The Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia is honored and proud to join ASEAN member countries in Manila on the occasion of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2016 from January 18 to 25.
Indonesia is fully in accord with this year’s ATF theme “One Community for Sustainability,” with its emphasis equally on the growth of each country’s tourism sector together with ensuring that this growth is grounded in responsible, sustainable, and inclusive tourism. This has been Indonesian government policy for many years.
Indonesia tourism industries are more than eager to do business as they will exhibit their offerings at ATF 2016 in Manila. “By 2019, the tourism sector is expected to attract 20 million foreign visitors with 12 percent growth per year,” said Arief Yahya, Indonesia Minister of Tourism.
Minister Yahya further explained, “To start 2016 with a new hope and new spirit, Indonesia has just rejuvenated the new formulation under umbrella branding of “Wonderful Indonesia” on December 30, 2015.
“The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) launched the newest logo and five distinctive selling points of Wonderful Indonesia under five thematic Wonderful Experience:
Sea, mountain, forest, desert, valley, river, beach, cave, snow? Is it possible to have all of these wonders in one country? Yes—in Indonesia—with more than 13,000 islands as the world’s largest archipelago Indonesia has so many options for natural tourism.
Indonesia is famous with its diverse heritage that has been inherited over the centuries.
Some of its even has been established before the 10th century and are officially recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage, such as the magnificent Borobudur temple. Along with Borobudur, people can marvel at the many cultural traditions in Bali, the Island of the Gods, the provinces of Yogyakarta and Central Java, among many others.
Indonesia also offers sensory wonders through local and international culinary, wellness, and all kinds of entertainment options round the clock in the big cities.
Indonesia has several cities that never sleep, the biggest of which are Jakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya. Visitors can experience the best of an energetic city life at a very affordable price.
Indonesia offers different experiences for adventurous travelers: walk around with the Komodo dragon, the giant lizard that has dinosaur ancestors, or explore the caves to see the “heaven light”, or climb the Rinjani mountain to see the blue fire in Ijen crater.”
Under Minister Arief Yahya, the National Assembly (DPR) has been persuaded to triple the Ministry of Tourism’s marketing budget to US$123 million. The MOT will be focusing much of their promotional activities on countries within short- and medium-haul flying distance and with the most potential to increase visitor numbers – ASEAN members, Asia and Pacific countries, and of course China.
Indonesia has also been proactive in simplifying regulations to make it easier for all visitors to come to experience “Wonderful Indonesia” for themselves. Tourism entry visa requirements for 90 countries have been waived in order to offer “free visas.”
Minister Yahya reported, “Actually by the end of December 2015, Indonesia visa free entry countries has skyrocketed from 15 to 174. Now virtually every country in the world can send its citizens to enjoy “Wonderful Indonesia” visa-free that will last up to 30 days. On 21 December, the Indonesian government announced that another 84 countries will be added to the visa free list. These will sum up to 174 countries. As you can imagine, both the Indonesian tourism industry as well as our partners overseas are delighted by this “visa free” policy which encourages more visitors to come at less expense and makes entry hassle-free on arrival. We expect visitor numbers to climb significantly as a result of this policy.”
Indonesia has also issued new regulations for yachts and cruise ships so that there is no need to process the Clearance Approval for Indonesia Territory (CAIT). Thus, it is predicted that the visit by yachts to Indonesia will reach 5,000 yachts in 2019 generating some USD $500 million revenue.
Another breakthrough by the Indonesian government is modifying cabotage regulations. The result is that passengers may both embark and disembark in five major ports in Indonesia, namely: Belawan-Medan (North Sumatera), Tanjung Priok (Jakarta), Tanjung Perak-Surabaya (East Java), Benoa (Bali), Soekarno-Hatta, and Makassar.
Heavy investment is also being made into the transportation and accommodation sectors:
• 24 seaports to be developed or improved including Kuala Tanjung, Pontianak, Bitung, Makassar, Banjarmasin, Kupang and Halmahera.
• 19 new airports are being built within the next four years including airports in North Bintan, Anambas Islands and Toraja.
• There are approximately 80 new hotels in the pipeline to be completed in Jakarta by 2020 with a total of 15,081 rooms.
• In Bali, there are 46 new hotels opening within the next year with a total of 7,320 rooms in all categories.
Taken together, all these investments and promotional activities regionally and globally make the Ministry hopeful that their synergetic effect will enable Indonesia to reach its target goals of 20 million visitors by 2019.
Minister Yahya concluded, “By 2019 we have to gain a doubled number of foreign visitors arrivals in 2014. With the right strategy in marketing, infrastructure improvement, supported regulations, business scheme, and technology development ,we are confident to reach the target.”