Indonesia’s tourism sector will give priority to five major tourism markets to improve service quality and attract foreign tourists amidst the financial and public debt crisis in the US and European countries.

The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is urging Bali and other tourist destinations in Indonesia to focus on five markets, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, China and Japan, in 2013, Secretary of Directorate General for Tourism Marketing Gusti Ngurah Putra was quoted as saying.

The ministry was currently actively promoting new types of tourist destination, such as ecotourism and village tourism, as well as strengthening tourism promotion in other countries.

Indonesia has 16 traditional and emerging tourist markets, including Europe, the US, Russia and India, but this year, Putra said, the ministry was willing to focus on the five big markets, which have made remarkable contributions to its tourism sector.

According to Putra, Malaysia and Singapore have been growing into the largest markets for Indonesia because of their close geographical and cultural distance.

Australia, Bali’s leading market, also had geographical benefit. “Bali is viewed as their second home,” Putra added.

The number of tourists from Japan to Bali fell significantly because of the natural disaster and economic condition, but now it is on an upward trend again, he said.

Bali Tourism Agency said the number of Chinese visitors to the island in 2012 had reached more than 310,900 persons, stunning growth of 31.26 percent from 2011’s figures.-VNA