Indonesia's tourism industry has been experiencing a significant increase in international arrivals, with 2.24 million foreign travelers arriving in the first quarter of 2023. This marks a surge of 508.87 percent from the same period in 2022 when only 369,180 international tourists visited the country. This boost is a promising indication that Indonesia is on track to achieve its target of welcoming 8.5 million foreign visitors throughout 2023.
Margo Yuwono, head of the National Statistics Agency (BPS), expressed that the data shows a continuous rise in foreign tourists visiting Indonesia since last year. However, the country has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. In March 2023, Indonesia recorded a 15.39 percent month-to-month increase, with 809,960 foreign tourists visiting the country. This figure represented a 470.37 percent rise from the same month in 2022.
Malaysians comprised the largest share of foreign vacationers in March, accounting for 15.39 percent of visitors with 124,620 tourists. Singaporean tourists followed with 13.74 percent, while Australians made up 11.87 percent of visitors.
Margo reported that the average stay for foreign tourists in Indonesia was 9.82 days, with ASEAN tourists staying for only 4.71 days on average, while European tourists spent an average of 20.11 days in the country. Russians had the longest average stay of 40.97 days, while Hong Kong tourists had the shortest stay of only 2.27 days.
Star hotels recorded a 46.26 percent occupancy rate in March, with guests staying for an average of 1.67 nights. Non-star hotels had a 21.26 percent occupancy rate.
The Indonesian government had initially aimed to attract 7.4 million foreign tourists in 2023 but raised the target to 8.5 million due to the recent surge in international arrivals.
In addition to international arrivals, domestic travel in Indonesia is also increasing. BPS data showed that domestic tourists made 734.86 million trips in 2022, representing a 19.82 percent increase from the previous year. During the Eid season in May 2022, Indonesia booked 78.83 million domestic tourist trips.
During the 2023 Eid holidays, Indonesia's tourism sector generated Rp 335 trillion ($22.8 billion) in economic turnover, exceeding the earlier forecast of Rp 248 trillion. This demonstrates that Indonesia's tourism industry is thriving, with many domestic tourists choosing to spend their Eid holidays in popular destinations such as Malioboro (Yogyakarta), Ciwidey, and Lembang (West Java).
Overall, the rise in international and domestic arrivals indicates that Indonesia's tourism industry is making a steady recovery. The government's decision to raise its target for foreign visitors to 8.5 million is a positive sign for the tourism industry and the country's economy.