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The 7 Million Arrival Target Just Got Bigger.

Culture and Tourism Minister Admits that Hitting 7 Million Foreign Visitor Target for 2007 has become Problematic.

(7/14/2007) Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, has reluctantly admitted that a current plague of problems confronting national tourism make it increasingly difficult for him to deliver on his pledge to generate 7 million foreign visitors for the year 2007.

Despite the added challenges posed by the EU blacklisting of Indonesian registered aircraft and rekindled negative travel advisories from Australia, Jero Wacik has called on all components of the Indonesian travel industry to continue in their efforts to hit this year's target for foreign visitors.

In comments made at a ceremony in Bali to mark the 60th anniversary of Indonesian cooperative movement, Wacik said: "We must all continue to strive (to hit the 7 million visitor target), making a contribution in accordance with our respective position and assigned responsibilities. We in the government will also continue with our best efforts."

Wacik confirmed to the press that he has held urgent discussions with Indonesia's Minister of Transportation urging him not to wait until the next safety audit cycle of September to clarify the safety situation of Indonesian aviation to the EU. "There's no reason to wait until September, that would be too late," explained Minister Wacik.

As regards negative travel advisories from Bali's second largest inbound market of Australia, Wacik hope that any downturn in business would be minimal and that a planned visit to Indonesian in late July by Australian Prime Minister John Howard would help persuade Australia's leader and his people that Indonesia is safe to visit.