Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province will direct efforts to develop seven new tourist destinations in a bid to drive its tourism industry in 2019.
The NTT chapter of the Indonesian Travel Agent Association (Asita) has voiced its support to the provincial administration's plan.
"The policy related to the development of the seven destinations is correct. We, as business players, support it, as the government is undoubtedly responsible for the management of tourist destinations," Abed Frans, the Asita NTT chairman, remarked here on Wednesday.
The new tourist destinations will be Fatumnasi located in South Timor Tengah District, Lamalera in Lembata, Mulut Seribu waters in Rote Ndao District, Pantai Liman located on Semau Isle, Kupang District, Koanara Village in Ende District, Wolwal in Alor District, and Praimadita located in East Sumba District.
The new tourist attractions will be developed through involvement of the local villages to boost the province's rural economy.
He is optimistic that the new destinations would be able to attract domestic and foreign tourists.
Among the current top priority tourist destinations in NTT are Labuan Bajo and the Komodo Dragon National Park, which are located in West Manggarai District, Flores Island.
In the meantime, the Indonesian Tourism Ministry has outlined a target to draw some 20 million foreign tourists in 2019.
During the January-April 2019 period, the country had received a total of 5.12 million foreign tourists, a 3.22 percent increase than 4.96 percent during the corresponding time frame in the previous year.
Of the total foreign tourists recorded in April 2019, Malaysia contributed 256,303 visitors; China, 171,575; Singapore, 149,979; Timor Leste, 106,245; and Australia, 101,999 tourists.