"In September 2017, foreign tourists visiting to West Sumatra reached 4,347, October 2017 rose to 4,826 people," Head of West Sumatra BPS, Sukardi stated in Padang, Tuesday.
According to him, October 2017 visit is still dominated by foreign tourists from Malaysia reaching 3,325 people followed by Australia 205 people, Thailand 57 people, United States 28 people, Chinese 14 people, South 9 people and other countries 1,232 people.
"From January to October 2017, the number of travelers from Malaysia who visited West Sumatra has reached 32,913 people," he said.
Tourist arrivals in October 2017 contributed 0.49 percent of total foreign tourists who visited Indonesia as many as 976,038 people.
He ensured that the recorded numbers were those who entered through immigration at Minangkabau International Airport (BIM) because if previously from Jakarta or Medan, it will be recorded through arrival airport.
While the Association of Travel Companies (Asita) of West Sumatra suggested the provincial government can learn from Malaysia related to the strategy of attracting tourists to visit the area.
"Currently there are direct flights from Padang to Malaysia which is an opportunity but it must be recognized the number of West Sumatra residents who come to Malaysia more than Malaysians who are going to the province," Chairman of West Sumatra Asita, Ian Hanafiah stated.
According to him, Malaysia tourism promotion continuously by forming a special agency and do it maximally.
Then Malaysia is also preparing a variety of infrastructure and facilities that make tourists comfortable.
He acknowledged the existing travel agency in West Sumatra much more comfortable to bring West Sumatra residents to Malaysia than bringing Malaysians to West Sumatra. (cha)
Editor: Vicha Faradika