Disaster tourism has become more common in Indonesia, where visitors are drawn to sites of earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions to witness the aftermath of catastrophes or simply do some soul-searching.

Jakarata - Indonesia received a prestigious appreciation from China Travel and Leisure media, entitled The Famous Next Travel Destination Award.

The award was received by the ministry's secretary Ukus Kuswara and deputy assistant marketing development for Asia Pacific region Vincensius Jemadu in the 10th Anniversary China Travel and Leisure Award event held in Shanghai, China.

“The award is very meaningful as it was given by Chinese media which increasingly understand about the potentials of the new destinations or next destinations.

“The award gives us more confidence to welcome more visitors from China,” Ukus said in his remarks in the event as quoted by the statement.

Ukus added that the next destination award would be very useful for Indonesia as Indonesia has regarded China as one of the most potential markets in the nation's tourism sector.

As of September, Chinese visitors have lead the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia, surpassing those from Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Japan and South Korea which have been dominating Indonesia's foreign visitors figure in the past, Ukus added. The award was based on tremendous figure of Chinese visitors coming to Indonesia throughout this year that apparently have shifted the domination of visitors from other countries, According to Ukus.

Besides that, the orchestrated effort conducted by Indonesian government to reform the tourism sector was also highly appreciated by the media, Ukus said.

Through reform movement in the sector, Indonesia's related ministries and agencies combine their strategic moves to enhance national tourism sector which has been declared as the nation's core business.

Among the moves were to simplify regulation for cruise ships and yachts to enter into the nation's waters, increasing number of countries included in free visa regime up to 169 at present and digitalizing the management in tourism sector.

To facilitate transport for foreign visitors, Indonesia also intensifies cooperation with foreign authorities related to direct flights from their airports to Indonesia's.

Tourism ministry also initiated 100 000 homestay program for locals residing around tour destination sites so as to create direct positive economy impacts of the tourism sector to the people. Indonesia has targeted 20 million foreign visitors by 2019, or double than 10 million ones it received last year.

The tourism sector is expected to earn more than $24-billion by 2019. To accomplish the target, government is now developing ten new tour destination sites across the archipelago nation, designed to par with resort island of Bali which has been favoured by foreign visitors.

Xinhua