Padang, (Antara Sumbar) - Head of West Sumatra Tourism Agency, Oni Yulfian said several airlines need to add direct international flights frequency to the province in order to achieve the target of 100,000 visits from foreign tourists in 2017.
"Those additional flights will support national target in reaching 15 million foreign tourists visit," he said in Padang here, on Wednesday (March 15).
He said there is only one direct international flights to West Sumatra right now, especially from Malaysia and it causes most foreign tourists come from that country.
"One way to increase the number of tourists visits to West Sumatra is increasing direct flights from overseas to this proovince," he affirmed.
West Sumatra provincial government had proposed direct flights from Singapore to Padang, but it has not shown significant progress until now.
Oni said direst international flight is very important because the data will be calculated in tourist arrivals from immigration arrival records in Minangkabau International Airport (BIM).
"If there is no additional direct flights, it is difficult to increase foreign tourists number significantly," he added.
Meanwhile, the data validation of foreign tourists also needs to be considered because the fact shows that foreign tourist arrivals door to West Sumatra not only from BIM, but also pass through the land and sea, include Teluk Bayur.
Deputy Assistant Personal Market Segment Development of Tourism Marketing Archipelago Department, Raseno Arya said Ministry of Tourism is targeting 15 million tourist arrivals nationally in 2017.
"West Sumatra must participate by increasing foreign tourist arrivals up to 100,000 tourists in 2017," he said.
He believed West Sumatra can reach the target because it has such title as world halal tourism destination area.
Besides, Vice Governor of West Sumatra, Nasrul Abit optimistics to reach the target, because last year, the number of foreign tourists visiting by air, sea and land had reached 70,000 people. (cha/ro)
Editor: Vicha Faradika