Padang (ANTARA News) - Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik has expressed optimism the target of the Visit Indonesia Year (VIY ) 2008 program to attract seven million foreign tourists will be achieved.
He said he was optimistic as the number of tourist arrivals in the January-March period this year represented an increase of 15 percent from the figure on the same period last year.
Speaking at the opening of a "Sumatera International Travel Fair" (SITF) and congress of the South East Tour Guide Association (SEATGA) here Saturday, the minister noted the incease happened despite the floods that hit many regions, including Jakarta and its Soekarno-Hatta international airport, in January, shortly after the VIY 2008 program was launched. It also occurred at a time which in the past was usually a low season for tourism.
If the 15-percent increase also happened for every remaining month in 2008, the number of tourist arrivals for the whole year would be 6.5 million. "The balance of 400,000 tourist arrivals is expected to be covered by the many conventions that have already taken place, are still underway or will be held in Indonesia," he said.
"Therefore, we all have to be optimistic the target of seven million tourist arrivals will be reached and we have not worked and hoped in vain," he said. (*)