Indonesia welcomed 15.8m foreign tourists, despite natural disasters

Indonesia witnesses a total of 15.81 million foreign tourist footfalls during the year 2018, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS). Though it could not achieve the government’s target of attracting 17 million tourists, the figure depicts a 12.58 per cent growth in tourist arrivals from 2017.

Thara and Goutham in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

“We saw a significant increase in December, particularly during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holiday, when the number of visitors jumped to 1.41 million, or up by 21.43 per cent month-to-month,” said BPS head Suharyanto  at the BPS headquarter in Jakarta.

Suharyanto pointed out Indonesian tourism took a severe blow last year because of a string of devastating natural disasters across the country, such as Mount Agung’s eruption in Bali, earthquakes in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, the earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Central Sulawesi and another tsunami in Tangung Lesung, Banten.

Bintan Island

“Those disasters sparked questions among foreign tourists about whether it’s safe to travel to Indonesia,” he said.

In 2019, the government targets to welcome 20 million tourists.