JAKARTA, Indonesia, As influx of Chinese tourists to Indonesia continued to grow in recent years, Indonesia is keen to expand cooperation in tourism with China, to facilitate Chinese tourists and create attractive tour packages for them, an Indonesia minister said.

Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya, said that, Indonesia had received 1.8 million Chinese tourists, as of Oct, and the figure was expected to reach more than two million, in 2017.

"The growth was 45 percent, compared to their arrival figure in the corresponding period last year," the minister said, citing the influx of Chinese tourists to Indonesia during the period.

He added that, Chinese tourists contributed the most to Indonesia's foreign tourist figure, at present, surpassing Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, which used to dominate the figure previously.

He added that, his ministry has set target to receive five million Chinese tourists, or 25 percent, from the 20 million foreign tourists target by 2019.

Conveying Indonesia's efforts to attract more tourists from China, the minister said, his ministry has actively made promotions, to attract more Chinese to spend the Spring Festival holiday in Indonesia.

"We already asked for assistance from the Chinese consulate general office in Denpasar, to teach Mandarin to our guides, and sent students to China, to learn the language and how to serve Chinese tourists," he added.

The minister also expected Chinese investors to take part in Indonesia's plan to develop more destinations, and integrated sea transportation system, which will integrate with China's Belt and Road Initiative.

The minister planned to build a tour package in observing China's ancient navy commander, Zheng He, and his voyage throughout Indonesia centuries ago.

"Zheng He is very famous in Indonesia. We can start by developing tourism package of Zheng He," he said.

According to the minister, Zheng visited 10 cities in Indonesia that spanned from Batam to Bali. Conveying his plan, the tour packages can be accommodated through flights, as well as, cruise ships, that start from Batam and end in Bali.


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