TOURISM and Creative Economy Minister, Sandiaga Uno has expressed optimism that international tourist arrivals in 2024 would exceed the target of 14.3 million and surpass 16.1 million.

“Even though the target that has been announced is 14.3 million at the upper limit, I encourage my team to be able to exceed the pre-pandemic figure of 16.1 million. That is the highest record,” he told the press here on Thursday (03/21), 2024.

Sandiaga explained that achieving that figure is possible given that Indonesia recorded 11.7 million international tourist arrivals in 2023.

He noted that Indonesia concluded the 2024 General Elections smoothly and peacefully. This, he said, has been one of the reasons behind the relatively good increase in the number of foreign tourist arrivals in the country.

“Thank God, the tourism sector has revived and the slowdown that we feared did not occur…I just checked the data, the (number of tourist) arrivals to Jakarta and Bali increased. Indonesia has a strong selling power to attract international communities to the country,” he said.

He remarked that we are grateful that we have tourism products that are quality and have sustainability aspects. Thus, there is a high interest in green tourism, nature-based tourism, and cultural tourism. Earlier on February 26, 2024, Uno set the target for circulation of money in the tourism sector at IDR3000 trillion (around US$191.064 billion) for this year, with the target range for domestic tourist trips determined at 1.25 billion to 1.5 billion.

Meanwhile, the transactions of creative economy products are targeted to reach IDR1,187 billion (around US$75.59 million). To reach those targets, adaptation, collaboration, and innovation measures are needed.

He underscored the importance of breakthroughs from regional governments — district and city governments — to encourage the growth of the tourism and creative economy sectors.

He then listed some steps to achieve this, including developing and improving the quality of tourist attractions, curating quality regional events, developing travel patterns that cover tourist destinations, and promoting regional tourism on a massive scale. [antaranews/photo special]