Volcanic eruptions reduced foreign tourist arrivals by 23 per cent on average in November last year at the three most-affected airports, according to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).
"From October to November 2015, most airports recorded increases in foreign tourist arrivals except for Lombok International Airport, Ngurah Rai Bali, and Tanjung Balai Karimun Riau Island which recorded 39.6, 28.5 and 2.1 per cent decreases respectively," BPS head Suryamin said in Jakarta on Monday.
Four volcanoes erupted in 2015, namely, Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra, Mount Rinjani in Nusa Tenggara, Mount Barujari in Lombok and Mount Bromo in East Java.
On year-to-date basis (January to November), the number of foreign tourist arrivals reached 8,795,069, a 3.23 per cent increase compared to the 2014 figure. The three busiest airports were Ngurah Rai airport in Bali, Soekarno-Hatta airport in Jakarta and Hang Nadim airport in Batam, which together accounted for 77.6 per cent of arrivals.
Ngurah Rai was still the main entry point for foreign tourists with 3,560,190 arrivals, notching up a five per cent increase from 2014, which saw 3,390,624 arrivals. However, in November 2015 alone, foreign tourist arrivals in Ngurah Rai dropped 10.8 per cent compared with November 2014.
On a yearly basis, the number of foreign tourist arrivals nationwide in November 2015 was down by 29.1 per cent, compared to November 2014, continuing the decline seen in October, which was 32.4 per cent lower than October 2014.
Hang Nadim airport recorded the highest year-to-date arrival increase of 7.3 per cent to 1,375,737 tourists, while Kuala Namu, recorded the largest decrease of 13.1 per cent to 178,652 tourists.
"Regardless of Kuala Namu's extensive infrastructure, tourists were afraid to visit due to the Mount Sinabung eruption," Suryamin said.