Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik is asking Parliament to double the tourism promotion budget from Rp. 90 billion (approximately US$10 million) to Rp. 180 billion (approximately US$20 million).
According to Minister Wacik, if the additional funding wins legislative approval it will be used to increase tourism visits from under-performing Middle Eastern and Chinese markets.
Somewhat surprising to local tourism circles is what appears to be the Government's view that the European and U.S. markets are sufficiently "matured" and are operating at optimal levels, and therefore require minimal promotional support. Bali's arrival statistics, however, suggest that both European and American arrivals, while improving over time, are still lagging badly behind arrival totals from these markets achieved only 4-5 years ago.
Minister Wacik has projected for current tourism arrivals to double by 2009, reaching 10 million visitors and generating US$10 billion in foreign exchange earnings.
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