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INDONESIA AIMS TO RANK FIRST IN GLOBAL HALAL TOURISM

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Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – Indonesia is expected to rank first in terms of global halal tourism and as a Muslim tourist-friendly destination, according to the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) in 2019.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said on Thursday (14/2/2019) that Indonesia targeted to take the lead in the world`s halal tourist destinations this year, owing to its halal tourism growth.

“Our halal tourism growth is projected to reach an all-time high of around 42 percent this year,” he stated.

For its part, the Tourism Ministry has set the target of halal tourist arrivals in the country for this year at 5 million, up 42 percent from 3.5 million a year earlier, he noted.

“The target of 5 million halal tourist arrivals makes up 25 percent of the target of overall tourist arrivals for this year at 20 million,” he added.

To achieve the target, the ministry will use Indonesia Muslim Travel Index (IMTI) as a work standard to develop the country`s halal tourism in pursuit of first place in GMTI 2019 to be announced in April 2019, he remarked.

“We have IMTI 2019, which adopts GMTI standards to emerge as the best halal tourist destination in GMTI 2019,” he explained.

Yahya noted that the development of halal tourism in the country has so far referred to GMTI 2019, which applies 14 components in the criteria of ACES (Access, Communications, Environment, and Services) with different scores.

Access has a score of 10 percent, Communications 15 percent, Environment 30 percent, and Services 45 percent.

“In total, nearly 90 percent is service components and 10 percent is halal component. We strive to increase all the components through IMTI,” he revealed.

He expressed hope that Indonesia will be the best after the country and United Arab Emirates finished second last year, with a score of 72.8 out of 100.

Malaysia remains atop as the best halal tourist destination in the world, according to GMTI. (han)

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LABUAN BAJO EXPECTED TO HOST INTERNATIONAL FORUMS

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The Tourism Agency of West Manggarai District, tasked with managing Labuan Bajo's tourism activities, pegged its total tourist visits in 2019 at 184,206, increasing from 163,807 people in 2018.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Labuan Bajo – The tourist destination of Labuan Bajo, located in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), is expected to host some international forums and events to promote the region, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated on Monday (20/1/2020).

“Most importantly, I want to develop Labuan Bajo to host the G20 Summit as well as ASEAN Summit, both to be held in 2023,” Jokowi noted during a limited meeting he attended at a hotel in Labuan Bajo wherein the attendees also comprised his ministers and government officials.

For this plan, the preparations are already underway from now on, Jokowi remarked while addressing Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama, SOEs Minister Erick Thohir, Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya, Governor of NTT Viktor Laiskodat, and others.

“It is a huge task that we should complete by the end of this year. We need to improve the quality of local products as well as upgrade the infrastructure, landscape, and waste management, as well as provide good water,” Jokowi noted while setting the target at the start of 2021 for promotion undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.

The Tourism Agency of West Manggarai District, tasked with managing Labuan Bajo’s tourism activities, pegged its total tourist visits in 2019 at 184,206, increasing from 163,807 people in 2018.

Thus, the original local government revenue from the tourism sector, particularly pertaining to its retribution fee, nearly doubled, from Rp34 billion to Rp60 billion.

Labuan Bajo’s main attraction that has drawn more tourists to visit is the komodo, Varanus komodoensis, a dragon-like lizard endemic to the region. (dln)

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INDONESIA FESTIVAL PROMOTES LOMBOK, SUMBAWA TOURISM IN PERTH

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NTB would continue to promote its natural scenery, culture, traditions and culinary to attract tourists from Australia which is geographically relatively close from Lombok.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Mataram – The 2019 Indonesia Festival held in Perth, Australia, on Oct 25-27 promoted West Nusa Tenggara’s islands of Lombok and Sumbawa tourism destinations.

The three-day festival was held to celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Australia, at Elizabeth Quay, Perth, Anita Achmad, chairperson of the West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Tourism Promotion Office, said here on Sunday (27/10/2019).

The event was jointly organized by the Indonesian Consulate General (KJRI), the Tourism Ministry and the NTB provincial administration.

“Australia is a promising market for the tourism industry of Lombok and Sumbawa Islands. A direct flight from Australia to Lombok is available and Indonesia is the second home for Australian tourists,” Anita Achmad said in a statement.

NTB would continue to promote its natural scenery, culture, traditions and culinary to attract tourists from Australia which is geographically relatively close from Lombok.

Lalu Moh Faozal, head of the NTB Tourism Office said the existing Perth-Lombok direct flight is crucial for the tourism industry in the province.

“Next, we will encourage opening of other direct flight routes to Australia to help achieve our target of attracting 4.5 million tourists in 2020,” he said.

NTB will intensify tourism promotion activities to lure more Australians who usually travel overseas at least once or twice a year.

The Lombok-Perth direct flight has helped increased the number of Australian tourists to NTB.

Mandalika in NTB is one of Indonesia’s tourism development priorities and is expected to become a world class destination.

In addition to Mandalika, other Indonesia’s 10 priority tourist destinations include Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Mount Bromo in East Java, Wakatobi national marine park in Southeast Sulawesi, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, and Morotai Island in North Maluku. Comprising Lombok and Sumbawa Islands, as well as hundreds of smaller ones, NTB Province is blessed with beautiful white-sand beaches, forest-covered mountainous areas, and a distinct culture.

NTB is located not far from Bali and scenically no less beautiful than Bali. (yun)

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WISHNUTAMA WANTS MORE CREATIVE APPROACH TO TOURISM MANAGEMENT

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Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Wishnutama Kusubandio.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – Tourist destinations need to be managed with a more creative approach to generate higher interest among visitors, the new Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama Kusubandio has said. After a handover ceremony with previous minister Arief Yahya in the ministry’s office in Jakarta, Wednesday (23/10/2019), Wishnutama said that tourism and the creative economy are the core of Indonesia moving forward and it should be managed with a more creative approach to generate more foreign exchange and gain visits from quality tourists.

“Aside from promotion and infrastructure, more creative abilities are needed to manage tourist attractions,” he said.

He then named several world-renowned destinations that have gained popularity because they were managed creatively, such as the Pasadena Flower Carnival in California, held on every January 2.

The festival is broadcast by television stations in more than 220 countries and became the seeded destination for the United States.

“We have a lot of Calendar of Events, and in the future, we will pick and choose, focus on a handful of them that have the most potential to attract tourists,” he said.

The joining of tourism and the creative economy is very appropriate, as both are at the core of Indonesia’s business, his predecessor Arief Yahya believed.

“President Jokowi often asked me what is in our DNA, and I said it is the creative economy, namely tourism and the creative industry,” he said.

Tourism marketing has generated its highest-ever total of US$19.3 billion in foreign exchange in 2018, and this year it is estimated to reach $20 billion, he further explained.

For the development of tourist destinations, Indonesia is focusing on five priority destinations namely Lake Toba, Borobudur, Labuan Bajo, Mandalika, and Likupang.

“President Jokowi has instructed that the construction of basic infrastructure and utilities at the five priority destinations need to be completed by 2020,” said Yahya.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) is targeted to be ranked in the 30s, or the same as Malaysian tourism. Indonesia’s competitive position is currently ranked 42 out of 136 countries, which is eight levels higher than the previous year.

Yahya hoped the tourism sector and the creative economy can be more advanced in the next five years, by generating more foreign exchange. “This year’s tourism is projected to generate foreign exchange of up to $20 billion. In the future it will be even greater,” he said.

The handover ceremony was attended by ministry officials and other invitees, including from tourist associations. Yahya wished goodbye to ministry employees and reporters before leaving. (ran)

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