Indonesia: China market takes a hit

JAKARTA, 18 December 2018: Indonesia hopes to attract 3.5 million Chinese tourists next year according to the Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya, who was visiting Beijing at the weekend.

This year, the country should close the year with 3 million Chinese tourists.

But the minister is optimistic saying if the situation remains normal the target is within reach.

Troubled by natural disasters earlier this year the country revised the target to around 2.6 million. Travel declined from China in the wake of earthquakes on Lombok Island and an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in central Sulawesi.

Up until October 1.87 million Chinese tourists visited Indonesia, while for 2017 the country welcomed 2.5 million visitors. Based on current trends it is now likely that the  2018 tally will reach 3 million visits.

The minister told Antara News that he was optimistic that a target of 3.5 million Chinese tourist arrivals for 2019 was doable.

“Our weakness is that we do not have many direct flights. Singapore now has 11 direct flight routes to Indonesia, and we will benefit from them,” he told the news agency.  He believes Singapore can be exploited as a gateway for Chinese travellers to connect with direct flights to cities and resorts in Indonesia.

Indonesia’s tourist arrivals reached 14 million in 2017 and the ministry targeted 17 million this year and 20 million in 2019.