4.59 million Indonesian citizens traveled abroad in 2007, reflecting a 4.14 percent over the previous year. Meanwhile, domestic travel is also flourishing, reports indicate more than 31 million travelers or an increase of 8.74% over last. In spite of visa challenges and the risk of travel delays due to secondary inspection Indonesians have maintained their interest in travel to the U.S. The economic stability and well-developed tourist facilities have made United States one of the destinations Indonesians look to. Indonesian visitors to the United States increased from 51,566 in 2005 to 53,133 in 2006. This increase was most certainly aided by the improvement in the visa application process. The average Indonesian visitor stays in U.S. for two to four weeks and spends approximately $5,000 – $7,000. due to the long distance, to the U.S., 60 percent of expenditures are dedicated to airfare. Indonesians residents travel to the U.S. principally for tourism, business/MICE – Meeting Incentive Conventions Exhibitions, family visit, medical treatment and education. Los Angeles, San Francisco , New York, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Orlando and Washington, DC continue to be the most popular destinations for Indonesians in the U.S.
Indonesia’s travel and tourism services industry is an increasingly important component of Indonesia's national income and foreign exchange earnings. Improved airports, expanded air carrier service from abroad, and the development of hotels, resort areas, and other tourism infrastructure support the industry's growth. Expanding and upgrading the country's general infrastructure, particularly its telecommunications and transportation facilities, are top developmental priorities and integral to the Government of Indonesia’s efforts to support the growth of tourism industry in Indonesia.
According to The Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2006, Indonesia's real GDP grew 5.5% over a year earlier, slightly faster than the average 4.7% per year during 2001-2005. While this growth is moderate in comparison to other Asian countries, it has helped improve disposable incomes and accelerate consumer spending. Consumer expenditure reached US$225.9 billion in 2006, up from US$100.5 billion in 2001. This represents real growth of 26.8% and results in more Indonesians traveling abroad.
By Aulia Rochaini