Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Indonesian Chamber of Commerce: intensify development of tourism

The development of the tourism sector must be intensified as it is cheaper than developing the manufacturing field, an official of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) said here on Tuesday.

It also has the comparative advantage of attracting tourists, Deputy Chairman of Kadin Rosan Perkasa Roeslani added.

"The development of industries, especially manufacturing industries, takes a relatively long time and a large budget. However, we already have the requirements for the tourism sector," Roeslani stated.

Several regions already have an advantage of tourist destinations, with supporting infrastructure facilities and their good management the only remaining requirement.

Roeslani pointed out that based on the governments projection, the tourism sector will serve as the main foreign exchange earner in 2019. "Therefore, we need supporting infrastructure facilities for tourism. Developing ports of international standards that can accommodate overseas cruisers is one of them," he affirmed.

According to reports, Indonesia has been selected to host the biggest Asia-Pacific tourism and trade exhibition in 2016, the PATA Travel Mart, which will be organized by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

CEO of PATA Mario Hardy visited Jakarta to discuss the event to be held in 2016 with the PATA Indonesia Chapter. In a meeting on Saturday, Hardy set a target of drawing in one thousand delegations from 60 countries to participate in the PATA Travel Mart.

"Jakarta will host the 39th PATA Travel Mart, while the 38th leg of the event will be held in Bangalore, India, from September 6 to 8," Hardy revealed.

The PATA Travel Mart is the mainstay activity of the association. It is one of the leading trade and travel exhibitions in the Asia-Pacific region. It displays products and services of travel industries in the region.

Earlier, Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya had expressed optimism that foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia will exceed the set target of 10 million and will reach at least the 10.5 million mark.

"Our target of foreign tourist arrivals this year is 10 million, but I am confident it will exceed it by the end of the year because the number of foreign tourist arrivals in six months has reached 500 thousand," Minister Yahya said on Wednesday (June 24).

Furthermore, Vice President Jusuf Kalla has urged for innovations to develop Indonesias tourism destinations. These innovations should be adopted in various regions in the country to attract foreign tourists.

"Tourism is a very easy business because it does not need huge capital injection," Kalla remarked during his address at the Indonesia Attractiveness Awards event on Friday (June 12).

He added that tourism did not require large funding as its main capital, beautiful natural landscapes and peoples hospitable nature, was God-given. (Antara)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Palembang Develops Musi River Tourism To Attract Foreign Tourists

The Ampera Bridge has become the most famous icon of Palembang, which is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia and in the past was the capital of the powerful Sriwijaya Kingdom between 670 and 1375.

Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra Province, however, is currently mulling over a greater icon than just the Ampera Bridge, which was constructed in April 1962 and stretches 1,177 meters in length and 22 meters in width.

The administration of Palembang is set to develop the Musi River tourism on the similar lines as Thailands Chao Phraya River, or even transforming it into "the Venice of Indonesia."

The city will send a team to Thailand to learn about how the fellow ASEAN member state managed to develop and promote Chao Phraya River as a global tourist attraction, Sudirman Teguh, an official of the Palembang administration, said recently.

"We will adopt Thailands methods because both Palembang and Thailand have similar aspects to offer in terms of river tourism," he added.

Palembang city is currently trying to promote Musi River - the longest river in Sumatra stretching over 750 kilometers - as a tourism icon, in cooperation with state-owned enterprise PT Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).

PT ITDC has considerable experience in tourism development and promotional activities, including in Nusa Dua, Bali, and Mandalika, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.

The company will bear the expenses to develop tourism along Musi River. It plans to construct a five-star, 20-storey hotel near the river, which will cost some Rp200 billion .

Musi River is expected to become the first tourist attraction of its kind in Indonesia.

Earlier, Indonesian Tourism Promotion Manager in Singapore Sulaiman Shehdek had urged the Palembang administration to promote an iconic tourist destination in its city.

"Palembang has a lot of tourism potential, including religious sites, authentic culinary specialties, shopping centers, and sports activities. The city could also claim to be the Venice of Indonesia. It is all up to whatever creative ideas the city administration can develop," he remarked recently.

By having an iconic destination to promote tourism, Palembang will be known across the world, particularly in the Asian region, Shehdek affirmed.

The city has hosted a number of international sport events, but the number of visiting tourists is still inconsequential.

