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Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya., Jakarta – Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has projected that the tourism sector will contribute US$17.6-18 billion to the national economy, well above foreign exchange earnings from crude palm oil (CPO), which is now the country’s largest foreign exchange earner.

The number of tourist arrivals in the country is projected to reach 18 million by the end of 2019, he said after swearing in administrative officials, supervisory officials, functional officials and officials of the authority boards at the ministry in Jakarta on Tuesday (14/5/2019).

“I informed President Joko Widodo of this figure when he asked me about the tourism projections for this year,” he said.

The projection of 18 million tourist arrivals represents a two-fold increase over the past five years, although it falls short of the target of 20 million for this year, he said.

“When I assumed the post of tourism minister in 2015, the number of tourist arrivals was 9 million. The figure increased two-fold to 18 million in the past five years,” he said.

The government has projected that foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector will reach US$17.6 billion-US$18 billion this year. The figure surpassed foreign exchange earnings from crude palm oil (CPO), which were listed as the country’s largest exchange earner last year.

Foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector were equal to those of CPO, when the number of tourist arrivals reached 16.4 million last year, with foreign exchange earnings recorded at US$16.1 billion.

The minister said the ministry will cooperate with tourism stakeholders to carry out four programs to achieve the target of 18 million tourist arrivals. The four programs include border tourism, hot deals, tourism hubs, and LCC Terminal.

“Through the border tourism program, we target (the number of tourist arrivals) to reach 3.4 million. Last year it stood at 18 percent, and is projected to increase to 20 percent of the target ot tourist arrivals this year,” he said.

The hot deal program offers huge discounts during low season and is expected to contribute 2 million-2.5 million tourist arrivals.

“Through the hot deal program last year, we managed to sell 700,000 pax, with the largest share of 20 percent coming from Riau Islands,” he said.

To implement the tourism hub program, the ministry is cooperating with Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “This program is a solution for direct flights, which are difficult to find and take a relatively long time,” he said. (han)





Mudik means that migrants return to their hometowns, generally several days ahead of Eid., Jakarta – Mudik, or homecoming, the annual special tradition of going home is followed before Eid Al-Fitr, locally known as Lebaran, something that other countries may not experience.

Mudik means that migrants return to their hometowns, generally several days ahead of Eid.

Homecoming trips can be undertaken by opting for different transportation modes of airplanes, ships, and private vehicles. Although the travel time is long in these modes, presently, driving off in private vehicles using the land route to return home is found to be more attractive, particularly for travelers on Java Island, owing to the presence of the Trans Java Toll Roads.

Along the Semarang-Solo toll road, for instance, motorists are spoilt for choice in terms of the plethora of views of the forests and rice fields. On the Semarang-Ungaran Toll Road, drivers can soak in the myriad views of the Pine Forest. As one enters Bawen, the traveler is overwhelmed by views of the Banaran Coffee Plantation.

While traveling from Salatiga to Solo, the scenery on either sides of the road is largely dominated by rice fields.

Fascinatingly, to relieve weariness in the middle of a lengthy journey, the driver can, during the journey, explore a popular tourist attraction of the historic De Tjolomadoe building in the Soloraya region that is not far from the toll gate.

The building in Colomadu Sub-district, Karanganyar District, is located merely some three kilometers from the entrance of Tol Ngasem, Kartasura.

One then has to exit the Ngasem Toll Gate, veer the vehicle to the left until one reaches the first traffic light and then take the left to head to the Student Army Road.

Arriving at the first traffic light, at the Colomadu Market intersection, the vehicle is then driven straight ahead. The De Tjolomadoe building is located some 300 meters from the intersection to the right of the road.

The entry fee for each visitor to this recently inaugurated tourist attraction in mid-2018 is Rp25 thousand.

Full machine

Taking into account that the tourist attraction was earlier a Colomadu Sugar Factory, several machines are still installed in numerous buildings in the area.

Despite being several centuries old, these gigantic machines still appear in good shape and are sturdy, particularly after the revitalization costing nearly billions of rupiah.

Apart from being enthralled by the sights of these sturdy machines, visitors are also invited to enjoy a new and memorable experience at the De Tjolomadoe Museum.

Taking the concept of educational tourism a notch higher, the Museum De Tjolomadoe showcases dioramas, primeval archives of the Colomadu Sugar Factory, and the historical video of the Mangkunegaran IV relic factory.

Marketing Manager De Tjolomadoe Achmad Ridho stated that the Wagis Wara Park at the museum was a result of collaboration with artists from Yogyakarta.

“The concept is based on glow in the dark. This is quite interesting for visitors to explore. Although the concept is a museum, but the De Tjolomado Museum is guaranteed to be far from monotonous and boring,” he emphasized.

With the bevy of information being presented, the manager is upbeat that visitors would be enlightened by the magnificent journey of the Colomadu Sugar Factory.

“Even when it is no more, it will continue to draw representatives from Thailand to gain insights into the science of sugar factories. It is expected that visitors can then propagate this wealth of information pertaining to the history of the Colomadu Sugar Factory to the people around,” he stated.

Moreover, a large parking location in the area can accommodate hundreds of four-wheeled vehicles.

