Tourist arrivals in RI up 13 pct

Makassar, S Sulawesi (Antara News) - More than 2.9 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia in the first eight months of 2007, up 13.47 percent from the same period last year, a tourism official said.

"The increase in the number of tourist arrivals is quite promising as in the two preceding years only a small number of the tens of millions of foreign tourists visiting Southeast Asia came to Indonesia," Umar Kuswara, director of people`s empowerment at the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Ukus Kuswara, said here Friday.

Quoting data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS), Kuswara said more than 5.3 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia in 2004 with their spendings estimated at US$4.797 million.

The figure accounted for 10 percent of the number of foreign tourists visiting Southeast Asia in that year, he said.

The number of tourist arrivals to Indonesia fell 6 percent to 5.002 million in 2005 from 5.3 million in 2004 and declined further by 2.6 percent to 4.87 million in 2006 from 5.002 million in 2005.

The number of tourist arrivals began to show an upward trend this year, raising the hope that the tourist arrival target of 6 million for 2007 will be achieved, he said.(*)
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