Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism Mr. I Gde Ardika revealed last week (31 October) that he expects tourism to suffer a 20 to 30 percent decline this year, translating into a loss equivalent of US$ 660 million dollars in lost foreign exchange.
Despite the prospect of coming up nearly 1 million visitors short from the originally projected 5.4 million visitors for the year, the Minister is still optimistic for a fast recovery and that a targeted 7 million foreign visitors will be achieved in 2004.
In order to make up for shortfall in current arrivals efforts are underway to increase Asian arrivals and increase domestic travel activity.
Commenting on Bali's continued safety and stability for foreign visitors, the Minister said, "The lack of tourist arrivals is because people are worried about visiting and this is a psychological problem. Because of that, tourists need to come to Bali to see for themselves that Bali is safe."
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