Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - The Riau Islands Provincial Tourism Office is optimistic that at least 3 million foreign tourists will visit the area in 2020. The number is above the mid-term regional development plan (RPJMD) target of 2.4 million foreign tourists.

"I believe there could even be up to 3.3 million visits," said the Head of the Riau Islands Tourism Office, Boeralimar in here, Sunday.

The prediction was based on the increasing trend of foreign tourists visiting Riau Islands. Throughout 2019, it was estimated that 2.9 million foreign tourists visited the area.

The provincial government, he continued, planned to revise the target number of foreign tourists in the RPJMD, as it was considered too low.

He further said that the increasing number of foreign tourists visiting Riau Islands was the result of a promotion efforts carried out jointly with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.

"(The increase) is because of the promotions. One of the ways is through events," he said.

In order to further boost the number of foreign tourists visits, he encouraged the city district government to create new tourism destinations, to avoid tourists getting bored and for them to always have more reasons to return to the Riau Islands.

He further said that lack of varying choices can lead to tourists getting bored.

"For example, tourists from Singapore often only go for spa and culinary destinations," he said.

Meanwhile, Head of the Culture and Tourism Office of Batam City, Ardiwinata, said that the city government, together with the private sector, had designed a number of new tourist destinations to boost domestic and foreign tourist visits.

"Among those new ones are the Raja Ali Haji Museum and the Sultan Mahmud Riayat Syah Great Mosque," Ardi said.

He said tourism in Batam is not merely about shopping and the beauty of the island and the beach, but also culture and religion and for that reason, they wanted to highlight mosques and museum tourist destinations.

The Great Mosque of Sultan Mahmud Riayat Syah was inaugurated by Batam Mayor Muhammad Rudi, at the end of 2019. Until now, the mosque that is located in Sagulung has attracted a number of foreign tourists and domestic tourists.

Meanwhile, the Raja Ali Haji Museum, is still in revitalization, and is expected to be completed in 2020.

He is optimistic that with new tourist destinations, the number of tourist visits to Batam will increase.

Related news: Badung targets 6.2 million foreign tourists in 2020

Related news: Riau Islands received 2.5 million foreign tourists in Jan-Nov 2019

Translator: Yuniati Jannatun Naim/Aria Cin
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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