Holy days for the Archipelago

Indonesia saw a 10.23 percent growth in revenue from the tourism sector last year, with the number of foreign holidaymakers up 9.2 percent, as the competitiveness of the sector has improved, a minister said here on Monday.

Indonesian Tourism Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said that the Southeast Asia’s largest economy chalked up 10.05 billion U.S. dollars in earnings from the sector, and a total of 8.8 million foreign visitors came to the archipelago country in 2013.

“Hence, the total contribution of the sector to the GDP touched 3.8 percent,” Mari said at the Sapta Pesona building. The upbeat reports bode well for the competitiveness of the sector, she said.

Based on the report of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Mari said, Indonesia’s competitiveness in the sector scaled up by four places to rank the 70th worldwide at present, from the 74th in 2011. “Indonesia’s competitiveness rises in terms of natural resources and prices,” she said.

Compared with other ASEAN nations, the minister, nevertheless, said that Indonesia’s competitiveness was still lower than Singapore, which was ranked the 10th, Malaysia, the 34th, and Thailand, the 43rd.

In December alone, the number of foreign visitors to Indonesia rose by 12.22 percent year on year to a record 860,700, after increasing 16.7 percent to about 807,400 in the previous month, the national statistic bureau has said.

In 2012, the country reported 8.04 million foreign holidaymakers.