Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - The Riau Islands province recorded a 22.13 increase in the number of visits by foreign tourists to 1.66 million in the first eight months of the year from the same period last year.

In August alone there were 236,436 visits, or an increase of 31.73 percent from a year earlier, head of the provincial Tourism office Buralimar said here on Thursday.

Buraliamr attributed the increase to intensive promotion launched by the tourism ministry of tourist object in the island province.

"Calendar of tourism events has been prepared long time earlier. The events for 2019 are already known early this year," he cited.

In the January-August period this year the visitors to Riau Islands were dominated by Singaporeans making up 47.40 percent of the total number, followed by Malaysians 11.84 percent, Chinese 10.76 percent, Indians 3.98 percent, South Koreans 3.17 percent and Philippine 2.24 percent.

The occupancy rates of star rated hotels in the province was recorded at 48.62 percent on the average in August , up 2.53 percentage points from the previous month.

"The length of stay of foreign and domestic guests averaged 1.76 days in August , up 0.09 percentage points from July, 2018," Buralim said.

Batam city mayor Muhammad Rudi said the length of stay was too short and the reason could be that the guests found the city not very convenient.

The city administration, therefore, had to improve the condition of infrastructure to make the visitors especially holidaymakers more convenient, the mayor said.

Reporting by Jannatun Naim
Editing by A Saragih

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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