomb attacks in Bali and Jakarta, to tsunamis and earthquakes, and outbreaks of bird flu and SARS respiratory disease.

Travel warnings issued by several countries have also taken a toll. (more…)

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