In 2017, the number totaled 2.06 million visits and it reflected growing contacts between Indonesian and Chinese people, Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Xiao Qian has said.
"In the past five years, contacts between the two communities have entered a new phase. There are many exchanges either in tourism, education, media, sports and younger generation activities," the ambassador said addressing the opening of a seminar on "Indonesia-China 5 Years of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership" here on Tuesday.
Earlier it was reported that Indonesia was ranked among 10 largest destinations of Chinese tourists in 2017. Indonesia has been aggressive in promoting the country`s tourism wealth hoping to draw more Chinese tourists. The Indonesian government has set a target to draw 2.6 million Chinese tourists in 2018.
Chinese are the largest in number of foreign tourists in the world. According to statistics from the China National Tourism Administration, 131 million Chinese tourists traveled overseas in 2017, an increase of 7 percent from the previous year.
Indonesia, which is seeking to make its tourist industry one of the biggest earners of foreign exchange, hopes to lure in a significant number of the Chinese travelers.
Ambassador Xiao Qian said relations between the peoples of Indonesia and China have to be allowed to grow to contribute to closer relations between the two largest Asia Pacific rim countries.
"We have to continue to be consistent in expanding and deepen exchanges between the two peoples in various fields including in media, religions, younger generations activities, sports and tourism to strengthen public support for the bilateral relations between the two countries," he said.
Five years earlier, Indonesian and Chinese leaders agreed to change comprehensive partnership between the two countries into strategic comprehensive relations. Since the change in the status, relations between Indonesia and China have made much progress, he said.
Reporting by Aria Cindyara, A Saragih