Indonesia is a paradise for golfers."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Tourism is promoting Indonesias premier golfing destinations at the Thailand Golf Expo being held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, Bangkok, on May 12 to 15.

"Indonesia is a paradise for golfers. The golfers can play all year round as the game is not affected by seasonal changes," Tourism Minister Arief Yahya noted in a press statement received here on Friday.

The minister pointed out that the condition of golf courses in Indonesia was better than those in Thailand. The golf courses have a backdrop of mountains, active volcanoes, oceans, lakes, forests, and city skylines.

The minister said 114 courses in the country met international standards.

Assistant Deputy of the Southeast Asian Market Development of the Ministry of Tourism Rizki Handayani stated that the ministry had participated in the event in a bid to boost golf tourism in Indonesia.

The largest international exhibition has become a reference for golf enthusiasts from Thailand and other countries to find alternative golf tourism destinations abroad.

"The market is still very open," Handayani remarked.

Golf tourism in Indonesia has grown in recent years.

Five years ago, golf tourism in Indonesia only attracted some 900 foreign tourists per year. Currently, that number has increased to some three thousand annually.

"For international travelers, the cost of playing golf in Indonesia is quite cheap. Therefore, we are promoting golf tourism in Indonesia," Handayani noted.

At the 2016 Thailand Golf Expo, the ministry facilitated the tourism operators of top golf destinations in Medan, Batam, Bangka Belitung, Jakarta, Bogor, Surabaya, and Bali.

During the four-day event, the Indonesian pavilion has prepared attractive and interactive activities for the visitors, including a variety show of traditional dances.

Earlier, Minister Yahya had stated that the tourism sector was one of the main pillars of the local economy, and by 2019, it was expected to create 13 million jobs, attract 20 million foreign tourists and 275 million domestic tourists, and to raise Indonesias world tourism competitiveness index ranking to the 30th position.

By 2019, the tourism sector is expected to contribute eight percent to the national gross domestic product (GDP), with foreign exchange amounting to Rp240 trillion.

In 2016, the tourism sector is expected to attract 12 million foreign tourists, earning foreign exchange of Rp172 trillion and ensuring 260 million domestic tourist trips, with a collective spending of Rp223.6 trillion.

The contribution of tourism to the national GDP in 2016 is expected to increase by five percent, while creating 11.7 million jobs.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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