"The number of foreign tourists arriving from the United States continues to increase. In the past two years, the arrivals increased by about 10 percent," Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said here on Monday (Tuesday in Indonesia).
Even the United States was affected by economic crisis in 2012, the number of tourists from that country arriving in Indonesia increased by about 10 percent, she said on the sidelines of the Tournament of Roses here.
Data at the tourism and creative economy ministry indicated that the number of foreign tourists from the United States visiting Indonesia in 2012 was recorded at 173,798, up 9.95 percent from 158,077 in 2011.
Therefore, the US market is very potential for the Indonesian tourism, she said. "We hope that the Tournament of Roses we are attending this year will bring Indonesia to the eyes of the US public."
She said that the US tourists arriving in Indonesia were expected to contribute about six percent to the total number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia in 2013.
The total number of foreign tourists arriving in Indonesia is expected to reach 8 million based on the target while the foreign tourist arrival target in 2013 is set at 9 million.
Indonesian Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangetu also said that Indonesia is pinning its hope for a 10 percent foreign tourist arrivals on Asia in 2013.
The minister said that Indonesia also pinned hope for tourism growth on the Asian region
"We are pinning our hope for tourism growth on the Asian region. During a crisis time, people would prefer to travel to nearer regions," she said.
Therefore, Mari was optimistic that the tourism sector would grew next year because the global economy was predicted to grew better.
Moreover, the minister said, countries in the Asian region were not affected by serious impacts of the debt crisis in Europe.
"We are optimistic that foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia in 2013 would increase although the United States and Europe would still experience economic slow-down," the minister said.
She said that the tourism sector and arrivals of foreign tourists in 2012 increased by five percent even though the European Union and the United States were hit by debt crisis.
"The Indonesian tourism growth (in 2012) was still above global growth at about 3-4 percent," Mari said.