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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        17  February 2011

Indonesia to boost Asean tourism

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Indonesia wants to attract more tourists from fellow Asean country members and boost the number by nearly 30 percent this year.

Chrismiastutie, deputy director for Asean at Indonesia's Culture and Tourism Ministry, said Wednesday in Jakarta that the country was targeting to boost the number to 3.2 million tourists in 2011 from last year's 2.5 million.

"We haven't fully exposed our seat capacity, so there remains a large potential to maximize the figure," she said.

"Unless there is an X factor [such as natural disasters and terrorist attacks], we're optimistic that by the end of the year the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia will have reached the target of 7.7 million."

Indonesia hosted 7 million foreign tourists in 2010, with its ASEAN neighbors being the largest contributor to the figure.

Singapore was the largest contributor with 1.13 million tourists visiting from the country; followed by Malaysia at 1.03 million tourists.

Chrismiastutie said she wanted to attract more tourists from Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

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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