Indonesia's Ministry of Culture and Tourism will not be revising its ambitious 7.7 million target for foreign visitors in 2011 despite predictions from many quarters that Japanese arrivals to Indonesia will be negatively impacted for at least six months following the cataclysmic earthquake and tsunami that devastated northern Japan.
Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, told the press just five days after the Japanese natural disaster that he remains optimistic foreign tourist arrivals will remain strong, increasing 10% to 7.7 million in 2011. Said Wacik, "there is no revision because the tourists will come from other places and will continue to grow." The Minister also reaffirmed his belief that Japanese arrivals will rebound after a pause of 6 months.
Wacik said that Japanese produce an average of 400,000 visitors each year for Indonesia. He predicted the recent disaster would only depress Japanese arrivals by 10%.
Bali by the Numbers - the regular analysis of arrival numbers published by Balidiscovery.com, shows that Japanese arrivals to Bali declined 22.85% in 2010 totaling 246,465. January 2011 arrival figures from Japan, covering a period before the March 11th disaster, show tourism arrivals from Japan were in still in a continual decline. January arrivals were down 13.14% month-on-month at 16,748.
The Minister also dismissed the possibility that several letter bombs recently found in Jakarta will affect tourism arrivals. Wacik said terrorist bombs were not exclusive to Indonesia. He said that Bali suffered an instant drop in arrivals after the Bali bombings, but he was confident that tourist have now become largely immune to such news.
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