Sharp increase in foreign tourist arrivals in N Sulawesi

Manado, N sulawesi (Antara News) - The number of foreign tourist arrivals in North Sulawesi last August increased sharply by 15.3 percent compared to the figure in the previous month, a local statistics official said.

In August, 1,893 foreign tourists came to North Sulawesi whereas their number in July was only 1,642, Jasa Bangun, head of the North Sulawesi branch of the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) said here on Thursday.

Some 349 or most of the foreign tourists who visited North Sulawesi in August came from Italy, 294 from Japan, 155 from Singapore, 137 from the United States, 120 from Britain, 106 from Germany and 102 from the Netherlands.

The foreign tourists came to North Sulawesi with various kinds of visa. Some 1,445 of them used on-arrival visa, 261 short-visit visa, 71 business visa, 12 socio-cultural visit visa and 10 temporary residence visa.

Edwin Silangen, the head of the provincial tourism and culture office, said North Sulawesi had continued to be a much preferred tourist destination in Indonesia. The number of foreign tourist arrivals was rising continuously.

The very conducive security conditions in North Sulawesi were among the reasons that foreign tourists liked to come to the region, he said.

The local government had also asked people in the province to warmly welcome all foreign tourists in preparation for the World Ocean Conference (WOC) due to take place in Manado in 2009, he said.(*)
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