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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        20  May 2011

Asean tourists visit Indonesia

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Indonesia received 210,372 tourists from other Asean member states in March, accounting for 35.17 percent of the overall tourist arrivals in the country in that month.

"In March 2011, ASEAN tourists, for instance, from Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand reached 210,372," Deputy Director of ASEAN Region at the Culture and Tourism Ministry Chrismiastutie said here on Monday.

She said 598,068 tourists visited Indonesia in March.

Cumulatively, the number of tourists from other ASEAN member states reached 556,336 in the first quarter of 2011. The figure represented 32.44 percent of the overall tourist arrivals over the period reaching 1,714,946, according to the center of data processing and network system at the ministry.

"We predict the figure will increase significantly in line with the position of Indonesia as the 2011 ASEAN chair," she said.

In the first quarter of 2011, tourists from other ASEAN member states dominated tourist arrivals in Indonesia, she said.

"Throughout this year there will be many MICE (Meeting Incentive Conference and Exhibition) events to be held in Indonesia as the ASEAN chair," she said.

Singapore took the lead as the source of Indonesia`s tourist arrivals among ASEAN member states in the January-March 2011 period, with 271,523 tourists, up 7.92 percent from the same period last year.

This was followed by Malaysia with 239,663 tourists, the Philippines 28,400, and Thailand 16,750.

Overall, tourist arrivals in the country grew 6.44 percent in the first three months of 2011 compared with the same period last year.

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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.

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