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US$5.5 Billion in Tourism Spending Targeted

Government Explores How to Grow Arrivals, Increase Spend and Prolong the Length of Stay of Foreign Tourists.

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The Indonesian Department of Culture and Tourism is hoping that every foreign visitor to Indonesia will spend an average US$1,000 resulting in US$5.5 billion in valuable foreign exchange for Indonesia in 2007.

To achieve this goal, the Secretary General of the Department of Culture and Tourism, Sapta Nirwandar, recently told the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia that the Government is working hard to encourage higher spends and longer lengths of stay for long-haul visitors from Europe and the Middle East.

Pointing to improving arrival statistics nationwide, Sapta is optimistic that a number of important conferences scheduled for the second half of 2007 and improving tourism numbers generally all underline positive developments in Indonesian tourism.

Based on the latest Passenger Exit Surveys (PES) conducted at airports by the Department of Culture and Tourism, the average length of stay (LOS) for tourists in Indonesia has increased from 9.0 days to 9.06 days. While improving, LOS figures are down from the recent past when visitors stayed an average of 10 days or more in Indonesia when on holiday.

The same survey suggests that each foreign tourist visiting Indonesia spends an average of US$105 per day, up slightly from the previously reported level of US$100 per day.

Will We or Won't We?

In order to achieve government targets of US$5.5 billion in foreign exchange from tourism at current levels of spending it will be necessary for Indonesia to achieve 6 million visitors in 2007.

The exit surveys conducted by the Government are based on standard indices established by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. The latest survey showed growing confidence among Indonesian visitors on security issues in Indonesia, but identified frequent areas of complaint as regards general tourism information, money changers and local taxi transportation.

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