JAKARTA, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia promoted tourism in eastern region by launching a tour festival in Maluku province on Wednesday, aiming at attracting more tourists to visit the far-flung region that would eventually boost the economy in the region and the nation as well.
The launching of Bupolo tour festival in Mauluku's Buru regency was highly expected to contribute to the nation's efforts in attracting 12 million foreign tourist visit this year initially targeted by the government.
Tourism Ministry Secretary Ukus Kuswara said that tourism sector in the country has been vibrant and lucrative in the last few years, contributed 10 percent to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) last year.
Growths in the tourism sector were recorded at 4.8 and 6.9 percent in the last two years respectively, higher than the growths in other sectors in the corresponding years, Ukus said.
"Tourism sector has created 9.8 million jobs or 8.4 percent from national figure," Ukus said in his remarks to launch the Bupolo tour festival, referring to the achievement made by the sector.
According to Ukus, tourism sector now has contributed 9.3 percent to national earnings, following the nation's largest earner sectors of oil and gas, coals and palm oil.
Indonesia has set a target to welcome 20 million foreign tourist visits, earns more than 24 billion U.S. dollars from tourism sector by 2019.
Maluku province was among Indonesia's top 10 diving tour destinations along with Bali, Lombok, Manado, Bunaken, Lembeh, Togean, Alor, Raja Ampat and Derawan.
The Bupolo festival with various local cultural events to be presented, will be held from October 8 to 12 in Namlea, Maluku province's Buru regency with pristine white sands coasts.