Tokyo (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is studying a plan to provide incentives to boost international tourist arrivals to the 2024 target of 14.3 million.

"We are currently exploring the strategy. Back then, we provided incentive per person but it must be approved by the Ministry of Finance first," the ministry's director of tourism marketing for Asia-Pacific, Raden Wisnu Sindhutrisno, said at a seminar in Tokyo on Tuesday.

He informed that previously, the incentives were in the form of cuts in plane ticket prices, such as discounts and cashback.

Sindhutrisno said that the strategy was applied earlier, but is no longer being implemented. However, he expressed the hope that discussions on incentives would begin, in addition to exploring other options.

According to him, the effort is needed because other ASEAN countries, such as Thailand and Singapore, are promoting their tourism more intensively with significantly large budgets.

"We already have the capital with the awards that our destinations received...we have everything, nature, culture, for that reason, we are inviting them (tourists) and promoting (Indonesia's tourism)," he said.

The effort is also considered necessary as airline passenger seat occupancy has not reached 100 percent.

For instance, he noted that in 2023, there were 13 China-Indonesia flights per day with a total of 1.2 million seats a year and unoccupied seats pegged at 15–40 percent, meaning the number of passengers was only around 700 thousand out of the maximum capacity.

"If we want to achieve 14 million foreign tourist arrivals this year, we must ready 22 million seats," he said.

At the seminar, flag carrier Garuda Indonesia's general manager for Japan, Sony Syahlan, said that airline passenger seat occupancy on the Narita-Denpasar route was only 85 percent, with 15 percent empty seats.

Syahlan added that Garuda Indonesia is ready to double the frequency of Narita-Denpasar flights if the occupancy can reach 100 percent.

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Translator: Juwita Trisna, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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