The National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) estimated the tourist industry may generate up to Rp 4 trillion per year, banking on the richness of the Indonesian archipelago, an official said Thursday.
Bappenas tourism planning coordinator I Dewa Gde Sugihamretha said, “Many islands have tourism potentials and with the recent influx of tourists to the Asia- Pacific region, we might be able to seize an opportunity.”
He lamented that as the world’s largest archipelago, only 8.8 million tourists visited Indonesia every year, dwarfed by neighboring Malaysia’s 25.7 million and Thailand’s 26.6 million.
“We need organizational support from related ministries, especially in the form of law and financing, to expedite tourism development,” he was quoted as saying by Antara.
Indonesia has 17,504 islands, 87 percent of which are uninhabited.
He cited a 2013 report that said tourism in the Asia-Pacific region enjoyed 6.20 percent growth per year, higher than Europe’s 5.40 percent, the US’ 3.20 percent and Africa’s 5.40 percent, thanks to the region’s 248 million visitors, generating total revenue of up to US$359 million.