Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Conference to focus on plan to revamp 15 tourist destinations

The Culture and Tourism Ministry is planning to host a national conference that will convene industry stakeholders to discuss the implementation of the Destination Management Organization (DMO) concept at 15 tourist destinations across Indonesia.
The concept, in essence, advocates a concerted effort between industry stakeholders — namely the government, institutions, industries, universities and communities — in developing destination areas.
“The conference, to be held from Aug. 5-8 in Jakarta, will be an important event to discuss and share best practices under the DMO concept from all tourism stakeholders in Indonesia and overseas,” Winarno Sudjas, the secretary to the tourism destination development directorate general, said Wednesday in Jakarta.
The government had selected the 15 destinations in March this year, and plans to develop the destinations based on the DMO concept from 2010-2014, before developing other destinations.
“The result of the conference is expected to help accelerate the development of the 15 destinations in Indonesia over the next five years,” Winarno said.
The destinations include Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Pangandaran in West Java, Komodo Island-Kelimutu-Flores in East Nusa Tenggara and Bunaken in North Sulawesi.
“We will only focus on Lake Toba and Pangandaran this year,” Firmansyah said.
“Five more destinations, namely Komodo Island, Rinjani, Bali, Bunaken and Jakarta will be developed next year,” he said.
Winarno said the ministry had also encouraged foreign and domestic investors to develop businesses in the tourism sector, such as hotels, restaurants and resort areas.
He also said the government would allocate an annual budget of Rp 1 billion (US$110,000) toward the development one destinations.
Tourism development director general Firmansyah Rahim said besides working to increase the number of tourists visiting Indonesia, the DMO concept aimed to generate more profits in local communities, businesses and central and local governments.
“The concept will increase the incomes of both local and central governments,” he said.
“It should also provide equal benefits to all stakeholders,” Firmansyah said.
Besides providing benefits to businesses and local communities, the DMO concept also requires stakeholders to maintain the sustainability of selected destinations.
“Stakeholders should maintain the attractiveness of destinations by preventing too many tourists from visiting them, which could potentially damage some areas,” he said.
The conference, Winarno said, would be attended by representatives of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), travel agents, hotel and airline industries, and resort developers.
The ministry reported that Indonesia’s revenue from the tourism sector had increased from $4.44 billion in 2006 to $5.34 billion in 2007 and then to $7.37 billion in 2008. The government has targeted to reach $7 billion this year after income from the tourism sector dropped to $6.5 billion in 2009.

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