The Ministry of Tourism in Indonesia is planning to improve the tourism potential of 10 new destinations through its initiative- ‘Beyond Bali’. Under this initiative, top 10 priority destinations have been earmarked for accelerated development as ‘New Bali’ destinations. These destination include Lake Toba, Tanjung Kelayang, Tanjung Lesung, Seribu Islands, the Borobudur, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru cluster, Mandalika, Labuan Bajo, Wakatobi and Morotai, informed Saut Siringoringo, Consul General of Republic of Indonesia, Mumbai. According to official figures, during January-May 2017, as many as 183,558 Indians visited Indonesia, recording an increase of 20.72 per cent against the same period in 2016. India ranked sixth in terms of international tourist arrival in Indonesia with a growth of 28.42 per cent in 2016 over 2015. In terms of visitors to the island of Bali, India stood at fifth position in the same period with an increase in tourist inflow by 57.61 per cent. Of the 376,802 Indian tourists who visited Indonesia in 2016, Bali alone attracted 186,638 tourists.
“Bali is an iconic destination in Indonesia occupying 60 per cent of tourist inflow to the country. Ministry of Tourism is determined to develop other destinations too under ‘Beyond Bali’ initiative. The results have already started to show as 12 million people visited the country in 2016. Our aim is to make it to 20 million visitors by 2019,” said Siringoringo. He informed that currently tourism stands in the fourth position in terms of contribution to the GDP of Indonesia which the destination is hoping to make the highest contributor by 2025-2030. “Countries like Malaysia are attracting one million Indians per year. We have realised the market potential of Indian tourists and improving air connectivity is our top concern,” he added.