Indonesia Foreign Tourist Arrivals up in First Half 2016

Indonesia tourism experienced a softer-than-expected growth in total international arrivals during the first half year of 2016, a rather disappointing evolution.

Indonesia saw tourist arrivals growing by almost 6% during the first half of 2016 compared to the same period of 2015. The world’s largest archipelago welcomed 4.95 million international travellers from January to June 2016 compared to 4.67 million from January to June 2015. Although arrivals continue to progress, the pace of growth is probably disappointing for the government, as Indonesia is now offering to some 170 countries free visa on arrival. The cancelling of visa requirements for travellers of most foreign countries was supposed to turn into a major boost for tourism.

Last year, Indonesia came short of its target of 10 million international travellers, despite the Ministry’s efforts to distort data. According to official published data from Indonesia National Office of Statistics (Badan Pusat Statistik), the country welcomed last year 9.729 million inbound tourists. With growth of almost 6% this year, Indonesia can expect to see 10.3 to 10.5 million international visitors in 2016. The target of having 20 million of  visitors by 2019 is most probably out of reach as it would then request growth of 23% per year -at least- until 2019.

Bali continues to remain the major engine to growth for the archipelago. During the first half of 2016, the island welcomed 2.232 million international travellers, up by 19.3% over the same period of 2016. Bali represents now over 45% of all arrivals to the country.

Second most dynamic tourist destination is Yogyakarta. Total foreign visitors arrivals at the international airport show a growth of almost 30% from January to June 2016 compared to 2015. Adi Sucipto International Airport recorded 46,114 international arrivals compared to 35,525 during the same period of 2015.

However, other international gateways recorded mediocre results during the first half of the year. Jakarta (Soekarno Hatta International Airport and Tanjung Priok Port) welcomed 1.08 million international travellers, down by 1.7% over the same period of 2015. Batam Island- the third largest international point of entry to Indonesia- experienced a contraction of 4.1% of total arrivals from 2015 to 2016 (733,799 compared to 765,444). Surabaya Juanda International Airport experienced however a slight increase in total foreign arrivals, up by 1.8% over 2015. The airport welcomed 95,850 international travellers compared to 94,129 a year earlier.