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6.5M foreign tourists expected to visit Indonesia

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A total of 6.5 million foreign tourists are expected to visit Indonesia this year, a Tourism and Culture Ministry official said.

“I am convinced that the figure could be achieved,” I Gde Pitana, director for overseas promotion of the ministry said here on Tuesday.

The number of foreign tourist arrivals up to September is 4.6 million. Thus, Indonesia still have to attract another 1.9 billion in the remaining three months to achieve the projected 6.5 million.

Pitana said that the trend in the past years was that foreign tourist arrivals increased drastically in the November and December period. Tourists usually flocked to the country towards the end of the the year.

“Usually, the number of foreign tourist arrivals increases in December so that the target is usually is met in the runup to the closing of the year,” Pitana said.

A total of 4.619 million foreign tourists have made a visit to Indonesia since January up to September 2009, or an increase of 1.07 percent compared with the same period a year earlier.

Based on the BPS data, the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia in the first eight months of 2009 rose 1.38 percent to 4.13 million from the same period last year. More than 4.06 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia in the January-August 2008 period.

The Indonesian tourist resort island of Bali took the lead with 1.53 million tourist arrivals, a 13.38 percent increase compared to the same period last year when the figure was 1.35 million.

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