This proves that Indian tourists are enthusiastic about visiting Riau Islands even with strict travel requirements amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - The Riau Islands provincial government is targeting Indian tourists to visit the region apart from Southeast Asian tourists that have emerged as the largest contributors to the area's foreign tourist visits.

"For a long time, foreign tourists visiting Riau Islands mostly came from Singapore and Malaysia, considering the regions being very close in terms of the geographical location," Head of the Riau Islands Tourism Office Buralimar stated on Monday.

Buralimar noted that India is one of the most potential foreign tourist markets in 2022, especially since the country is still included in the south part of Asia.

In 2021, data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) showed that India stood third in terms of tourists visiting Riau Islands, totaling 33 people; Malaysia, with 238 tourists; and Singapore ranking first, with 423 people.

"This proves that Indian tourists are enthusiastic about visiting Riau Islands even with strict travel requirements amid the COVID-19 pandemic," Buralimar added.

He is also optimistic that the number of visits by Indian tourists, including Southeast Asian tourists to Riau Islands, will increase in future following the implementation of a quarantine-free policy for foreign tourists in Batam, Bintan, and Bali.

Prior to that, several foreign tourists had refused to visit these three areas, as one of the regulations, required three to seven days of quarantine upon their arrival.

"This quarantine-free policy will be a momentum for the tourism industry's recovery after two years due to the pandemic," he remarked.

Buralimar is optimistic that the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy will help tourism actors, especially in Bintan and Batam, to promote tourism in India in an effort to attract more Indian tourists to visit the region.

Apart from India, he also suggested tourism promotion targeting the Korean market that is considered to hold potential, especially owing to a plan to charter flights for Korean tourists to Riau Islands in the near future.

"This year, we project two million foreign tourist visits to the Riau Islands, with various concessions given by the government for them. By God's will, the target can be achieved," he stated.

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Translator: Ogen, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Sri Haryati
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