Culinary tour

After exploring De Tjolomadoe, travelers can simultaneously continue their culinary tour in the city of Solo that has varied unique culinary delights for the nomads, including timlo, tengkleng, nasi liwet, sate buntel, and Solo strait.

A place worth visiting to sample culinary delicacies is Pak Manto Goat Satay. After De Tjolomadoe, while waiting for the Magrib drum, travelers can drive to Jalan Slamet Riyadi, Solo.

At the intersection of Ngapeman or Sami Luwes, the visitor should then drive to the right. Some 300 meters from the intersection is Pak Manto’s Goat Satay located to the right of the road.

To ensure no waiting, visitors should arrive at least an hour or two prior to breaking the fast.

Some of the items on the menus in Pak Manto Goat Satay comprise a portion priced at Rp57 thousand; a serving of tengkleng rica at Rp68 thousand, godog rice at Rp40 thousand per portion, Rp64 thousand per serving of satay, goat fried rice at Rp40 thousand per portion, Rp57 thousand for a serving of goat satay, buntel cook priced at Rp63 thousand per serving, and cook at Rp57 thousand per portion.

Several food lovers are interested in tengkleng rica and satay buntel. Tengkleng rica is quite special, as it is served in large portions.

This menu is only suitable for those fond of piquant food, as the high spice quotient is not only from cayenne but also pepper. Your vegetable fiber supply will be adequately met with the chunky pieces of cabbage added to every portion by the sellers. (ant)

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CEO Crescent Rating, Fazal Bahardeen., Jakarta – Indonesia has been named as the world’s best halal tourist destination based upon Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2019, outclassing 130 destinations across the world.

Mastercard-Crescent rating agency put Indonesia on the first place based on GMTI standard, with a score of 78, along with Malaysia on the upper ranking, Crescent Rating CEO Fazal Bahardeen while delivering a GMTI Report 2019 said here on Tuesday (9/4/2019).

“Indonesia is the only country which is most aggressively to develop halal tourist destination,” he said.

As the world’s best halal tourist destination, Indonesia has gradually improved its ranking from sixth in 2015, to fourth in 2016, third in 2017, second in 2018 and first in 2019, he said.

To become the best tourist destination in the world, Indonesia has made serious efforts by, among others, adopting Indonesia Muslim Travel Index (IMTI) which refers to GMTI standard, he said.

The GMTI report analyzes halal tourism based on four criteria including access, communication, environment and services, of which IMTI has also adopted

Indonesia has also aggressively provided technical coaching and organized workshop to operators of 10 excellent halal tourist destinations in the country.

Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya who also attended the function marking the release of GMTI Report 2019 praised Mastercard –Crescent Global Muslim Travel Index for giving the highest score to Indonesia.

“Eventually, what we have dreamed of Indonesia being the world’s best halal tourist destination has come true. This proves that we must make a plan to achieve victory,” he said.

With Indonesia ranking first as halal tourist destination, the minister expressed hope that more and more foreign tourists will visit Indonesia.

Indonesia has targeted to attract 20 million tourists this year, of which 5 million will travel to the country on halal tourism.

Director of Mastercard Indonesia Tommy Singgih said halal tourism market is one of the tourism segments which recorded the fastest growth in the world.

Halal tourism’s contribution to the global economy is projected to jump 35 percent to US$300 billion in 2020 from US$220 billion in 2016.

The 10 best halal tourist destinations include Indonesia and Malaysia with a score of 78, Turkey (75), Saudi Arabia (72), United Arab Emirates (71), Qatar (68), Marocco (67), Bahrain (66), Oman (66), and Brunei Darussalam (65). (jmd)

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The Indonesian government has set a target of receiving 20 million foreign tourists in 2019., Jakarta – The Central Bureau of Statistics’ (BPS) data indicated a growth of 6.12 percent in the number of foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia in February 2019, reaching 1.27 million, compared to 1.2 million in February 2018.

During the January-February 2019 period, 2.48 million foreign tourists had arrived in the country, an 8.19 percent rise, as compared to 2.3 million during the same period in 2018, BPS Chief Suhariyanto stated here on Monday (1/4/2019).

In February 2019, Malaysian tourist arrivals had reached 275.3 thousand, up 33.67 percent than that in February 2018.

China stood second, with 200.9 thousand tourists, or a decrease of 6.31 percent, as compared to that during the corresponding period last year.

Singapore was placed third, with 147.9 thousand tourists, or a 17.86 percent rise.

Of the total foreign tourist arrivals, 731.45 thousand arrived in Indonesia aboard flights, 354.98 thousand by ships, and 184.40 thousand by means of land transportation.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government has set a target of receiving 20 million foreign tourists in 2019.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya noted in a recent statement that Indonesia had recorded more than 15.81 million foreign tourist arrivals last year, up 12.58 percent, as compared to 14.04 million a year earlier.

The tourism ministry had named five countries as the highest contributors of tourists to Indonesia last year: Malaysia, with 2.50 million, or 15.83 percent; China, with 2.14 million or 13.52 percent; Singapore, with 1.77 million or 11.19 percent; Timor Leste, with 1.76 million or 11.15 percent; and Australia, with 1.30 million or 8.23 percent. (spg)

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