"Compared with February 2011, the number of tourist arrivals in March 2011 rose 5.28 percent," BPS Chief Rusman Heriawan said here on Monday.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Bali via Ngurah Rai Airport in March increased 5.97 percent to 202.5 thousand from 191.1 thousand in the same month last year, he said.
"Compared to February 2011, the number of tourist arrivals in Bali in March rose slightly by 0.54 percent," he said.
Cumulatively, the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia in the January-March 2011 period reached 1.71 million, a 6.44 percent increase compared to the same period last year, he said.
The increase in the number of tourist arrivals occurred in most of the country`s main gateways, with the highest increase of 73.82 percent recorded at Sepinggan airport in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. This was followed by Husein Sastranegara airport in Bandung, West Java, with 33.22 percent.
"The increase in the number of tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2011 is a good signal. Hopefully, the number will increase in the upcoming months," he said.
He said the room occupancy rates of star-rated hotels in 20 of the country`s 33 provinces in March reached an average of 51.95 percent, up 2.09 points from March 2010 when the figure was 49.86 percent.
"Compared to February 2011, the room occupancy rates in March 2011 rose 0.61 points," he said.
In March, the highest room occupancy rate of 75.07 percent was recorded in Central Sulawesi and the lowest one of 39.79 percent in West Kalimantan.
He said foreign tourists` length of stay in the 20 provinces in March 2011 averaged 2.11 days, down by 0.06 day from March 2010.