Secretary of Ministry of Tourism Ukus Kuswara gives interview to Xinhuanet on Oct. 21, 2016. He talked about the development of tourism in Indonesia and prospect of cooperation in tourism between China and Indonesia. (Xinhuanet/Chen Yante)
Indonesia is keen to attract more Chinese tourists, with the government adopting new measures to facilitate the process, said Ukus Kuswara, Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia.
In an interview recently with Xinhuanet, the official said tourists from China to Indonesia has reached significant growth, reaching 1.12 million people in 2015. In July and August 2016, the number of Chinese tourists in Indonesia consecutively top the list. "We hope that the number could hit 1.7 million in 2016", he said.
To achieve this, the government pushed forward a number of new measures. For example, Indonesia will open direct flights between the major cities of China and the major tourist destinations in Indonesia. Some Chinese provinces have opened direct flights to Bali, and in the future flights to other destinations can be expected, he said.
The Indonesian government is also improving marketing and promotion of cooperation with China. The "go digital" program, hand in hand with China's largest searching engine company Baidu, aims to create a program further promoting tourism destinations in Indonesia, he added.
The fast growing number of Chinese tourists to Indonesia has positive impact on Indonesia. For example, the need for guides who understand the Chinese language becomes higher. Therefore, a potential cooperation area is the training for tour guides and other tourism businesses, said Ukus Kuswara.
He also hoped that China and Indonesia could cooperate in tourism investment. As Indonesia is accelerating the development of 10 new Bali destinations, investment in public facilities such as highways, flight access, water and electricity is much needed.
The Indonesian government has recently issued a visa-free policy for 169 countries, including China.
Tourism is a major foreign exchange earner and contributor to Indonesia's national GDP, as well as a big creator of employment opportunities.