Indonesia tops G20 in Tourism Growth

Rising interest in Indonesia as a tourist destination and a move from an agriculture to service-based economy has helped the country record the largest economic growth in the tourism sector of all G20 countries.

That’s according to the latest figures in the World Travel & Tourism Council’s 2014 Economic Impact Research report, released Wednesday.

In 2013, Indonesia’s travel and tourism sector grew by 8.4 percent, spurred by the 8.7 million visitors to the country.In spending, that translates to USD $10.28 billion across categories such as business, leisure and transport, and a growth in international visitor spending at 15 percent and 7 percent in domestic growth.

“Indonesia is expanding its economy rapidly and, as a result, the burgeoning middle class is travelling for business and leisure,” said David Scowsill, President and CEO of WTTC in a statement.

In addition to the shift from an agriculture to service-based economy, Scowsill also points out that the devaluation of the Indonesian rupiah against the US dollar is likewise spurring increased international visits to the country, he added.

This year, the travel industry’s contribution to the Indonesian economy is projected to grow a further 8 percent, outperforming the country’s general economy by 2.8 percentage points. Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, comprised of 13,466 islands. Bali, Sumatra and Java are among the country’s most popular travel destinations.