The Jakarta Post
A couple stands in front of the gigantic Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue in Bali. (Shutterstock/File)
Tourists from the Middle East are said to spend more money when traveling to Indonesia compared to other countries.
"Travel spending of Middle Eastern tourists is higher [compared to Asian and European visitors] despite being lower in arrival numbers," said halal tourism acceleration and development head Riyanto Sofyan in Jakarta on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com.
According to the Tourism Ministry's data, foreign tourists from Middle Eastern countries spent an average of US$1,750 per visit/person, with those hailing from United Arab Emirates spending $1,500 on average. Meanwhile, the average travel spending of visitors from Asian countries is $1,200. "Middle Eastern tourists mostly enjoy shopping, natural and cultural attractions, the beach and sightseeing while in Indonesia. Many also travel to the Puncak area in West Java," said Riyanto.
The government is currently targeting the halal tourism market, particularly for countries in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait. "Around 600,000 Middle Eastern tourists traveled to Thailand and over 400,000 visited Malaysia. Meanwhile, Indonesia welcomed around 200,000 of them," Riyanto added.
The potential of halal tourism is high due to the many airlines offering flights from the Middle East to Indonesia, including Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. Tourism Minister Arief Yahya previously stated that this particular market was highly significant since of the 6.8 billion of people in the world, around 1.6 billion are Muslim of which 60 percent are under the age of 30. (kes)