TOURISM has been designated as a stand-alone ministry in the Working Cabinet line-up of Indonesia's new president, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), heralding a shift in the mindset towards the industry.
Announced yesterday, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy
will now become the Ministry of Tourism. Arief Yahya, CEO of state-owned
telecommunication company Telekomunasi Indonesia (Telkom), has been
appointed to spearhead the ministry.
Arief graduated from Bandung Institute of Technology where he studied
electronic technology, and obtained a master degree in telematics from
Surrey University, UK. He subsequently built his career at Telkom.
Indonesia’s Cabinet ministers are sworn in today and will conduct
their first meeting right after that, where Jokowi will outline the
tasks and goals of each ministry for the next five years.
Speaking with local broadcast media after the announcement, Arief
said that part of his assignment is to improve and expand Indonesian
tourism marketing, especially through online media.
Tourism has never had a single ministry to itself, starting off as a
directorate general in the 1970s and becoming the Department of Tourism,
Post and Telecommunications in 1983. It changed to the Ministry of
Culture and Tourism in 1998, State Ministry of Tourism and Art in 1999,
and Ministry of Culture and Tourism in again in 2000, before it became
the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy in 2011. (ttgAsia)