Tourists from the Netherlands and Taiwan contributed significantly to the increase, Syech Suhaimi, head of the North Sumatra Central Statistics Office (BPS), stated here on Monday.
A total of 6,795 Dutch tourist arrivals were recorded in 2019, from 4,439 in the previous year. The number of tourists from Taiwan rose to 3,408 last year, from 3,233 tourists in 2018.
"However, Malaysia is still the largest contributor of tourists in North Sumatra, or 121,700 people," he stated.
This is despite the fact that the visit of Malaysian tourists had decreased in 2019, as compared to 139,878 in 2018.
After Malaysia, most foreign tourists came from Singapore, notably 16,242, although this figure also dropped, from 18,620 in 2018.
Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Travel Companies, or Asita North Sumatra, Solahuddin Nasution, has forecast an increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting North Sumatra in 2020.
The development of various infrastructure and facilities as well as intensified promotion of tourist attractions, particularly Lake Toba, North Sumatra's iconic tourist destination, is expected to yield positive results in 2020.
"However, another concern is a decrease in the number of tourists from China due to the corona virus outbreak," he added. Related news: Taking a closer glimpse at river agrotourism in Banjarmasin
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