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Indonesia keen to attract more Chinese tourists

Updated: Oct 25,2016 11:58 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Indonesia is keen to attract more Chinese tourists, with the government adopting new measures to facilitate the process, said Ukus Kuswara, secretary of the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia.

The official said tourists from China to Indonesia have experienced rapid growth, reaching 1.12 million people in 2015. In July and August 2016, the number of Chinese tourists in Indonesia consecutively topped the list. “We hope that the number could hit 1.7 million in 2016,” he said.

To achieve this, the government pushed forward a number of new measures. For example, Indonesia will open direct flights between the major cities of China and the major tourist destinations in Indonesia. Some Chinese provinces have opened direct flights to Bali, and in the future flights to other destinations can be expected, he said.

The Indonesian government is also improving marketing and promoting cooperation with China. The “go digital” program, joining hands with China’s largest search engine company Baidu, aims to become a program that can further promote tourism destinations in Indonesia, he added.

The fast growing number of Chinese tourists to Indonesia has positive impact on Indonesia. For example, the need increases for guides who understand the Chinese language. Therefore, a potential cooperation area is the training of tour guides and other tourism businesses, said Ukus Kuswara.

He also hoped that China and Indonesia could cooperate in tourism investment. As Indonesia is accelerating the development of 10 new Bali destinations, investment in public facilities such as highways, flight access, water and electricity is much needed.

The Indonesian government has recently issued a visa-free policy for 169 countries, including China.

Tourism is a major foreign exchange earner and contributor to Indonesia’s national GDP, as well as a big creator of employment opportunities.