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National Tourism Target Remains at 5.5. Million

At Opening of 4th Kuta Karnival Tourism Official Calls for More Events and Underlines Continuing Commitment to Target of 5.5 million Foreign Visitors in 2006.

(9/25/2006) In comments made at the formal opening of the Kuta Karnival on Sunday, September 17, 2006, a ranking Indonesian tourism official reiterated the need for continuous tourism promotion and more international-scale events in order to attract foreign visitors to Bali.

Speaking of Targets

Firmansyah, a member of the Expert Staff of the Minister of Culture and Tourism, told the Indonesian language BisnisBali that the national target of 5.5 million visitors to Indonesia in the current year remains firm.

In 2005 the government failed to reach its tourism target of 5 million, achieving only 4.8 million following the sudden downturn in business resulting from the October 2006 terror attack in Bali. Bali's stated target of 1.6 million visitors in 2005 was similarly thwarted, reaching only 1.38 million foreign visitors.

Wishing to stem the increasing number of his fellow countrymen choosing to travel abroad on holiday each year, Firmansyah said "we hope Indonesians will not holiday abroad and, instead, just take their vacations domestically."

A Celebration of Life

The tourism expert's comments were made at the official opening of the 4th Annual Kuta Karnival which adopted "A Celebration of Life" as its theme.

The opening of the event saw the release of 200 baby green turtles into the surf of Kuta and a festival of kites involving 1709 kites that filled the skies overt the popular beach side destination in Bali.

Supatra Karang, Chairman of the Kuta Karnival reflected the general spirit of organizers and participants of the event which filled the nine-days from September 16-24 with 22 distinct sub-events when he told the press, "how beautiful are the differences that comprise the world in which we live." Karang praised the 4th Annual Kuta Karnival as a facilitator of Bali's promotion, a source of community-building among the people of Kuta and Bali as a whole, and as a force for peace.