RI`s foreign tourist arrivals in 1st semester 2007 up 12.2 pct

Jakarta (Antara News) - The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia in the first semester 2007 was up 12.2 percent compared to the figure for a corresponding period in 2006, a tourism ministry official said.

During the first six months of 2007 Indonesia was visited by 2,143,000 foreign tourists or 12.2 percent more than in the same period in 2006 when the number was 1,909,600, Thamrin B Bachri, director of marketing at the Tourism and Culture Ministry, said here Firday.

In June 2007, the number of foreign tourist arrivals was 411,200, topping the figures for the same months in the previous three years, he said.

Country-of-origin-wise, of the 2.143.000 tourists who came to Indonesia in the first semester of 2007, 58.75 percent came from India, 46.85 percent from South Korea and 34.70 percent from China and Hong Kong.

Thamrin said, with the increase in tourist arrivals in the first half of 2007, there was reason for optimism that the government`s target of attracting 6 million foreign tourists in 2007 would be achieved.

He said there was optimism despite the fact that the tourism ministry`s promotion and marketing efforts were hamstrung by a shortage of funds.

"We have a program to accelerate the foreign tourist flow but still lack the needed funds. We have access to Rp150 billlion but need about Rp450 billion to achieve the 6-million tourist arrivals target," he said.

From the targeted 6 million tourist arrivals from 16 countries in various parts of the world, Indonesia hopes to earn some 5.4 billion US dollars.(*)
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