Published on : Friday, November 18, 2016
Arief Yahya, Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia, speaks exclusively to Travel And Tour World at WTM 2016. Read the full interview here:-
Travel And Tour World: What are your plans for 2016-2017?
Arief Yahya: Our target is to simply double the number of travellers who has visited Indonesia in 2015. We had 10 million visitors in 2015 and we are planning to have 20 million visitors in 2019. Fortunately from 2015, the tourism industry has been declared as the leading sector in Indonesia by our President. The impact is that, all the other sectors have to support the tourism industry in Indonesia. For 2016, our target is 12 million and hopefully we will be able to achieve that. For 2017, our target is 15 million international tourists. In the case of developing new destinations, we are now developing 10 new destinations. We are hoping to create ten new “Bali”. It would spread from northern part of Sumatra and continue beyond it.
Travel And Tour World: Apart from the major tourist destinations like Bali, Jakarta, what are the other unexplored destinations that tourists may want to visit?
Arief Yahya: In Indonesia we have only three main destinations. The first is Bali, contributing around 40%. Second is Jakarta, contributing 30%. And the last one is Riau Islands which contributes around 20%. These three destinations already contribute 90% of Indonesia’s tourism. We are creating ten new destinations. Seven out of ten destinations will focus on marine tourism. As Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world and two-thirds of coral is found in Indonesia, we have very good potential in marine tourism.
Travel And Tour World: What is your purpose for being at WTM 2016?
Arief Yahya: The UK market is the largest market for Indonesia. The number of British tourists in Indonesia is around 3,30,000 a year and the growth is at least 20%. Hopefully this year we are expecting 3,50,000 British tourists. We are promoting Indonesia very intensively at WTM London because we realize that in London we are not only communicating with the British tourists but the worldwide tourists as well.
Travel And Tour World: Why should people visit Indonesia as opposed to the other Southeast Asian countries?
Arief Yahya: Our country is rich in cultural and natural resources. The second advantage of our country is price competitiveness. If people are using US dollar then they can spend more in Indonesia. The third and the most important thing is that we are granting free visa to 15 countries. Indonesia is doing away with visa for many top countries of the world, including Britain.