The number surpassed the target set by the provincial government at 2.3 million for 2019, Isdianto, acting governor of Riau Islands, remarked here on Monday.
"The total number of foreign tourists visiting Riau Islands had most likely reached 2.8 million last year. This is owing to the hard work put in by every stakeholder, including those engaged in the tourism industry, military and police personnel, as well as the people of Riau Islands," he noted.
He urged to diversify tourism activities, including by organizing sports tourism activities, to attract more visitors to the province.
The provincial government is currently developing Penyengat Island as an attractive tourist destination.
"Penyengat Island has historical and religious tourism attractions, and it can become a magnet for tourists to visit Riau Islands," he remarked.
Some 14.9 million domestic tourists, constituting 17.37 percent of Indonesia's total tourists, had visited Riau Islands Province from January to November 2019. Riau Islands received the second-largest number of tourists after Bali, at 38.47 percent; followed by Jakarta, 15.21 percent; and other provinces, 28.95 percent, according to Buralimar, head of the Riau Island Tourism Office.
In November 2019, Riau had received 242,268 foreign tourists, chiefly constituting Singaporeans, reaching 47.42 percent; Malaysians, 10.33 percent; Chinese, 10.05 percent; and Indians, 5.29 percent.
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