Jakarta, 10 Safar 1436/3 December 2014 (MINA) –The Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA) has urged the government to accelerate the country’s infrastructure development to strengthen Indonesia’s tourism position in the ASEAN market ahead of the much anticipated Asean Economic Community (AEC), which comes into effect in 2015.
“We would be better able to develop our tourism sector and reach our targets if we had sufficient infrastructure to support this sector,” ASITA Bali chapter chairman Ketut Ardana said in Bali on Wednesday.
He said infrastructure was a crucial element in tourism given the fact that the government aimed to attract 20 million tourists to Indonesia by 2019, The Jakarta Post quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting on Wednesday.
He also said that infrastructure bottlenecks remained a major problem in the sector, as they had been for many years, causing Indonesia to lag behind its neighboring countries across ASEAN, such as Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
“If we look at tourism from a geological and demographic point of view, Indonesia should have attracted more tourists than its neighbors,” Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI) Bali chapter vice chairman Bagus Sudibya noted.
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recently published data showing that the number of foreign tourist arrivals in the first ten months of the year had risen by 8.71 percent to 7.75 million, compared to 7.13 million in the same period in 2013.
Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, the nation’s main tourist gateway, recorded a 16.77 percent rise in visitors, reaching 3.09 million people during the Jan.–Oct. 2014 period from 2.65 million people in the same period last year.
The government is expecting to attract 9.5 million tourists by the end of 2014.(T/P009/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)