Indonesia has been aiming to grab more visitors from Southeast Asian nations by taking part in the ongoing Travel Exchange ASEAN Tourism Forum (Travex ATF) held in Singapore, a minister said on Wednesday.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said proximity in terms of culture, customizations and distance among people in the region hold crucial factors in helping the nation’s efforts in attracting regional visitors.
By taking part in the annual event, Indonesia expects to attract over 2.27 million Singaporean visitors this year, higher than 1.5 million which was the largest number of foreign visitors that came to Indonesia last year.
Besides through the Travex ATF event, Indonesia would maximize its efforts in attracting regional visitors through Cross Border Tourism program which was apparently successful last year, the minister said in a statement.
The tourism ministry has scheduled several tourism events in the nation’s border areas with Singapore and Malaysia this year. Among those events were food, cultural and music festivals, he said.
Those events would be held in Bintan, Batam which are close to Singapore and in Aruk and Sambas located in West Kalimantan, Indonesia’s bordering province to Malaysia.
Indonesia sent 40 travel firms from several provinces across the country in the three-day event slated to end on Friday themed “Shaping Our Tourism Journey Together” that marks 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Indonesia has set a target to welcome 15 million foreign visitors, earnings of 200 trillion rupiah (about 14.9 billion U.S. dollars) and 13 percent of contribution to GDP from tourism sector this year.