Tanah Lot Temple in Bali island (Photo: lonelyplanet.com)

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia has set an ambitious target to attract 12 million foreign visits in 2016, mostly from Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.

According to Hari Utoro Dradjat, expert from the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism, the country is set to welcome 1.7 million visitors from China in 2016 and two million in 2019.

The announcement came at a ceremony to welcome about 400 Chinese holiday-makers to the Lunar New Year Festival in Bali island -a popular tourist destination in Indonesia. The island greeted over 1,000 vacationers from China during Lunar New Year holiday season.

Last year, 1.14 million Chinese people travelled to the resort island, hiking 19 percent from the previous year. Bali island welcomed more than 4 million international visitors in 2015, increasing 6 percent from 2014. This year, the Bali Tourism Board expects to lure at least 4.2 million foreign vacationers and 7.8 million domestic visitors.

The Indonesian Government has removed visa requirement for visitors from 47 countries as it seeks to boost the number of tourism. President Joko Widodo expects 20 million foreign arrivals to the country by 2019.-VNA