Makassar, S Sulawesi, (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Tourism and the Australian Consulate are targeting direct flights between Makassar and Australia, in order to maximize tourist visits to both countries.

"We have planned this and discussed with all parties. It could be direct flights from Makassar to Brisbane, because Makassar is the closest city from Australia," Assistant Deputy for Tourism investment, Ministry of Tourism, Hengky Manurung, stated in Makassar on Tuesday.

He noted that direct flights between cities in Indonesia and those in Australia are very important to improve the economy of the community and state income, especially for tourist visits.

The biggest potential of tourist visit that Indonesia can afford is tourists from the Gold Coast City (Queensland), for which the number of tourists in the year stands at 30 million.

Manurung stated that direct flights from both countries do not have to be between capital cities, such as Jakarta and Sydney only, but also from other routes, such as Makassar and Brisbane or the Gold Coast.

"It may not necessarily be in Jakarta, but there are many other options too. For example, the distance or proximity between cities such as Makassar and Brisbane, for example," he noted.

According to him, the city with the best beach tourist destinations in the world is currently on the Gold Coast, with tourist visits over the past year reaching as many as 30 million or more.

He hopes that the partnership established between Makassar and the Gold Coast will be able to attract at least 3-10 percent of Gold Coast tourists, out of the total number.

"Our target is to attract tourists from the Gold Coast. We also provide an alternative for tourists visiting the Gold Coast. At least 3 percent out of the 30 million is good enough," he pointed out.

Reporting by Muh. Hasanuddin, Eliswan Azly

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Suharto
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