"Chinese tourists have changed much in segment . Previously their spending averaged only US$700-US$800 each per visit , but now they have become bigger spenders," Vincent Jemadu, Director of Great China Promotion of the Tourism Ministry said.
Vincent said the best seller among Indonesian tour package in China is one for five days including flights.
He said averagely, 200,000 Chinese visit Indonesia per month.
The Tourism Ministry has set a target for visits by Chinese tourists at 2.6 million this year . In the first 8 months of the year, there were already 1.5 million visits by Chinese tourists to Indonesia.
"We are optimistic the target of 2.6 million visits would be achieved this year," he said.
Around 40 percent of the Chinese tourists to the country flew in directly to Bali, 30 percent entered the country via Jakarta, and 20 percent via the Riau Islands.
Lately a sharp increase has been recorded in the number of Chinese tourists entering the country via Manado. Around 10,000 Chinese tourists visited Manado every month on the average especially after the opening of direct flight service between Manado and a number of cities in China served by a number of airlines.
Vincent said Chinese tourists are now the largest number among foreign visitors to the country, replacing Australian tourists and those from Singapore and Malaysia.
In 2016-2017, Chinese were the largest among foreign tourists visiting Indonesia, he said.
He said one factor causing difficulty in drawing more Chinese tourists to the country is limited availability of Mandarin speaking guides in the country.
The government hopes to draw at least 5 million Chinese tourists to Indonesia in 2020. It is only a small number of Chinese outbound tourists per year.
In 2016, there were 135 million Chinese outbound travelers, up 6 percent from 2015. In 2012, China became the world`s top spender in international tourism and has remained so ever since.
Reporting by Adi Lazuardi
Editing by Yoseph Hariyadi