Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Foreign tourists to Indonesia increasing after Jakarta bombings

Compiled from the original sources: Antara News and Orient Aviation

The Central Board of Statistics (BPS) said the number of foreign tourist arrivals in July 2009 reached 593.4 thousand people, an increase of 4.59 percent as compared with that in July 2008 which stood only at 567.4 thousand.

"The July 2009 figure is also higher than that a month earlier," BPS chief Rusman Heriawan said here on Tuesday.

The BPS recorded that the number of foreign tourist arrivals in the January-July 2009 period stood at 3.56 million.

Heriawan said that the increase in the number of foreign tourists negated doubts that the number of foreign tourists would drop after the July 17 twin bombings of JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta.

Heriawan said that foreign visitors entering the country through the 11 main gates in July reached 510.5 persons, or an increase of 8.22 percent compared with that in the previous month.

Tourism booms in Bali

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s airline and travel industry is confident the recent hotel bomb attacks in Jakarta will have little impact on tourism to other parts of the country.

The country’s main tourism centre, the holiday island of Bali, has been experiencing a boom this year. In the first six months of 2009, visitor numbers rose to just over one million, up 24.3% on the same period last year - despite the global recession. This compared to a rise of 2.6%, to 2.97 million visitors, for Indonesia as a whole.

The results come despite tourism numbers in neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia showing negative growth. Indonesian Culture and Tourism Ministry, Fathul Bahri, said the global recession, the spread of H1N1 flu virus and the July 17 bomb attacks at the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels in Jakarta would have no significant impact on the tourist arrivals in the country this year.

He said tourist arrivals in Jakarta only fell 5% following the bomb attacks which left nine people dead and more than 590 others injured. “But there was no decline in the number of tourist arrivals in other tourist destinations such as Bali and Lombok,” said the minister. Indonesia is targeting 6.5 million tourist arrivals in 2009.