KUCHING: Indonesia has recorded a slight increase in the number of Malaysian tourists visiting the republic, with Bandung, Bali and Yogyakarta being the top three destinations for Malaysians.
According to Indonesia’s Tourism Ministry deputy director for South East Asia region Eddy Susilo, a total of 1,006,583 tourists from Malaysia went to Indonesia over the period between January and September this year.
“Despite the initial target of two million Malaysian tourists, we are happy with the current number as the year-end should see a boost due to the school holidays.
“We also welcome any effort to boost direct flights to our destinations such as Bandung and Yogyakarta as in terms of facilities, we are ready to receive tourists. Direct flights – from Kuching to Bandung, for example – will further increase the number as tourists from Sarawak will save more and face less hassles during travelling.
“What is needed is for Sarawak to build its reputation as a tourism destination for our side in Indonesia, so that it would be a two-way effort,” he told The Borneo Post on Saturday after the opening of the ‘Wonderful Indonesia’ festival at Sajingin Besar in Aruk, Sambas Province in Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Eddy said the ‘Wonderful Indonesia’ programme had been quite successful in bringing positive impact to the republic via proper branding of its tourism sector.
“We will continue this programme to further boost our tourism sector; getting the tourists to explore all sides of excitement that is Indonesia,” he added.