Herman, Jakarta – Indonesia looks set to miss its target of 18 million international arrivals this year after attracting only 13.62 million foreign visitors between January and October, government data released on Monday showed.
On a more positive note, the number of foreign tourists coming into the country has been at least consistent since Joko Widodo took over as president in 2014.
According to the monthly international visits data published by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), the number of foreign tourists so far this year rose by a puny 2.85 percent from 13.25 million in January-October last year.
BPS chairman Suhariyanto said most of them (8.25 million) arrived by planes, 3.47 million by ships and 1.9 million took the land route.
"It seems a lot more need to be done to attract more foreign visitors to Indonesia," Suhariyanto told a press conference in his office in Central Jakarta.
In October, 1.35 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia, up by 4.86 percent from 1.29 million arrivals in the same month last year. But the figure showed a 3.28 percent decline since September.
During the January-October period, tourists from Malaysia made up the biggest share of international arrivals, with 2.58 million visitors or 18.94 percent, followed by tourists from China (13.01 percent), Singapore (11.38 percent), Australia (8.42 percent) and Timor Leste (7.48 percent).
Analysts have said a lack of major international events and the continuing global economic downturn were the main contributors to the slower growth in international visitors.
The annual number has been growing steadily albeit at a slow pace, from 9.44 million in 2014 to 15.81 million last year. The government had already revised down the target for this year from 20 million international arrivals previously.