(MENAFN - Arab News) The Consulate General of Indonesia, in coordination with the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, organized a two-day Indonesian tourism exhibition at Aziz Mall in Jeddah.
Nia Niscaya, director of international tourism promotion of the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and Indonesian Consul Cahyono Rustam opened the show.
It is a good chance for Saudi families and children to discover more about the world's largest Muslim country, especially about tourism, civilization, and cultural heritage of Indonesia, and meet with a number of Indonesian travel and tourism agencies, said A. Fauzy Chusny, information officer at Indonesia Information and Cultural Affairs.
Brochures on Indonesian traditional clothing, food, and tourism were distributed. Eleven Indonesian travel and tourism agencies introduced their services and special offers to attract Saudi tourists.
In addition, tourism meetings were conducted recently in Makkah and Jeddah where the Kingdom's travel operators had one-to-one discussion with their Indonesian counterparts.
With more than 17,500 islands, Indonesia has many natural tourist attractions as the world's largest archipelago.
"We want to have more visitors from Saudi Arabia because most of them are Saudi nationals. In spite of the world financial crisis, Indonesia since the beginning of 2012 has been enjoying a robust economic growth with foreign tourists increasingly visiting Indonesia. The Middle East has remained our main market for the past 5 years," said Niscaya, Quoting the center of data and information of the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, she said 15,114 Saudi tourists toured Indonesia during the first two months of 2012. The figure is higher compared to same period of 2011, which registered 11,094 visitors," she added.
The Central Statistic Agency (BPS) states that on a cumulative basis for 2011, as many as 7.65 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia, a 9.24 percent improvement over 2010, which is considered the highest record of the past 10 years. The number is expected to climb to 8 million in 2012.
"In 2010, tourist arrivals from the Middle East - a majority of them from Saudi Arabia - reached 144,661. The figure is estimated to rise to 175,000 this year, especially due to the situation created by Arab Spring in some parts of the Middle East," said Niscaya.
"Tourism makes a big contribution to the Indonesian economy and it is a significant source of foreign exchange revenue. The government estimates that in 2011 foreign tourists brought 8.6 billion to the country, a figure 13.16 percent higher than the total for 2010. It is expected to increase further in years to come," she added.