Bandung becomes popular with foreign tourists
The first six months of the year saw a significant rise in the number of tourists coming from Egypt while Bandung in West Java showed the highest growth, indicating the city was a hot destination not only for Jakartans but also for foreign tourists.Tourism data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), released on Wednesday, showed that tourists from Egypt, though small in number, grew 45.5 percent to 2,200 compared to 1,500 in the same period last year. The numbers of travelers coming from Saudi Arabia and the Philippines also saw healthy growth of 21.2 percent and 15.7 percent respectively.
The main drivers of the overall tourist growth, however, were Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, China and Japan. The number of foreign tourists who visited Indonesia in the first semester of 2012 reached 3.87 million or a 7.75 percent increase compared to the same period last year, according to the BPS. “This is a good achievement because the figure is close to the overall Asia Pacific tourism growth of 8 percent and better than the global tourism growth of 5 percent,” Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu told reporters in Jakarta on Wednesday. “We believe that we are on track to reach our target of attracting 8 million tourists by the end of this year, and we are going to further promote Indonesia to the world,” she said.
In total, 7.65 million foreign tourists came to Indonesia last year, up 9.24 percent from 2010.Mari said Japan had shown a gradual recovery from the 2011 tsunami as 200,093 Japanese visited Indonesia from January to June this year, a 5 percent increase on last year. “We’ve also seen significant growth from Egypt, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia during the first semester,” she added.
The highest first semester increase in arrivals was recorded at Husein Sastranegara International Airport in Bandung, which recorded 74,021 foreign arrivals, a 29 percent increase from 57,395 over the same period last year. In June this year alone, the airport received 15,417 tourists, up 39.16 percent from 11,079 in the same month last year.
For several years Bandung has been a destination for tourists from Malaysia, who crowd the fashion factory outlets in the city that are a weekend getaway for Jakartans. The main gateway for tourist arrivals in Indonesia, Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, recorded 1.36 million visitors from January to June 2012, up 5.83 percent from 1.29 million in the same period last year. The BPS showed the aggregate star-hotel room occupancy rate across 20 provinces they surveyed was 56.8 percent in June, up 0.79 points from the same month last year, and up 3.17 points from May.
In the first semester of 2012, Central Sulawesi recorded the highest star-hotel room-occupancy rate at 67.27 percent, followed by Lampung and Bali at 66.89 percent and 64.31 percent, respectively. North Sulawesi province recorded the largest increase in occupancy rates, of 8.42 percent, from May to June, followed by Jambi province at 7.6 percent.
According to the data, four-star hotels recorded the highest occupancy rate in June at 60.3 percent, followed by three-starred and five-starred hotels, at 57.9 percent and 57.8 percent, respectively. However, foreign tourists did not spend as long in the country with average stays of 1.93 days in June 2012 compared to 1.98 days last year.
Nurfika Osman, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Thu, August 02 2012, 9:47