Medan, North Sumatra (ANTARA) - Solahuddin Nasution, chairperson of Association of Indonesian Travel Companies (Asita) chapter, North Sumatra, estimated the number of tourist arrivals from China to North Sumatra Province in 2020 to most likely decline following the coronavirus outbreak.

"In 2019, the number of Chinese tourists to North Sumatra reached 8,916, up from 8,654 in 2018. In early 2020, the figure is believed to be going down," Nasution stated here on Wednesday.

The Indonesian government has decided to temporarily suspend flights to and from China from February 5, 2020.

Based on data of the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS), in 2019, the total number of foreign tourists visiting North Sumatra had reached 260,311, a 10.17-percent increase from a year earlier.

"Although the number of Malaysian and Singaporean tourists dropped, in total, the number of tourists visiting North Sumatra in 2019 surged," he stated.

Luas Pingkir Tambunan, duty manager of the Kualanamu Airport, stated that the airport has adhered to government regulations to suspend flights to and from China.

PT Angkasa Pura II, the operator of Kualanamu Airport, also tightened the supervision of foreign tourists entering North Sumatra, he stated.

"Angkasa Pura II Kualanamu Airport has also installed a thermal scanner at the international arrival terminal to detect those suspected to be infected with the coronavirus," he stated. Related news: Indonesian travel agent to return 174 Chinese tourists
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Translator: Evalisa Siregar, Fardah
Editor: Suharto
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