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Tourism: Itís All About Access

Bolstered by Better Air Access, Indonesian Tourism Arrivals Into Double-Digit Growth

(5/4/2012) Foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia for the first three months of 2012 have increased 10%, buoyed by the growing number of new direct flights serving the Republic. Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu predicted growth when the final tally for Q1 of 2012 based on results already in hand for January-February 2012.

Quoted by Bisnis.com, Minister Pangestu said: “I estimate that growth will be double-digit. Until the end of February the growth is around 11%. The first quarter of 2012 will be above 10%.”

The Minister continued, the increase in direct flights to a number of Indonesian air gateways has a positive correlation to the increase in tourists for the current year. Pangestu pointed to the resumption of flights between Haneda (Japan) and Denpasar (Bali) as likely to help Indonesia remedy declining number of Japanese visitors over the past year.

After the Japanese tsunami, both Garuda Indonesia and Japan Airlines closed flight services between Indonesia and Japan, reflecting a sharp decline in Japanese arrivals to Bali.

The Bali Tourism Service reports that Japanese visitors to Bali dropped drastically over the past four years from 354,817 tourists in 2008 to only 183,284 in 2011.

During the same period Japan has dropped from being the main source of foreign tourist visitors to its current ranking of third place, after Australia and the People’s Republic of China.

The Tourism Minister added: “I hope that the flights between Haneda and Denpasar can reverse the drop in Japanese tourists. I also have heard that there will be direct flights between Manila and Denpasar. The function of increasing flight frequencies is fundamental to increasing tourism numbers.”