Indonesia says tourism not hit by campaign over death sentences

Wed May 6, 2015 9:41am EDT
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By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - The number of Australian visitors to Indonesia rose in March and the island nation’s tourism industry has seen no impact from a Boycott Bali protest over death sentences passed on two Australian drug traffickers, a government official said.

Nia Niscaya, director of international tourism promotion at the Minister of Tourism, said however that figures for April, the month when the executions of a total of eight drug traffickers were actually carried out, were not yet available.

Death penalty opponents launched the Boycott Bali protests after the traffickers, arrested in Bali, were condemned.

Visitors from Australia, with has deep commercial and political ties with its neighbor, rose 6.6 percent to 84,400 in March, according to data from Indonesia’s tourism ministry.

This increase showed the boycott had had no impact on Indonesia’s tourism sector, Niscaya told Reuters. Figures for April were not yet available, she said.

Australia is Indonesia’s third biggest source market for foreign visitors, behind Singapore and Malaysia.

Tourism represents a small, but growing part of Indonesia’s economy, generating receipts of about $9.85 billion a year, while total gross domestic product was $868.3 billion in 2013, according to World Bank data.