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MINISTER HOPEFUL OF FOREX REVENUE FROM TOURISM TO REACH TARGET

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Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – Tourism Minister Arief Yahya is optimistic that foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector this year will meet the government-set target of US$20 billion.

Foreign exchange earnings from tourism stood at $19.29 billion in 2018 so the figure will most likely increase to $20 billion in 2019, he said in Jakarta Monday (9/9/2019). The tourism industry was yet to fully recover from a series of natural disasters that engulfed several parts of the country since 2017 including the eruption of Mount Agung in Bali, earthquakes in Lombok Island and tsunami in Sunda Strait, he acknowledged

They had begun to recover early 2018 after Mount Agung erupted in September 2017. However, a string of incidents including a bomb attack in Surabaya in May 2018 and earthquakes in Rinjani and Lombok in July and August 2018 hit the industry again, he said.

It was again affected after a powerful earthquake and a subsequent tsunami devastated parts of Palu city in Central Sulawesi province in September 2018 and a Lion Air plane crashed into the waters off West Java’s northern coast.

To make matters worse, the East Nusa Tenggara provincial government announced plans to close the Komodo National Park and a tsunami engulfed the coastal areas in Banten and Lampung provinces at the turn of last year.

As a result of the natural disasters, the number of tourist arrivals fell by one million in 2017 and 1.2 million in 2018, he said.

The number of tourist arrivals would drop by two million in 2019, he predicted.

“With the decline in the number of tourist arrivals, we will lose $2 billion in foreign exchange earnings,” he said. (aij)

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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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