Indonesia is currently on a mission to attract more visitors to their country neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore. The authorities expect that tourists from these two countries will be the major contributors to the country's target of visitors until the year 2014.
Marie Pangestu, the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, said that the emerging economies of Singapore and Malaysia in Southeast Asia are expected to bring in tourists of 1.55 million and 1.9 million annually respectively until the year 2014.
Should the target be attained then the visitors from Singapore and Malaysia would be contributing to the total number of tourists visiting the country between now and 2014, by 19-20% from Singapore and 15-16% from Malaysia.
Ms. Pangestu also said that these travelers were more preferential in visiting and exploring the cultural attractions and the beautiful Indonesian natural landscape, and this she said was attributed to the closeness of Indonesian culture and language to the neighboring countries.
A target of 8 million tourists from foreign countries, had been set by the Ministry for this year while that of last year had been set to be above 7.7 million. With this in mind, the Minister said that the target of next year would be increased to 9 million and that of year 2014 increased to 10 million.
The attained record of foreign tourist visits for 2011 was higher by 8.5% than that of the prior year. A total of 8.5 billion USD was spent by tourists, who stayed in Indonesia for an average of 8 days during that year.
Besides Malaysia and Singapore, the ministry was also targeting tourists from China, Japan and Australia whose contribution to Indonesia's records of foreign tourists had been noted for the last few years.
The minister said that their projection for this year regarding tourists coming from Australia would reach 1.3 million. For the Japanese and Chinese tourists the projection that was expected to be achieved was 560,000 and 1.1 million respectively.
Bearing in mind the financial crisis affecting the United States and Europe, it was expected that the contribution to the target of Indonesian's foreign tourists of these two economies would be of no significance till 2014.
According to the data issued by the ministry, Indonesia, the largest Southeast Asian country, recorded an annual average increase of 4.39% in the number of foreign tourist visits, for the years between 2000 and 2011. Obviously this was greater than 3.47 % which was the world's average.