Int’l arrivals to Indonesia plunge due to COVID-19 hinh anh 1Passengers are required to pass a thermal scanner as they arrive in Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar, Bali. (Photo:

Jakarta (VNA) - The number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia sharply fell by 64.11 percent year on year to 470,898 in March, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has hindered holidaymakers from traveling, the Indonesian National Agency of Statistics (BPS) announced on May 4.

In the first quarter of 2020, international visitors to Indonesia numbered only 2.61 million, down 30.62 percent compared to the same period in 2019. In March, the occupancy rate of hotels was only 32.24 percent, down 20.64 percent year on year and 16.98 percent month on month. The average length of stay was 1.83 days, up slightly by 0.02 percent.

According to the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), the country's tourism industry lost at least 1.5 billion USD in the first quarter due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the total, about 1.1 billion USD came as a result of cancelations made by tourists from China and the remaining 400 million USD by visitors from other countries.

PHRI Chairman Hariyadi B. Sukamdani said the local tourism industry is yet to benefit much from a 10.3 trillion Rp (more than 710 million USD) tourism stimulus package launched by the Government in February.

Earlier, on April 16, Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama Kusubandio cut  the foreign tourist arrival target in 2020 from 16 million to 5 million due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Revenue from foreign visitors was also revised down by more than half from the 20 billion USD achieved last year./.