Indonesian govt sets gradual increases to attract 20 million tourists - Tourism Indonesia


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Indonesian govt sets gradual increases to attract 20 million tourists

President Joko Widodos administration has set a target of attracting 20 million foreign tourist arrivals in the country by 2019, that is, by the end of his term in office.

To meet this target, since the beginning of his administration in October 2014, he has established policies that led to a progressive increase in foreign tourist arrivals while continuing to promote the country's tourism attractions both at home and abroad.

The government aggressively develops the country's tourism by promoting different activities such as Sail Indonesia, sports tourism, and cultural events, and by developing 10 major tourist destinations in addition to the already popular tourist resorts such as Bali and the Buddhist Temple of Borobudur in Java.

Based on the success of its efforts to intensively develop Indonesia's tourism potential, the government is convinced it will achieve its target of 20 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2019.

Starting its tourism program in 2015, Jokowi's government set a tourist arrival target of 10 million in 2015, up from the 9.4 million arrivals of foreign tourists recorded in 2014.

The number of foreign tourists arriving in 2015 stood at 10,406,759, exceeding the target.

Therefore, the government this year has set its target at 12 million. For 2017, it has announced a target of 15 million. This progressive increase in the target is expected to reach 20 million by 2019.

This years target must be achieved to decisively measure the success of the governments tourism development and promotion initiatives.

Early this year, there was concern over the potential impact on tourism of a bomb attack that took place in the business district center in Jalan Thamrin, Central Jakarta, in January. However, tourism did not appear to be affected by it as foreign tourists continued to arrive. Last July saw the highest number of arrivals, recorded by month, at over one million visitors, or 17.67 percent higher than the 877.6 thousand visitors arriving in the same month in 2015.

Unfortunately, the tourism ministry has not yet released its official data on the number of foreign tourist arrivals in the country from January to November this year. Based on the data on its website, the number of foreign tourist arrivals in the country between January and September 2016 was 8,362,963.

This means the country has to attract a total of 3,637,037 foreign tourists in the remaining months of October, November, and December to meet its target of 12 million arrivals this year.

The number of foreign tourist arrivals in October-December 2015 was 2,699,725. If this figure is added to the 8,362,963 arrivals seen in January-September 2016, then the total is only 11.06 million.

To attract more foreign tourists, the government is developing 10 priority tourist destinations. Tourism Minister Arief Yayha described the 10 destinations as Indonesias "New Bali," saying they had been chosen by President Jokowi this year.

The 10 prioritized tourism destinations in 2016 are Lake Toba (North Sumatra), Belitung (Bangka Belitung), Tanjung Lesung (Banten), the Seribu Islands (Jakarta), Borobudur Temple (Central Java), Mount Bromo (East Java), Mandalika Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara), Komodo Island (East Nusa Tenggara), Wakatobi National Park (Southeast Sulawesi), and Morotai (North Maluku).

Arief said the acceleration of the development of these destinations is aimed at improving the infrastructure and accessibility, particularly through the development of airports, seaports, roads, and energy, to promote it to investors.

"The development of the 10 prioritized tourism destinations is intended to support the effort to achieve the target of 20 million visitors in 2019. It is a strategy to maintain double-digit growth. We have the projection that the 10 destinations will attract additional visits of up to 12 million tourist arrivals," the tourism minister stated. 

To this end, the Ministry of Tourism has set a progressive target from 10 million in 2015 to 12 million in 2016 and 15 million next year.

President Jokowi has asked all ministries to support the ministry of tourism in achieving its target. 

"The 15 million arrivals target is not a small one, but the minister of tourism has set it. I think all ministries should support this program," noted Jokowi when chairing a cabinet plenary meeting at the Presidential Office on Wednesday (Dec 7).

According to the president, the tourism sector will rejuvenate the economy, so all ministries must support it in achieving its target.

For instance, the Ministry of Transportation had relations with airlines and tourism transportation, the president stated.

Everyone must be encouraged so that businesses related to tourism can progress, he noted.

Infrastructure linked to tourism such as airports, roads and other facilities that support the 10 priority tourism destinations must be developed soon, he said.

"The 10 destinations should really be prepared to receive domestic and foreign tourists," asserted Jokowi.

Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said his ministry was supplementing efforts to boost tourism at Lake Toba in North Sumatra Province. "Lake Toba tourism development in Samosir District, North Sumatra, is part of the central governments program and the Ministry of Transportation is involved in making it a success," Sumadi remarked here on Thursday night.

Lake Toba, the largest in Southeast Asia, is both a domestic and international tourist destination, so the Ministry of Transportation is determined to make every effort to help increase the number of tourist arrivals at the lake.

Lake Toba is among 10 leading tourist destinations in Indonesia, apart from Thousand Islands, Tanjung Kelayang, Tanjung Lesung, Borobudur, Mandalika, Wakatobi, Morotai, Labuan Bajo, and Bromo-Tengger-Semeru.

Developing tourism in Lake Toba involves ecotourism, extending Silangit airports runway, and constructing a resort and Medan on Prapat toll road, and hotels.

"Even President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has instructed all ministries to help build and develop the tourist attractions around the world-famous lake," Sumadi stated. (Antara)

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