Jakarta — Indonesia is on track to reach its target of attracting 15 million foreign tourists this year as recent data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) revealed a positive trend of more than a 9 percent increase in arrivals in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the corresponding period last year. “This is a great beginning in our efforts to reach 15 million foreign tourist this year,” Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said. Data from BPS and Tourism Ministry showed an upward trend of tourists arriving from Russia, China, Oman and India. The Tourism Ministry’s marketing development deputy, I Gde Pitana, said most travelers from Russia choose Bali as their favorite destination in the archipelago. The Tourism Ministry is working on organizing more events at cross-border areas in the country. We are aiming to attract more cross borders travelers,” Pitana said. The ministry organized several cross border events in April alone, including the Wonderful Indonesia Music Festival in Batam to the Sanggau Forward and Beyond parade in West Kalimantan. According to Pitana, international tourists from cross border areas are attracted to events featuring music or other artistic performances. “Tourists from neighboring countries have contributed significantly to the increase of foreign arrivals. In 2015, they contributed to a 3.6 percent,” Pitana said.