"According to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS), of the government's target of attracting 17 million foreign tourists, we only welcomed 15.8 million tourists," expert staff to the Tourism Minister for multicultural sector Esthy Reko Astuty said here on Monday.
She admitted difficulties in reaching the target were due to a number of natural disasters that hit the country last year, including the eruption of Mount Agung in the resort island of Bali.
"However, we make maximum efforts to meet the target through our programs," she added.
The ministry, she continued, has prepared some strategies to reach the target set in the government's medium-term development plans.
"Among the efforts we have undertaken include the development of cross border tourism and a low cost terminal," she remarked.
Meanwhile, the ministry has surpassed the target to attract domestic tourists by 2019.
"For domestic tourist visits, of the target to attract 270 million tourists by 2019, up to now we have already seen 273 million (domestic tourists)," she said.
The ministry would continue to promote tourism destinations in regions. "Through events organized by local governments, we will attract more tourists," Astuty said.