"This represented an increase from the same period and from the second half of last year. Therefore, hopefully the target of 17 million visits this year could be reached," Assistant Deputy for Market Development of the tourism Ministry Muh Ricky Fauziyani said here on Monday.
The foreign tourists were interested not only in the natural beauty of the country but also in the variety of cultures of the country.
"The majority of the tourists are from China, Malaysia and Singapore," Muh. Ricky said.
He said 90 percent of the foreign tourists visiting Indonesia came by air via the International airport Ngurah Rai of Bali, Soekarno Hatta of Jakarta, and Hang Nadim of Batam.
The tourism sector is expected to be one of the largest foreign exchange earners of the country.
In 2017, the country drew over 14 million foreign visitors, an increase of more than 2 million from the previous year. This rapid increase in visitors, and the billions of dollars in foreign currency flowing with them, expected to continue this year .
In 2015 the Ministry of Tourism set a goal of 20 million foreign visitors by 2019. At the time, with numbers hovering around 9 million, this appeared to be an optimistic target but the most recent data suggests they are on pace to achieve it or come very close.
Reporting by Abdul Azis Senong
Editing by A Saragih