Foreign tourists to Indonesia plunge nearly 90 percent due to COVID-19 hinh anh 1Tourists visit Melasti Beach in Badung regency, Bali on June 24. (Photo: Antara)

Jakarta (VNA) -
Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on July 1 that Indonesia had welcomed only 163,646 foreign tourist arrivals in May, a drop of 86.9 percent year-on-year, due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the figure represented a 3.1 percent month-on-month increase from 158,718 recorded in April.

BPS head Suhariyanto said the country’s tourism is still being severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic . The government has prepared a strategy to revive tourism, but the recovery will take time because we don’t know when the COVID-19 crisis will end, he said. 

Tourism has been one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, with many tourist destinations empty since March, as countries around the world imposed travel restrictions and the implementation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Indonesia forced people to stay at home. 

Decreasing visits were recorded at almost all points of entry, he said, adding that annual arrival figures at major airports, such as Ngurah Rai (in Denpasar, Bali), Soekarno-Hatta (in Tangerang, Banten) and Juanda (in Surabaya, East Java) international airports, have dropped almost 100 percent.

Increases in arrivals were recorded at only several points of entry, such as Batam, Riau Island, which has become a major point of entry for visitors from Malaysia and Singapore.

Hotels across Indonesia have also recorded prolonged low occupancy rates. BPS’ data show the average occupancy rate of star hotels in May was only 14.45 percent.

From January to May, Indonesia recorded just 2.9 million foreign tourist visits, a 53.56 percent drop from the same period last year./.