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Increasing Indonesia's Tourism Targets

Interview with Sapta Nirwandar, Director General of Marketing, Department of Culture and Tourism.

(9/12/2009) The September 10, 2009 edition of the Bali Post interviewed Sapta Nirwandar seeking information on the Indonesian government's intention to increase its target to 7 million foreign visits in 2010. The following is our free translation of that interview.

The Interview: Sapta Nirwandar, Director General of Marketing, Department of Culture and Tourism

Bali Post: What's the target for 2009?

Nirwandar: For this year we have set a goal of 6.4 million foreign tourists, while for next year our plans are to increase this to 7 million.

Bali Post: What's the basis for increasing the target?

Nirwandar: This is based on the positive development of Indonesia's tourism sector. What's more, Indonesia appears to be one of the few countries in the Asia Pacific which are developing positively, such as Malaysia and South Korea. These three countries' tourism industries continue to grow while most other countries report declining numbers.

Bali Post: What does this look like?

Nirwandar: For the first semester of 2009 Malaysia recorded 3.5% growth, while Indonesia achieved 2.5% growth in the same period. These figures prove that factors which have the potential of stunting growth, such a the global financial crisis, bombings and earthquakes - are having insignificant impact on Indonesia's tourism sector.

Bali Post: What about this year's tourism target?

Nirwandar: For this year's target, I remain confident that we achieve or surpass the 6.5 or 6.6 million mark for foreign visitors.

Bali Post: What steps are being taken to support the achievement of these targets?

Nirwandar: Offensively we are undertaking promotion and marketing in a number of key markets recording positive growth in international tourism. We are performing offensive marketing in growing markets such as Australia, China, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, East Europe and the Middle East.

Bali Post: What's the adopted theme for tourism?

Nirwandar: As regards the theme for tourism, we intend to continue this year's theme of "Marine" and "MICE" (meetings, incentive, conferences and exhibitions), with the additional theme of "culture."