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Indonesia tries to tempt back visitors

A high level delegation from Indonesia outlines the country’s attractions, and highlights measures to control SARS and boost security.

A delegation from Indonesia is keen to show Arabian Travel market visitors that not only is the country a safe place to visit, but also a healthy one.

Udin Saifuddin, Indonesia's deputy minister for marketing and international relations, said yesterday that stringent quarantine procedures have kept the country free of SARS and that firm steps have been taken to increase security and bring the perpetrators of the Bali bombing to justice. 15 people suspected of involvement in the incident have recently been arrested, he said, and several accused perpetrators go on trial in May.

Saifuddin outlined the country’s many attractions, including lush tropical rain forest, unspoilt diving sites and sandy beaches. The country’s hotels and resorts, he claimed, are considered some of the best in the world. “We love you. We welcome you. Please come to Indonesia,” he said.

Indonesia expects tourist arrivals to number 4.5 million in 2003, down from 5 million in 2002, and for tourism revenues to reach $4.8 billion. In 2001, tourism contributed 9% of the country’s GDP and 12 million people were employed directly and indirectly in the sector.

In order to try to kickstart the industry’s recovery, Indonesia will maintain its presence at shows like ATM and target emerging markets such as Eastern Europe, China and the Middle East.

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