In June 2016 a total of 857,651 foreigners arrived in Indonesia for a short visit, down 6.29 percent (month-to-month) from 915,206 foreign visitors in the preceding month, and down 1.69 percent (year-on-year) from 872,385 foreign visitors who visited Indonesia in June 2015. This decline is attributed to the Islamic Ramadan month that covered most of June this year, while last year it covered only the second half of the month June. Typically, activities (including arrivals of foreign Muslim tourists) slow during the Islamic holy fasting month. This also implies that there should occur a rebound in July as the impact of the Ramadan month (on visitor arrivals) is smaller in July.

Most foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia in June 2016 involved Singaporeans. About 15.8 percent of total arrivals last month were Singaporean citizens, followed by China (13.9 percent), Australia (13.6 percent), Malaysia (9.5 percent), and Japan (4.1 percent).

The tourism industry is one of the government's priority industries that has ample room for growth. By 2019 Indonesia targets to see 20 million foreign visitor arrivals. This would generate about USD $24 billion in foreign exchange earnings as each foreign tourist is estimated to spend an average of about USD $1,200 per visit. In 2015, the Indonesian government extended its free visa facility to 169 countries in an effort to attract more foreign tourists. Citizens from these nations do not need to obtain a visit visa prior to entering Indonesia (they can stay in Indonesia for a maximum period of 30 days).

Foreign Tourist Arrivals in Indonesia:

Category Tourist Arrivals
Jan - Jun 2015
Tourist Arrivals
Jan - Jun 2016
Foreign Tourist Arrivals
(at 19 main entrance points)
     4,538,444      4,888,198
 – Regular Tourists      4,393,759      4,709,404
 – Special Tourists        144,685        178,794
Foreign Tourist Arrivals
(outside 19 main entrance points)
       459,174        409,385
Total      4,997,618

Although Indonesia only achieved 44 percent of the full-year target (in terms of foreign visitor arrivals in 2016), we expect that Indonesia's target (12 million foreign tourist arrivals) will be achieved because the number of tourist arrivals in the second half of the year always tops the total of tourists who visited Indonesia in the first half of the year.

Moreover, at the start of the year Statistics Indonesia revised its system for the counting of foreign visitor arrivals. It now includes foreigners arriving through border crossing posts (in Indonesian: Pos Pelintas Batas, or PLB) and foreigners staying in Indonesia for less than one year (both temporary workers and non-workers). This means that under the new counting system of BPS more foreigners are labelled as "foreign visitor" and therefore the total number becomes higher (without requiring a fundamental increase).

Read more: Overview of Indonesia's Tourism Sector

In 2015 the number of domestic tourists reached 255 million. This year the government targets to raise this figure to 260 million. Currently, the tourism industry of Indonesia contributes some 4 percent to Indonesia's overall gross domestic product (GDP). The tourism sector is estimated to create up to 11.3 million employment positions in Indonesia.

Foreign Tourist Arrivals in Indonesia, 2007-2016:

   2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016
Foreign Tourists
(in millions)
 5.51  6.23  6.32  7.00  7.65  8.04  8.80  9.44  9.73  12.0¹

The 2007 - 2015 data still follow BPS' "old counting system"
government target
Source: Statistics Indonesia (BPS)