TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The government faced difficulties to reach the 2018 target of 17 foreign tourists arrivals. Multiple disasters and numbers of national incidents considerably decreased tourists visits to Indonesia until this year’s end.
An expert staffer for Accessibility in Tourism Ministry, Judi Rifajantoro, did not deny that large event such as the devastating earthquake in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara until Lion Air JT 610 plane tragic crash made tourists unwilling to travel to the archipelago. “I don’t have the exact number, but disasters always affect the tourism sector,” Judi told Tempo on Tuesday, December 4.
According to him, the number of foreign tourist arrivals throughout January to October 2018 reached 13.24 million people, while the ministry set the target of 17 million foreign tourists arrival in 2018. “It is quite hard to reach 17 million [the target]. Impacts on the incident are accumulated,” he added.
Judi explained the target could be met if the monthly arrivals of foreign tourist amounted to 1.5 million people. The number declined to 1.2 million in September and October 2018. The Central Statistics Agency recorded as many as 1.29 million foreign tourists entered Indonesia that dropped 5.74 percent compared to the previous month.
However, the ministry had optimism that the target of 20 million foreign tourists arrivals in 2019 could be achieved. According to Judi, the tourist arrival number was stable and never slipped to under 1 million people. “Perhaps, we will increase the monthly target,” he said.
The government, Judi continued, could not escape from natural disasters, but it could develop anticipative measures. “The world sees how fast we can recover the condition,” he added, “we concern on the safety of foreign tourist, especially when a disaster occurs.”
Meanwhile, the ministry’s public communication head Guntur Sakti said his side was intensifying measures to attract tourists in a bid to meet the target, for example, promoting hot deals in tandem with industries and travel agents and adding attractions to lure tourist in cross-border areas. “We promote the program through operators and agents in tourist places such as Singapore and Thailand,” said Guntur on December 4.
YOHANES PASKALIS PAE DALE | FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA