PADANG (Sumatra), Feb 6 — Malaysians are recorded as the highest number of people travelling to West Sumatra, the Indonesian province that is famous for its ethnic Minangkabau and Padang cuisine.
According to data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) of West Sumatra, 56,313 foreign tourists visited West Sumatra last year and 75 per cent of them were from Malaysia.
Throughout 2017, 44,201 Malaysians were recorded visiting Padang and Bukit Tinggi in West Sumatra, followed by tourists from Thailand (2,662 people) and France (478 people).
Malaysians are also listed as the main tourists to West Sumatra since 2009.
West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno was quoted on a local online media, saying the National Press Day 2018 (HPN 2018) which will take place in Padang from Feb 7 to Feb 9 would boost the tourism industry in the region.
HPN 2018 will bring together more than 6,000 media practitioners from all over Indonesia, as well as invite a delegation of journalists from Malaysia through the Malaysia-Indonesia Journalists Friendship Alliance (Iswami), led by Bernama general manager Datuk Zulkefli Salleh.
Irwan said the selection of Padang as the host to HPN 2018, was a platform for the region to get wider publicity from the media in promoting West Sumatra as an attractive tourist destination in Indonesia besides Bali, Jakarta and Bandung.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo is scheduled to launch HPN 2018 on February 9.
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak and Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia, Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim were also invited to attend the HPN 2018. — Bernama