IMO News Service
Indonesia being the most populous Muslim-majority country in the world, is aiming to secure top spot on the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI), as part of an effort to achieve the foreign tourist arrival target of 20 million this year, reported The Jakarta Post.
Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya was quoted as saying that Indonesia is looking forward to see a 42 percent growth of ‘halal’ tourism in 2019.
The country expects to welcome 5 million foreign tourists this year from 3.5 million in 2018 and 1.95 million in 2017, Yahya said while speaking to the prominent Indonesian daily newspaper.
Yahya said that it is important that the country’s designated halal tourist destinations are Muslim-friendly in order to reach this ambitious target.
Anang Sutono, Head of the ministry’s halal tourism development, said that Indonesia had great potential to see an increase in the arrival of Muslim tourists.
“In 2017, with the arrival of 1.95 million Muslim tourists, 15 percent growth from the previous year, we managed to obtain foreign exchange of Rp 27 trillion [US$1.43 billion],” said Anang.
The GMTI projected the number of Muslim tourists to reach 158 million in 2026.
Earlier, the Indonesia Muslim Travel Index (IMTI) 2019 decided 10 major halal tourist destinations — Aceh, Riau and Riau Islands, West Sumatra, Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, Lombok and South Sulawesi.