Bisnis.com quoted well known tourism observer Wuryastuti Sunario as saying she is pessimistic that the official national tourism target of 7 million visitors for 2008 can be achieved, bearing in mind that growth rates in national tourism reached only 11.43% during the first six months of the year.
Wuryastuti told Bisnis.com, "data from the National Bureau of Statistics (BPS) show a cumulative improvement for January-July of 11.43%, but in order to achieve the target (7 million) we need a 27% growth rate every month."
During the first six months of 2008 and the launching of Visit Indonesia Year 2008, the number of national tourism visitors hit 3,469,968, an increase of only +11.04% over the 3,114,097 visitors recorded in the first semester of 2007.
According to Wuryastuti, it will be well nigh impossible to achieve 7 million tourists in 2008, given the fact that only 4 months remain in the current year and the targeted goals for each month have yet to be achieved. Holding out hope against hope, Wuryastuti said that there's always a chance of a sudden boost in visitors, perhaps aided by the current unsettled political situation in Thailand which may divert potential visitors from Thailand to Bali.
Wuryastuti complained of the poor communication efforts, both on an international and national level, by the Government. This is due to the failure of the Government to effectively counter negative international news which discourages visitors from coming to Indonesia.
The retired tourism official turned tourism observer, said that efforts to achieve national tourism targets have lost their momentum through the delegation of tourism matters to the more than 450 autonomous regions in the Country. Meanwhile, the autonomous regions view tourism narrowly, seeing tourism only as a local source of income and taxation.
The former Director of the Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board said: "If the success of tourism is only measured by the number of foreign tourists, then it is obvious that the regions are unprepared to handle their own autonomy. The destination of Lake Toba (North Sumatra) is under the authority of 8 separate regions, a problem also found at Gunung Bromo (East Java) and the Dieng Plateau (Central Java) where various regions compete for their tax revenues."
[Is Indonesia’s National Tourism Target Achievable?]
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