The government will focus on attracting big-spender Middle Eastern tourists to Indonesia using the momentum of Arab King Salman bin Abdulaziz visit to on March 2017. During his visit, King Salman will bring along an entourage of 1,500 people to have a holiday in Bali.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said that the Arab King’s large number of entourage is expected to help promote Indonesia’s tourism to Middle Eastern people. The number of Middle Eastern tourist arrivals in Indonesia is relatively low compared to the neighboring countries.
On average, only 150,000 Middle Eastern tourist visited Indonesia each year, whereas Malaysia has 300,000, while Thailand has 600,000.
According to Minister Arief, an average Middle Eastern tourist spends USD1,750 to USD2,000 everytime they visit Indonesia. The figure is 46 to 67 percent higher compared to the average spending of tourists from other countries, which reaches up to an average of USD1,200 per visit.
Therefore, Arief has set a target of 300,000 Middle Eastern tourist visits per year.
“It will boost foreign exchange reserves from tourism. We have a big opportunity to beat Malaysia, for example, to 300,000 [arrivals] a year, relatively easy,” Arief said.