The list of the 10 best countries to visit in 2019 recommended by Lonely Planet is published in the 2019 Best In Travel Book, with a cover illustrating the Ulun Danu Temple in Bali, according to a statement received by Antara here on Thursday.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya views the recommendation of Lonely Planet as being important, as it helps Indonesia achieve its target of 20 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2019.
"This reference is very serious since it can help increase the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia. The reason is clear. Lonely Planet is a guide for foreign tourists," the minister remarked.
Indonesia is the only country in Southeast Asia to be included on the list.
There are several reasons for Lonely Planet including Indonesia on its list of top 10 destinations, with the country`s natural and cultural wealth being the main factor.
"Its wealth stretches from Sabang (in the westernmost part to Merauke (in the easternmost part). Indonesia has more than 17 thousand islands. It consists of diverse cultures, culinary and religious. All offer a myriad of experiences," Lonely Planet wrote in the book.
On the other hand, Lonely Planet also wrote about Indonesia`s condition after last being affected by earthquakes. However, they write that Indonesia is a safe country to visit.
"Recent earthquakes have occurred in parts of Indonesia, which are located in the Ring of Fire. The response to natural disasters is still being carried out, but the country remains safe for tourists," Lonely Planet stated.
The Indonesian government`s policy of offering visa-free entry to nationals of 169 countries in the world was also lauded by Lonely Planet.
"Visa-free access to 169 countries. It`s never been easier to visit this tropical country," Lonely Planet wrote.
Lonely Planet invites people to immediately enjoy a vacation in Indonesia.
"Visit Indonesia now, before all the secrets are exposed!" Lonely Planet said.
Sri Lanka is ranked first on the list, followed by Germany and Zimbabwe in the second and third positions respectively. Meanwhile, in the fourth, fifth, and sixth places are Panama, Kyrgyzstan, and Jordan. Indonesia is ranked seventh, above Belarus, Sao Tome and Principe, and Belize.
According to the minister, the Lonely Planet list affects 3C factors: Confidence, Credibility, and Calibration.
This award will increase the level of public confidence in Indonesia, while high credibility is the most effective marketing method, he stated.
Yahya noted that the list was also beneficial in finding out and measuring Indonesia`s position as compared to other countries.
The minister remarked that the award will make a country more well-known and open up opportunities in future.
"This is because people will tend to choose the winners to become partners, suppliers, or producers," he added.
Reporting by Zeynita Gibbons
Editing by Libertina WA, Andi Abdussalam