Less than one thousand tourists from Singapore visit Palembang annually, despite the existence of direct flights from Singapore and Malaysia, according to the tourism ministry official.

Besides, Palembang shares a historical familiarity with other Asian countries, considering how its population comprises people of numerous races such as Chinese, Arabs and Malay.

In the middle of Musi River, there is a unique isle known as Kemaro Isle, where there is Chinese temple. It honors a legendary love story between a Chinese prince, Tan Bun Ann, and a princess of Palembang, Siti Fatimah.

Moreover, Shehdek suggested that the Palembang administration intensify tourism promotional activities by establishing a board for this purpose.

Some 3 million tourists visit South Sumatra every year. This year, the province has set a target of attracting at least 5 million.

While some 35 percent of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia are attracted to its natural landscapes, 60 percent prefer its culinary specialties, and religious and historical sites, and only 5 percent visit for special events such as festivals and exhibitions.

The Musi River is also known to have numerous species of fish that attract foreign researchers to study them.

There are 221 species of fish in the Musi River, one of which is the famous belida fish that is almost endangered.

South Sumatras waters comprising 11 rivers and 49 creeks, with a total length of 920 kilometers, are recorded as the largest inland waters in Indonesia.

Since March this year, three researchers from Japan in coordination with the Water Fishery Development Center in South Sumatra have been studying the diversity of various fish species.

Spokesman of the Marine and Fishery Office of South Sumatra Province Galamda Israk recently stated that the presence of researchers from Japan in Palembang is a positive response from academics to the establishment of the largest fishery development center in the ASEAN region.

"General Water Fishery Development Center is the only one in the ASEAN region, although it has not yet been opened, as it is still under construction. In future, several other researchers will join the research center," he affirmed.

According to Israk, the fishery development center indirectly increases the fishery potential in South Sumatra, which has inland water areas reaching 2.5 million hectares, including the Musi River and its tributaries, swamps, and lakes.

He said the administration fully supports the programs undertaken by the research and development center by providing an area of 1.6 hectares in Jakabaring.

Moreover, there is also a famous ecotourism attraction in Palembang called Punti Kayu ecotourism forest and recreational park, which is located in the heart of the capital of South Sumatra Province.

Visitors can learn about the various types of flora and fauna found in the urban forest, Antoni of the Punti Kayu ecotourism forest, stated in Palembang, recently.

Outbound activities such as flying fox, elephant rides, and boating are also available in the park, he added.

By paying Rp20 thousand for an entry ticket, the visitors can enjoy the 50-hectare urban forest, which also has a swimming pool and a lake.

Last but not the least, Palembang is also known as the city of "songket," the beautiful gold-thread woven fabric, and delicious "pempek" dumplings made of fish and sago that every visitor should buy. (Antara)

Palembang hotels

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Indonesia, Japan cooperating to conserve Bali`s myna bird

Photo document of Jalak Bali (Leucopsar Rothschildi) at Bali Safari & Marine Park, Gianyar, Bali. (ANTARA/Nyoman Budhiana)
Japans Yokohama city administration and the Indonesian government are cooperating to conserve the Bali starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), locally called jalak or curik, by donating the birds for release at the Bali Barat National Park (TNBB).

"This cooperation will last for three years, from 2015 to 2017," Chairperson of the Association of Curik Bali Preserver (APCB) Tony Sumampau stated here on Thursday.

He affirmed that the cooperation is in its second stage, after it was established three years ago.

Director of Conservation and Biodiversity (KKH) of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Bambang Dahono Aji noted that the success achieved in the conservation of Bali starling can serve as a role model of success for wildlife conservation in Indonesia.

"The success of Bali starling in-situ and ex-situ conservations is a success story of endemic wildlife conservation in Indonesia," he emphasized.

Aji stated that the success of Bali starling conservation is apparent by the increase in the population of these birds, which were previously on the brink of extinction in their natural habitat in TNBB.

"In 2005, the population of Bali starling in the national park was only five, and now, there are more than 100 birds, and at least 40 Bali starlings have even been released in the wild," he rThe Yokohama city administration remains committed to assist in the conservation of Bali starling in their natural habitat.

The Bali starling is a medium-large bird measuring 25 centimeters. It is almost entirely white with a long, drooping crest, black wing-tips and tail tip. It has a yellow bill with blue bare skin around the eyes and legs.

The Bali starlings habitat is restricted to Bali Island. The bird was discovered in 1910, and in 1991, it was designated as the faunal emblem of Bali and is featured on the Indonesia.

