Indonesia has revised down revenue target in tourism sector this year to 17.6 billion U.S. dollars from the initial target set at 20 billion dollars due to string of disasters in the first several months this year, Indonesia Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said on Monday, Trend reported citing Xinhua.
"After we recalculated, our revenue projection in tourism sector may reach 17.6 billion U.S. dollars this year. Disasters are unpredictable. That's why we came up with that amount," the minister said on the sidelines of a tourism coordination meeting between government and the central bank here.
The minister, however, said that government's target to receive 20 million foreign tourists this year remained unchanged.
Revision of tourism revenue target was referring to the hampered targets last year following strong earthquakes, tsunami and a plane crash, the minister said.
Those disasters have led to unfulfilled targets as the nation only received 16.1 billion dollars of revenues in tourism sector, lower than 17 million dollars targeted last year, he added.
The disasters also made government missed the target to receive 17 million foreign tourists last year as it only received actual visit of 15.6 million ones.
To achieve targets for this year, government has set strategies, among others by providing more facilities for budget airlines serving flights to Indonesia and making Singapore as a main flight hub to enter Indonesia, he said.
Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that Indonesia would open a new airport in Yogyakarta next month, designated to serve international flights.
Besides that, projects to expand runways in Jakarta and Bali airports are also underway at present to accommodate more flights to Indonesian destinations through those main gates, he added.
Apart from the disasters, Indonesia has positive indicators in economic and several other aspects that make government optimistic to cope with the targets, he added.
Meanwhile, Governor of Indonesian central bank Perry Warjiyo said that tourism sector apparently has turned to a major driver to the nation's economy.
It has seized top ranks of Indonesia's forex gainers besides palm oil and coal commodities in the last few years.
Should government is able to achieve the 17.6 billion dollars target, Perry said tourism will become the second largest forex contributor to the country after palm oil commodity this year.
Source: TREND News Agency