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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  3 July 2015  

M’sians, S’poreans dominate tourist arrivals in May

Indonesia’s foreign tourist arrivals recorded faster growth in May, partly thanks to an increase in tourists from neighboring Malaysia and Singapore, according to the latest tourism data issued by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).

BPS announced Wednesday that foreign tourist arrivals had increased 5.82 percent to 793,500 in May from 749,900 in the previous month. The increase in May was higher than the 3.3 percent recorded in April.

BPS head Suryaman said that the higher growth rate in May was down to an increase in tourist arrivals from Singapore and Malaysia.

“Lots of Malaysians and Singaporeans have been going to Batam because many new tourist resorts have been built there, and there were a number of public holidays during the month,” Suryaman said, citing Cheng-Ho gate in Batam as an example of a new resort.

The larger number of tourist arrivals in May, Suryaman said, might also have been due to an increase in the number of tourists from China, which significantly rose following the opening of Garuda Indonesia’s new routes from Jakarta to three Chinese cities — Kunming, Tianjin and Shenyan —earlier in May.

Year-on-year, foreign tourist arrivals in May were 5.47 percent higher. With the increase in the May figure, total foreign tourist arrivals during the first five months of this year reached 3.84 million people, a 3.85 percent increase from the same period in 2014.

However, the number of foreign tourists during the Jan-May period reached only 36.57 percent of the government’s full-year target of 10.5 million foreign tourists.

As in April, arrivals in May were dominated by tourists from Singapore, with 143,031 people, followed by Malaysia in second place with 130,481, Australia in third place with 81,119 and China in fourth with 79,147.

Foreign tourists arrived in Indonesia through 19 main entry points in May, with Entikong, Central Kalimantan, booking the highest number of foreign tourists, or 62.58 percent of total arrivals, while Adisucipto International Airport in Yogyakarta came second with 38.85 percent and Minangkabau airport in West Sumatra came third with 27.98 percent of May’s total arrivals. Arrivals at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali and Kualanamu International Airport in North Sumatera declined during the month, unusually.

“The majority of foreign tourists who come through the Bali entry point are Australian tourists. But we need to conduct research before making further conclusions,” Suryaman said, referring to the possible effect of the March executions of two Australian citizens for drugs offenses.

Arrivals at Kualanamu airport dropped by 11.24 percent from 19,781 arrivals in May last year, which Suryaman attributed to the ongoing eruptions of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra.

The report also revealed that Indonesia had seen an increase in hotel occupancy rates in May. On average, hotel occupancy rates increased one point to 53.72 percent from 52.72 percent in the same month last year.

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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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