Indonesia expects 10 pct increase in number of Malaysian tourists

Kuala Lumpur (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is targeting an increase of five to 10 percent in the number of Malaysian tourists coming to the country in 2012 from 1.03 million last year.

"We have set three kinds of target for tourists from Malaysia," deputy director for tourism promotion for ASEAN region, Chrismiastutie, when met the Matta Fair Tourism Exhibition here.

She said the optimistic target is set at 1.3 million people, the moderate one is around 1.25 million and the pessimistic is around 1.2 million.

"Seeing the enthusiasm of Malaysian people who came to the Matta Fair we hope the increased target would be achieved," she said.

She said the presence of the Indonesian stand at the fair had been waited for by visitors who wish to know more about Indonesia.

Visitors have inquired about tourism objects in Aceh, Padang, Medan, and other places in Sumatra as well as places in Java such as Bandung, Garut, Solo, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Bali, Lombok and Makassar.

The ministry of tourism and creative industries has provided booths in the stand for tourism businessmen from a number of regions.

"We provided 100 booths and almost all of them are fulfilled. Eight more participants would come soon," she said.

Business meetings have been held among travel agents from the two countries.

"The results are encouraging as 4,500 tour packages have been agreed with a total value of around Rp15.750 billion for objects in Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi," she said.

She said the fair scheduled until Sunday (March 18) is expected to draw more visitors on Sunday as it is a public holiday.

"A bigger number of visitors to the Indonesian stand certainly shows how big is their interest to our country," she said.

Yogyakarta has opened a stand of its own with around tourism businessmen.

The chief of the Yogyakarta chapter of the Association of Indonesia Tours and Travel (Asita), Edwin Ismedi, said his office had participated in the exhibition six times and the results were good as the number of tourists from Malaysia to Yogyakarta is increasing.

In 2011 Malaysian tourists are the four biggest after those from the Netherlands, Japan and France totalling around 17,500 compared to 26,000 from the Netherlands.

"The number is still small compared to that for Bali and Bandung," he said.