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Players in Indonesia's tourism industry are optimistic that more than 15 million foreign tourists will visit Indonesia in full-year 2017. Based on the latest data from Indonesia's Statistics Agency (BPS), a total of 5.36 million foreigners went on holiday in the world's largest Archipelago in the first five months of 2017, up 20.9 percent (y/y) from foreign visitor arrivals in the same period one year earlier.
Didien Junaedy, Chairman of the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI), is happy seeing the above-mentioned figures. Moreover, these figures only cover the low season and therefore growth should expand in the coming seven months as the high season kicks in.
GIPI attributes part of the success to the government's eagerness to push for the development of international airports in the regions of the massive nation. The development of these airports stimulates the arrival of new - and direct - flights between the Indonesian regions and foreign cities, hence visitor numbers can grow.
Also the recent visits of Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and former US President Barack Obama to Indonesia created a "buzz" that should attract other foreigners to enjoy a holiday in, for example, Bali.
However, political turmoil in the Middle East - related to Qatar - forms a risk because it could disturb flights of Qatar Airlines to Indonesia. Passengers of Qatar Airlines not only originate from Qatar and the Middle East but also from Europe.
In terms of origin, foreign visitor arrivals to Indonesia are dominated by China. However, GIPI is optimistic that other countries - for example - India form great growth centers for tourism to Indonesia. Key is accessibility and therefore it is a step in the right direction that national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia opened direct flights between Jakarta and Mumbai in late-2016.
Foreign Tourist Arrivals in Indonesia:
Source: Statistics Indonesia (BPS)