Indonesia is a safe state and the negative impact of Thursday’s terrorist attacks in downtown Jakarta to tourism industry is limited, Indonesian tourism minister declared on Friday to Xinhua News Agency.
The Islamic State-linked attacks, which involved deadly bombings and gun blasts, left seven people dead, including one foreigner, and 24 others injured. In his interview to Xinhua, Minister Arief Yahya said that there have been no cancellations for hotel reservation and travel bookings so far in Jakarta and other big cities in the country.
Arief stressed that the attacks only happened in a small part in Jakarta and the situation is fully under control.
” Jakarta and Indonesia at large are safe for foreigners,”he declared, adding however that terrorist attacks in Jakarta could mean a dip in foreign tourist arrivals at the start of the year.
The Indonesian capital city is a mix of business and tourism travel destination. While it acts with Bali as a main entry gate for overseas visitors, it still fails to attract most holiday travellers who prefer Yogyakarta in Central Java and Bali to other tourism destinations in the archipelago.
The country is increasingly relying on the sustainable growth of Chinese visitors, Arief said, adding that the Indonesian tourism ministry is expecting more direct and charter flights during the Chinese New Year holiday in the coming weeks.
The ministry will hold calligraphy and lantern-fly competitions and other Chinese New Year-related events in some cities to attract more Chinese visitors, added Arief Yahya
Official data show that China is Indonesia’s third largest source of foreign tourists after Singapore and Malaysia with around 1.3 million arrivals a year. Indonesia tourism ministry expects the figure to rise to 2 million this year. Indonesia has set an ambitious target to attract 12 million foreign tourists in 2016.