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US$ 2 Billion Lost in Foreign Exchange

Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism Estimates Losses Due to Continuing Downturn in Tourism.

(10/14/2001) The Minister of Culture and Tourism for Indonesia, Mr. I Gde Ardika, has estimated that Indonesia will lose US$ 2 billion from the sudden downturn in visitors following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.A..

Speaking in Jakarta on Thursday (October 11), Minister Ardika stated, "the Government targeted 5.4 million tourist arrivals for this year, but some 30 percent or around US$ 1.62 billion have already canceled their trips."

Pointing out that data on the number of cancellations is still incomplete, he related how many potential visitors have been deterred by concerns regarding air safety and security concerns related to the coalition's attack on Afghanistan. According to the Minister, the average tourist who visits Indonesia stays for 10 days and spends an average of over $100 per day.

From January to August, Indonesia earned some $US 2.9 billion in foreign exchange revenues from 2.88 million tourists. Since 1996, tourism has ranked as the third largest source of much needed foreign reserves, after petroleum and textiles.

Last year, Indonesia earned an estimated US$ 5.7 billion from a total foreign arrival base of 5.07 million tourists.