Source: Antara

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Singapore to launch halal travel guide book

The Singapore Tourism Board has launched a lawful (Halal) travel guide book for Muslim travelers from Indonesia.

"In connection with the 50th Independence Day, we have compiled a Halal travel guide book for Muslim travelers from Indonesia," Executive Director of the Singapore Tourism Board for Southeast Asia Edward Koh stated here.

Singapore has become one of the worlds best travel destinations, according to the Mastercard Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015.

The criteria in GMTI survey covers a wide range of factors including suitable places for Muslim families, the level of service and availability of facilities for Muslim travelers, good choices for accommodation, the number of tourist arrivals, choice of menu and Halal food, among others.

"We also provide a wide selection of Halal food and facilities, which has helped us become one of the attractive destinations for Muslim tourists," he remarked.

He stated that Singapore offers a wide range of Halal food that has been certified by the Halal Certification Agency.

Director of the Singapore Tourism Board for Indonesia Michele Wooi noted that Singapore has a lot to offer to Muslims tourists, and the compilation of a Halal travel guide book is a testament to this fact.

"Singapore is a friendly place for Muslim travelers and has several sites linked to the history of Islam," Wooi affirmed.

A total of 108 Muslim tourists visit Singapore generating US$145 billion in revenue and accounts for 10 percent of the worlds total tourism economy. (Antara)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Anambas: Asia's Best Tropical Islands

Named Asia's Best Tropical Island by CNN.com in 2013 the Anambas islands are indeed a tropical paradise.  Located in the South China Sea, the Anambas are among Indonesia's northern-most border archipelagos.  

Facing the wide open ocean, the Anambas provide a panoramic view of blue seas and green islands dotted with azure lagoons. Here are excellent dive spots where divers will be amazed at the colorful underwater life, while on land rows of coconut trees protect the soft white sand beaches, where turtles have made the shores of the islands of Keramut and Mangkal their habitat.   

The Anambas are administratively an autonomous  district, part of the province of the Riau Archipelago,  and covers an area of  46,667 sq.kms where its  outer seas are nearly 90percent crossed by foreign vessels. It has only recently become a separate district apart from the neighboring Natuna islands

In all, there are 255 islands in the Anambas cluster where only 26 are inhabited. The district has only some 45,500 population. 97 percent of its territory is sea where the largest islands areSiantan, Palmatak and Jemaja. Capital of the district of Anambas is called Tarempa and lies on the island of Siantan.  

Admire the many lagoons here, especially on the islands of Pantai Selat Rangsang, Pulau Bawah, Pulau Rongkat and Pantai Pulau Penjalin, where islands emerge from the sea as out of nowhere. At low tide the islets grow together by the  connecting sands, creating an inland sea and an outer sea beyond, with lagoons that are paved with white sand and here and there colorful corals. 

All of the islands in the Anambas have fine white beaches which glisten and become even more beautiful as the lagoons fill with aquamarine water through which one can see strange corals and schools of fish darting in the clear water.

How to Get There

If you wish to visit these islands, you must be sure to have plenty of time at your disposal since they lie quite far out in the South China Sea and away from most of the other Indonesian islands.

To reach Anambas by air  you must fly to Tanjung Pinang, capital of the province on the island of BintanGaruda Indonesia, Lion Air and Sriwijaya Air operate daily flights to Tanjung Pinang from Jakarta and other main cities.

From Tanjung Pinang, Nusantara Air Charter flies to Matak Airport in the sub-district of Palmatak. The  48 seater aircraft flies daily costing Rp. 1.2 million for a one way ticket. From Matak airport you must take a speedboat to Tarempa, capital of the Anambas district.  
Alternatively, the Conoco Philip oil company has a Fokker 50 aircraft which is also made available for public use when there are seats open. This is  a plane used to transport the company’s staff and flies Jakarta-Batam-Matak, operating daily except Sundays.

From Singapore, take a ferry to Tanjung Pinang port. Then travel by taxi to the airport to catch your plane.

If you wish to travel by boat,  the MV. VOC Batavia and MV. Seven Star Island serve theTanjungpinang-Letung-Tarempa route vice versa, with tickets costing Rp310,000.- one way. The ferry leaves Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from Tanjung Pinang, with return journey from Tarempa on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

There are other larger ships but these leave intermittently only several times a month.



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