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Chinese become the No.1 inbound market for Indonesia

06/11/2014| 4:47:34 PM|

Chinese travellers are taking over Australians to Indonesia, showing a major shift for Indonesian tourism. The country welcomes 11% more tourists during the first four months of the year, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.

JAKARTA - The third largest inbound market to Indonesia is now China, which took over since the start of the year, Australia, traditionally always in the top three largest sources of tourists for the archipelago. Chinese from the Mainland are now just behind Singaporeans and Malaysians. The change in ranking was unveiled on Monday by the outgoing Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu. While total foreign arrivals increased by an impressive 11% between January and April, arrivals from China rocketed. The increase reached 30.4% during the first four months of 2014, or 324,344. This follows an increase of 9.3% in 2013. Last year, Chinese travellers reached an all-time high of 750,000 in Indonesia. The strong growth is due to growing air capacities with many new direct flights launched last year by Chinese carriers such as Hainan Air, Southern China Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.

Arrivals from Singapore reached 463,924 during the same period, 413,504 for Malaysian arrivals while total arrivals from Australia reached 316,122. Total foreign arrivals was slightly over 2.9 million during the first four months of this year. 

“We saw encouraging growth in the number of Chinese tourists over the past years. China outpaced Japanese tourists two years ago and now they’ve outpaced Australia,” told Mrs. Pangestu to Indonesian reporters.

According to the Minister, Chine tourists to Indonesia are also boosting niche markets activities. Indonesia is for example an increasingly popular destination for individual divers or for honeymooners –particularly to Bali.

The Indonesian ministry of tourism launched last year a Chinese traveller-targeted website, in Mandarin language. The website includes details on destinations for both groups and individuals. The Minister is due to increase its marketing activities and promotion programs with new initiatives being coordinated with provincial tourism offices. 

Despite the increasing number of tourists, the China Tourism Academy recently reported that Chinese tourists considered Indonesia to be one of the less satisfying destinations for holiday makers due to lack of efficient transport infrastructure. 

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TAGS: Indonesian tourism | destination
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