Investor Daily, Jakarta – Indonesia welcomed 2.24 million foreign travelers in the first quarter of 2023, marking a 508.87 percent increase compared to just 369,180 international tourists in the same period the previous year.
Indonesia said that this showed that the country was on track to meet its target of welcoming 8.5 million foreign travelers throughout 2023.
"Judging by the data, the number of foreign tourists [visiting Indonesia] continues to rise since last year. But we have yet to return to the pre-pandemic levels," Margo Yuwono, head of the National Statistics Agency (BPS), told a press briefing in Jakarta on Tuesday.
In March alone, Indonesia saw 809,960 foreign tourists. This shows a 15.39 percent month-to-month increase. Foreign tourists traveling to Indonesia also rose 470.37 percent from March 2022 figures.
Malaysians made up 15.39 percent of the foreign vacationers Indonesia had attracted in March. The close neighbor brought 124,620 tourists into Indonesia. Followed by Singaporean tourists (13.74 percent) and Australians (11.87 percent).
According to Margo, the average foreign tourists stay in Indonesia for 9.82 days. ASEAN tourists usually stay for only 4.71 days, compared to Europeans who would spend 20.11 days.
"Nationality-wise, Russians would stay the longest in Indonesia, with their length of stay reaching 40.97 days. The average Hong Kong tourist only spends 2.27 days in Indonesia, the shortest length of stay compared to the others," Margo said.
The occupancy rate of star hotels in March reached 46.26 percent, with guests normally staying for 1.67 nights. Non-star hotels saw a 21.26 percent occupancy rate in March.
Indonesia initially aimed for 7.4 million foreign tourists in 2023. But the government decided to raise the target to 8.5 million foreign travelers.
Domestic travel and Eid holidays
Domestic travel is also on the rise, although BPS data so far has only updated the statistics for 2022. Last year, domestic tourists made 734.86 million trips, up by 19.82 percent from 2021 numbers. The Eid season fell in May last year, during which Indonesia booked 78.83 million domestic tourist trips.
According to the Tourism Ministry, Indonesia's tourism sector generated Rp 335 trillion ($22.8 billion) in economic turnover during the 2023 Eid holidays. This is much higher than the earlier forecast of Rp 248 trillion. Many domestic tourists also spent their Eid holidays in Malioboro (Yogyakarta), Ciwidey (West Java), and Lembang (West Java), to name a few.