by Yu Qianliang, Abu Hanifah
JAKARTA, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia continues panning out strategies to boost its leading industry tourism, amid difficulties caused by a string of disasters and a fatal air crash.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua in her office on Thursday, Deputy Tourism Minister for Regional II Marketing Development Nia Niscaya said that Indonesia eyes countries with more advanced tourism sector in the region as major market destinations.
Foreigner touring in those countries would hopefully continue trips to Indonesia, said the official.
"We want to offer them a distinctive vacation experience in exploring Indonesia's myriad of natural and cultural richness. It apparently the one and only thing that differs Indonesia from countries around," Nia told Xinhua.
The tourism ministry has opted Singapore as the prime foreign tourist hub in visiting Indonesia with Thailand and Malaysia could serve as the alternative ones, she said.
"That is a the new strategy that we would apply besides continuing the promotion efforts in targeted markets," she added.
With its huge foreign tourist arrival record, Singapore is highly potential for Indonesia to receive extending trip of those tourist through 14 airlines serving flights to Indonesian destinations.
Nia pointed out that connectivity is the highly crucial factor in tourism business as 75 percent of foreign tourist traveling were done with flights.
Nia also said Indonesia would still focusing efforts to seize more tourists from China.
She said the ministry set a target to receive 3.5 million tourists from the Chinese mainland next year.
It was part of Indonesian tourism ministry's program to attract Chinese tourists to spend Chinese New Year holiday slated for February in Bali and other destinations.
"It has good responses as we got more than 2,000 Chinese tourists booked travel packages for the holiday season to Indonesia during the Chinese New Year,"said the official.
She was upbeat to get more Chinese bookings for the holiday season in the upcoming programs in the China's two cities of Shanghai and Xiamen.
Responding to concerns on series of natural disasters and an air crash that occurred in Indonesia in the past several months, the official said that the ministry has set up a tourism crisis center to address safety issues in emergency situation.