COIMBATORE: While island of Bali remaining the most sought after destination in Indonesia, Ministry of Tourism in the archipelago is focusing on improving tourism potential of 10 destinations under the initiative ‘Beyond Bali’, said Saut Siringoringo, Consul General of Indonesia, Mumbai, here on Monday, August 7.
Under this, top 10 priority destinations have been earmarked for accelerated development as ‘New Bali’ destinations. The destinations are Lake Toba, Tanjung Kelayang, Tanjung Lesung, Seribu Islands, the Borobudur, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru cluster, Mandalika, Labuan Bajo, Wakatobi and Morotai.
“Bali is an iconic destination in Indonesia occupying 60 % of tourist inflow to the country. Ministry of Tourism is determined to develop other destinations too under ‘Beyond Bali’ initiative. The results have already seen as 12 million people visited the country in 2016. Our aim is to make it to 20 million visitors by 2019,” said Mr. Siringoringo on the sidelines of a tourism promotion event held here on Monday.
Mr. Siringoringo said that improving air connectivity between India and Indonesia was in the top priority to boost the tourism sector further. While Garuda Indonesia, the national carrier, was operating three flights between Mumbai and Jakarta a week, Indonesia AirAsia was operating daily flights to Mumbai. Batik Air had recently started flights between Chennai and Denpasar, the capital of Bali.
“As of now, tourism stands in the fourth position in terms of contribution to the GDP. Our aim is to make it to the first position by 2025 to 2030. Countries like Malaysia is attracting one million Indians per year. We have realised the market potential of Indian tourists and improving air connectivity is out top concern,” he said.
India ranked sixth in terms of international tourist arrival in Indonesia with the inflow of visitors from the subcontinent to the archipelago witnessing a growth of 28.42 % in 2016 compared to 2015. In terms of visitors to the island of Bali, India stood at fifth position in the same period with an increase in inflow by 57.61 %. Of the 3,76,802 Indian tourists visited Indonesia in 2016, Bali alone attracted 1,86,638 people.