Published on : Wednesday, January 11, 2017
In a bid to achieve the 15 million foreign visitors target this year, Indonesia has planned a series of measures to further boost the tourism sector, which has been picked as the nation’s core business, Bernama News reported citing China’s Xinhua news agency.
Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said his ministry, related ministries and agencies have initiated coordinated efforts in facilitating the related programmes which include enhancing the digital marketing system, expanding the homestay programme, as well as improving flight connectivity from market countries to tour destinations across the country.
The minister said that digital marketing was considered the most essential one as it underlies the remaining programmes in attracting foreign visitors. He made the comment while addressing the 46th anniversary of Indonesian travel and tour agencies association (ASITA) on Monday.
“The visitors’ lifestyle has changed. They seek information on destinations, comparing tour packages and book the packages digitally through their smartphones,” the minister said.
The homestay programme was originally intended to involve the public in tourism sector so as to directly benefit from tourism.
“We expect to see the opening of 20,000 homestay this year, followed by 30,000 ones in 2018 and 50,000 ones in 2019. In the first quarter this year 1,000 new homestay must be opened and ready to accommodate foreign visitors,” the minister said.
In expanding flight connectivity, the minister said that the government encourages domestic airlines to team up with their foreign counterparts in opening new routes, providing direct flights, extra flights and chartered flights to Indonesia.
He added that increasing the flight connectivity is also important to boost the number of foreign visitors as 75 per cent of their visit to Indonesia uses air transport.
The ministry has collaborated with state-run telecommunication firm Telkom to provide ITX (Indonesia Tour Exchange), a digital platform for businessmen in the tourism sector to directly interact with potential consumers.
The tourism sector is expected to earn more than US$24 billion by 2019 for the nation’s economy. Therefore, the government has agreed upon allocating up to five times-fold from the existing figure in the state budget to finance tourism this year and in the coming years.