"A decline is still experienced in the number of visits by foreign tourists because the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the tourism sector and its various supporting sectors. Several countries, which are the main markets for foreign tourists to Indonesia, are still on lockdown," BPS Head Suhariyanto stated during a virtual press conference here on Monday.
Countries, comprising Malaysia, China, Singapore, and Australia, are the main markets for foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia.
Indonesia recorded 141.30 thousand foreign tourist arrivals in January 2021, a drop of 14.90 percent, from the figure in December 2020 and plunged sharply to 89.05 percent as compared to the figure recorded in January 2020 before the pandemic struck Indonesia.
Of the total figure, 68 percent arrived by cars, 44.2 percent boarded boats or ships, while a mere 1.7 percent took flights.
"We can understand the sharp decline in the number of tourists arriving by flights, either compared to the previous month or the previous year," Suhariyanto pointed out.
In the meantime, most foreign tourists to Indonesia during the pandemic were from Timor Leste. Foreign tourist arrivals from Timor Leste in January 2021 had reached 54.2 percent. The figure continues to increase as compared to 49.4 percent recorded in December 2020.
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