London (ANTARA News) - The Tourism Ministry is eyeing the millennial market at London`s World Travel Market (WTM) by establishing some 100 tourist destinations to serve as photo spots and be showcased on social media platforms, including Instagram.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya told Antara, here on Tuesday, that so far, only few countries are really eyeing the millennial tourist market, whereas the market share of such class of tourists was quite large, reaching some 50 percent of the total tourists.

According to Yahya, millennial tourists are aware of the need to be recognized through beautiful photographs that they upload on their Instagram accounts. At present, the number of active Instagram users reaches more than 400 million every month.

Yahya remarked that the ministry will prepare attractions or tourism events to draw more millennial tourists.

"Are the existing events in line with the millennial generation`s needs and styles," the minister stated, adding that the main characteristic of the millennial generation is their active presence in cyberspace.

Yahya remarked that the Ministry of Tourism will increase tourism promotion by utilizing digital media, building a broad digital tourism network to encourage online businesses, and significantly using social media in all markets.

He noted that in 2016, some 49 percent of the tourists visiting Indonesia belonged to the millennium generation and were in the age group of 35 years and under, and this figure had continued to grow.

"Hence, we use the digital tourism approach to promote Indonesian tourism in the country and abroad to reach the millennial generation," the minister noted.

He said the World Travel and Tourism Council declared that Indonesia`s tourism sector ranked ninth in the world and that the country had the fastest growth in tourism in Southeast Asia.

The Telegraph places Indonesia among the 20 fastest growing countries in the tourism sector, with a growth of 22 percent in 2017, thus being four times higher than the regional growth of seven percent and global growth at 6.4 percent. In Indonesia, the tourism sector is most prominent among other industries.

Meanwhile, according to the World Economy Forum, Indonesia`s Competitiveness Index also showed a significant growth, with an increase of eight points, from 50 in 2015 to 42 in 2017.

The tourism sector`s contribution to state revenues was recorded at US$15 billion in 2017, higher than $12.2 million in 2015 and $13.6 billion in 2016.

The number of foreign tourist visits to Indonesia also increased significantly, from 9.7 million in 2015 to 11.5 million and 14 million in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

As of September 2018, the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia had increased by 11.81 percent as compared to that in the same period last year.

"We estimate that the number of tourists will reach 17 million by the end of 2018. We think it is not difficult to reach the target of 20 million tourists by 2019," the minister affirmed.

President Joko Widodo had earlier stated that tourism was one of the leading sectors in Indonesia, so all ministries and institutions support the development of this sector.

In addition, the government prioritizes and makes tourism the main pillar of the country`s economic growth, Yahya stated.

Reporting by Zeynita Gibbons
Editing by Libertina, Sri Haryati

Reporter: ANTARA
Editor: Bustanuddin
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