Riska Rahman, Jakarta – The government has lowered this year's revenue target for the tourist industry from US$20 billion to US$17.6 billion.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said on Monday that the lower projection was based on last year's low forex earnings, which, according to Bank Indonesia, amounted to $15.6 billion, lower than the government's target of $17 billion.
"Last year's natural disasters saw us miss our forex earnings target. So we're setting a rather conservative target this year" Arief told the press after attending a coordination meeting with BI and the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister in Jakarta.
He acknowledged disaster threats might still loom over the country's tourist industry this year but was upbeat that the target could be surpassed, because the government had prepared a set of strategies to increase revenue.
Despite the projected lower earnings, BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said the target for foreign tourist arrivals remained at 20 million this year.
Perry said he knew that the government had some strategies to accelerate tourist arrivals, including the construction of tourist infrastructure, introducing more tourist attractions and improving the quality of destinations.
He went on to say that the government was also aggressively promoting tourism online and encouraging investment in the sector. In anticipating further disasters that may hit tourist destinations, he added, the government had developed crisis management procedures. (bbn)