Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Mari Elka Pangestu held the Year-End Press Conference of 2011 at Soesilo Sudarman Hall, Sapta Pesona Building, Thursday (12/29). Minister, accompanied by echelon I officials, chairman of associations of tourism and creative economy, and cultural experts, gave explanation and overview of the ministry's performance of the year.
Mari Pangestu explained that during 2011, foreign tourist arrival reached 7.6 million people. The number exceeds the Strategic Plan target of 7.1 million people, and rose 8.5% compared to the number last year. Mari emphasized that the increase also exceeded the growth of the world tourism in 2011 by 4.5%.
During the year, foreign exchange from tourism is reported to reach US$ 8.5 billion, or grew 11.8% compared to last year’s number which was US$ 7.6 billion. The increasing figure is due to the increasing foreign tourists expenditure from US$ 1,085.75 in 2010 to US$ 1,118.26 per person per visit this year.
Domestic tourists expenditure also showed significant increase. In 2010, the average expenditure was Rp 641.76 thousand, and this year, it climbed to Rp 662.68 thousand per person per trip. This means that in the third quarter of the year, domestic tourists expenditure reached Rp 114.64 trillion out of 172.994 million trips, compared to the year 2010 which amounted Rp 150.41 trillion. The growth of tourism sector during the third quarter of 2011 at 6.67% is also marked higher than the national economic growth of 6.52%.
Mari Pangestu stressed the achievement of 2011 should serve as an impetus to prepare ourselves to face the challenging year of 2012. "Despite the bright prospects for tourism in 2012, there is the possibility of global economy turndown we have to anticipate. The government will work hard and cooperate with all stakeholders in order to achieve the target set,"said Mari Pangestu.
Mari targets for 8 million foreign tourists visit in 2012, and yield as much as around US$ 8.96 billion foreign exchange and an addition of Rp171, 5 billion from domestic tourists. She is optimistic about the target because Indonesian tourism sector is resilient to crisis. "During the global economic crisis in 2009, Indonesia's tourism sector continued to grow even though in less significant figure. This shows that our tourism sector is resilient to the crisis. Thus, it is potential as the source of national economic growth,"Mari explained.
In terms of intangible cultural heritage, Mari Pangestu put forward that inventory has begun in 2009, and up to 2010, there has been 1108 cultural products from 33 provinces in Indonesia registered. In addition, for the year 2011, there are as many as 1000 products have been inventoried, making it 2108 in total in 2011. These culture products are the creative economy assets of Indonesia.
In this occassion, Mari also announced the new organizational structure for Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy awaiting for the approval of the President. "The new structure consists of two Directorate General namely for tourism and creative economy. The former comprises of the Directorate General for Tourism Marketing and Directorate General for Tourism Destination Development. The latter comprises of the Directorate General for Arts and Culture Based Creative Economy, and the Directorate General for Media, Design, and Science Based Creative Economy."
Both directorate generals for creative economy will each supervise three directorates and a secretary for directorate general. With the new structure, Mari hoped that culinary as one of the subsectors of creative economy will soar as a tourism attraction and one of the identities of Indonesia in the international world.