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                                                                                                                           Asean Affairs  July 5, 2013  

Indonesia’s tourism on track amidst global economic uncertainties

Reinhard Hohler

In the first 5 months of the year, from January through May 2013, international tourist arrivals to Indonesia rose by 5.79% although amidst global economic uncertainties, said Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, at a news conference on Monday, July 1.

This means that Indonesia is on track to achieve this year’s target of international visitors, aimed at 8.6 million visitors. While, the month of May 2013 registered a growth of 7.65% over the same month last year. Indonesia has seen a continued increase in visitors on account of the many events, concerts, meetings, and conventions held in the past months and are still to be held to the end of the year.

International concerts featuring among others, Air Supply, SuperJunior, Lenka, and many others in Jakarta, as well as events such as the Bintan Triathlon and Vesak celebrations at the Borobudur temple have all attracted a great number of participants especially from Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan.

Moreover, in the coming months to the end of the year, a number of important international conferences and events are to be held in Indonesia, which include the APEC Summit in early October, Miss World Contest in September the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference, and many others. APEC alone will hold 96 meetings in the country, while some 1,200 CEOs are expected to attend the summit.

Top tourist markets to Indonesia are Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, China, and Japan, with visitors from China increasing by 13.83% in May compared to the previous month of April.

Other nationals who came in increasing numbers in the first 5-month period were from the UAE (+ 81.15%), Egypt (19.61%), Saudi Arabia (18.3%), and Thailand (16.15%).

While among the archipelago’s 19 international entry ports, Bandung’s Husein Sastranegara airport in West Java saw the largest growth of international passengers, surging by 42.64%.

All the above will ensure that the coming months will not only see increased arrivals but also increased visitors’ spending, said Minister Mari Pangestu, since MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) visitors are known to spend more at around US$3,000 per visit compared to the average leisure tourist, who spends US$1,000 per visit.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s domestic tourism, boosted by a burgeoning middle class, has also grown significantly. In Q1 of 201,3 the National Statistics Bureau calculates that Indonesians made 3.41% more trips reaching 55.7 million trips compared to 53.86 million trips last year. Those with highest propensity to travel are residents from East Java, Central Java, West Java, Jakarta, North Sumatra, and Bali, in that order.

Travel agents and airlines have told the press that travel in June especially to Bali has been very heavy with the start of school holidays in many countries and in Indonesia. With the approaching Ramadan fasting month in July and the Eid’l Fitri in August, resorts, airlines, and transportation facilities are readying for the waves of travelers throughout the country.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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