TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, has urged the Riau Islands provincial administration to increase the length of stay for foreign tourists visiting the province.
"I hope Mr. Governor will increase the length of stay," he said while visiting Batam, Riau Islands, on Saturday.
Singapore and Malaysia have so far been the largest sources of tourist arrivals in Riau Islands, he noted. Most tourists from the two countries have been making weekend trips to Riau Islands, so they are staying in the province for a short time, he said.
Therefore, the minister advised the local government to encourage tourism operators to offer tourism packages that allow tourists to stay longer in the province.
In addition to golf, the tourism packages must also include visits to the sea tribe in Lingga, Penyegat Island, buffer islands, and other tourist destinations. "(They) must design tourism packages," he added.
The regional government must also provide incentives to travel agents and cooperate with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy to increase foreign tourists' length of stay from three days to four days, he said.
Meanwhile, chief of the Batam City Culture and Tourism Office, Ardiwinata, said the office has made continuous efforts to increase tourists’ length of stay by encouraging people living in buffer islands to build homestays.
This would allow tourists to spend their time in coastal areas with a natural atmosphere, Sandiaga Uno remarked.