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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   6  August 2014  

Foreign tourist arrivals in H1 surpass annual target

Indonesia: Foreign tourist arrivals during the first half of this year (H1) have increased sharply, surpassing the government’s yearly growth target of 8 percent due to the increasing number of direct flights and improved airport capacity.

According to data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) released on Monday, 4.55 million foreign tourists visited the archipelago during January and June this year, an increase of 9.56 percent from 4.15 million in the same period in 2013.

“This means that tourist arrival growth during the first six months of the year has surpassed this year’s target of 8 percent,” Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said in a press statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Monday.

The data also finds that the number of foreign travelers in June this year reached 851,500, up 13.17 percent from the figure recorded in May.

“The increase in the number of foreign visitors in June marked the shift from low season to high season, which was predicted to reach its peak during July and August,” Mari said.

Separately, the ministry’s chief of international cooperation, Noviendi Makalam, said the country’s improved accessibility, including the increasing number of direct flights and improved airport capacity, contributed to the significant growth.

The BPS said the highest growth in tourist arrivals was recorded in Lombok International Airport in West Nusa Tenggara, with a 171.54 percent increase, followed by Adi Sucipto Airport in Yogyakarta (28.2 percent) and Sultan Syarif Kasim II in Riau (17.61 percent).

“We saw a significant increase in tourist arrivals in Lombok after the province officially opened an international airport that allowed more and bigger aircraft to land there,” Noviendi told the Post.

State airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I officially opened the airport, which replaced the old Selaparang Airport in late 2011, in a move to boost tourism on the island.

Out of the country’s 19 main gates, the data showed that Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali still recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals, with 1.7 million travelers during H1, an increase of 16.07 percent from 1.47 million in June 2013.

The figure is followed by Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, which recorded a total of 1.13 million foreign tourist arrivals between January-June, an increase of 5 percent on the number in the same period last year.

The data also shows that Middle Eastern countries topped the list of country origins of tourists visiting Indonesia in January-June.

Bahrain has the highest growth of 62.3 percent, followed by Egypt (44.24 percent), the United Arab Emirates (35.92 percent) and Saudi Arabia (30.56 percent).

However, Noviendi said that among the government’s focus markets, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, China and Japan, travelers from China recorded the highest growth with 24 percent.

“We also see increasing demand from India as shown in the number of foreign tourists from the country that increased by 18.94 percent,” he said.

“The demand unfortunately has not been supported by the availability of direct flights to the country’s main cities including Mumbai, Chennai and New Delhi,” he continued.

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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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