Manama (ANTARA News)- The Indonesian Tourism Ministry is intensifying promotion of Indonesian tourist destinations in five Gulf countries, namely Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman.
The five countries were potential to send tourists to Indonesia, Rita Sofia Abdul Haris, head of the tourism travel and introduction to the markets of Europe, the Middle East, America, and Africa, said here, Sunday.
Indonesia had carried out tourism promotion to the Middle East countries since long time ago, but the promotion was stopped in 2011 due to budget shortage.
"In 2017, we resume the promotion," she said, adding that Bahrain is quite potential tourism market and is located near Saudi, therefore many Saudis often visit Bahrain.
By holding a tourism promotion event in Bahrain, Indonesia does not only target the people of Bahrain, but also Saudis and other foreigners in Bahrain.
Saudi tourists are big spenders, and a Saudi tourist could spend up to US$2,300 per visit, compared to other foreign tourists such as from Malaysia which is US$500 per visit per person, she remarked.
Indonesian Ambassador to Bahrain Nur Syahrir Rajardjo said that currently the number of Bahrain tourists to Indonesia is quite small, but is increasing.
In 2016, 1,641 people visited Indonesia, and during the January-October 2017, it increased to 2,470.
Of the 1.5 million population of Bahrain, 40 percent are indigenous people of Bahrain, and 60 percent are expatriates, the ambassador said.
reported by Arief Mujayatno
Editor: Heru Purwanto