Manado, N Sulawesi, (ANTARA) - The Sam Ratulangi International Airport's Immigration Office recorded that 110,459 foreign travelers had paid a visit to North Sulawesi Province during the period from January to October this year.

Of the total reported figure, 107,730 of them were outbound travelers looking to spend their time in North Sulawesi, while 1,961 visitors arrived for business trips and 835 others for work, Head of the Manado Immigration Office Friece Sumolang stated.

In conversation with ANTARA in Manado on Sunday, Sumolang noted that the number of foreign tourists visiting North Sulawesi this year rose by 2,087 than 105,583 people last year.

The five biggest contributors to North Sulawesi's foreign tourist arrivals are China, with 98,082 tourists; 2,088 from Germany, 1,721 from Singapore, 1,507 from the United States, and 997 from Australia, he revealed.

Moreover, nations, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, Malaysia, and France, contributed to foreign tourist arrivals for North Sulawesi, Sumolang remarked.

Several other foreign travelers also entered North Sulawesi through Bitung City's seaport, he stated, adding that the number of foreign visitors coming to the province tended to rise owing to intensification of tourism promotion activities and improvement in the quality of services.

North Sulawesi, home to 2.4 million people and situated on the northern Sulawesi Island, or earlier called Celebes, is set to draw more foreign tourists to the province.

One can experience a plethora of natural panoramas, with beaches, hills, volcanic mountains, and scenic plateaus.

The scenic and biodiverse Bunaken Marine National Park, located some 10 kilometers from the provincial capital of Manado, is one of the most popular tourist destinations. The park has been inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization World Heritage List.

North Sulawesi has been named as the Rising Star of Indonesia's tourism sector for being able to drive a 600-percent growth in the last four years. The number of foreign tourists visiting North Sulawesi, especially to Manado and Bitung, had reached 20 thousand in 2015, rising twofolds to 40 thousand in 2016, 80 thousand in 2017, and 120 thousand in 2018.

The tourism industry has become a pillar of the province's economy, as it has contributed significantly to supporting the local economic growth. Hence, the government will work on improving North Sulawesi's infrastructure, comprising facilities at its airport, as part of the efforts to increase foreign tourist visits. Related news: Manado`s airport marks arrival of the 100,000th foreign tourist
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Translator: Jorie MRD, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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