Francesca Nina Soemitro

Mrs. Francesca Nina Soemitro, Director of Market Development Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Indonesia has wide experience in regional and multilateral tourism. Travel And Tour World shares an exclusive interview with Mrs. Soemitro on how Indonesia plans to make a global difference.

Travel And Tour World – What key measures are being taken by the Indonesian tourism authority in promoting the potential assets of Indonesia?

Francesca Nina Soemitro : Key measures of strategic focus include:
a. Growing market share from most important markets
b. Raising awareness of Indonesian tourism in key emerging markets such as India
c. Improving yield
d. Improving dispersal of visitors beyond traditional well-known destinations like Bali
e. Strategic international airline partnerships
f. Attracting investment into the tourism infrastructure sector
g. Improving manpower capacity and productivity





Travel And Tour World – When tourists think of Indonesia, Bali is the first name that comes to mind. How is Tourism Indonesia working on promoting other destinations to tourists?

Francesca Nina Soemitro : To promote other destinations, the Ministry has established a 16-7-16 strategic policy to promote 16 priority destinations and 7 primary products in 16 target markets under the “Wonderful Indonesia” brand campaign and a creative concept of market-led communication.

The 16 priority destinations are Sunda Kelapa-Jakarta, Toba Lake-Sumatra, Tanjung Puting-Kalimantan, Bromo/Tengger/Semeru-Java, Wakatobi-Sulawesi, Toraja-Sulawesi, Raja Ampat-Papua, Bunaken-Sulawesi, Batur Lake/Kintamani-Bali, Seribu
Island-Jakarta, Kuta/Sanur/Nusa Dua-Bali, Menjangan-Bali, Rinjani-NTB,
Komodo Island-NTT, Borobudur Temple-Yogyakarta, Ende-Kalimutu-NTT.

The 7 Primary Products are: Culture and heritage, nature / ecotourism, recreational sport (Golf, Diving, Surfing, Hiking, etc), cruise, shopping and culinary, health and wellness, and MICE.

The 16 overseas target markets include: Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, France, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, The Netherlands, The Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, UAE, UK, and USA.




Travel And Tour World: Since underwater/ marine tourism is a popular attraction, how is the government engaging itself, tourism agencies and hotels to provide tourists a rewarding experience?

Francesca Nina Soemitro :The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has established integrated and strategic partnerships with national tourism stakeholders (such as tourism agencies, hotels, local governments etc), in the form of event support, market information and designation of primary dive spots, as well as developing diving tour packages and facilities.

This accords with the government’s objective to improve dispersal of visitor arrivals to less well-known destinations as many of these outstanding marine tourism and dive spots are in locations throughout this far-flung archipelago.





Travel And Tour World: Another interesting attraction is spa and wellness tourism. How successful was the National Conference on Indonesian Traditional Spa held in May 2014, what objectives can such conferences fulfill to take the industry forward?

Francesca Nina Soemitro :The purpose of the National Conference on Traditional Indonesian Spa was to showcase the Indonesian spa potentials to the global market. Indonesia has not yet become as important a spa destination in the Asia Pacific region then it can be.

In addition, the magnitude of the development potential of SPA tourism industry in Indonesia is quite substantial, as there are many kinds of Indonesian heritage premier spas and many of them are already known by foreign tourists who come to Indonesia. For instance, one of the Indonesian spa destinations was awarded as the Best Spa Destination and Bali has received the world’s best spa destination award several times.

Hence, this national conference is expected to produce a brand name representing Indonesian spa tradition and be marketed to other countries so that in the future foreign tourists who visiting Indonesia also include spa treatments as an important part of their visit to Indonesia.



Travel And Tour: How do events like Tour de Singkarak 2014 promote tourism? What other such events hosted by tourism organizations help in attracting the world’s focus towards Indonesia?

Francesca Nina Soemitro :Tour de Singkarak 2014 visited West Sumatera’s tourism icons. It introduced West Sumatera’s tourism attractions to participants, officials, supporters, lovers of cycling. As well, it exposed these attractions extensively both to those who came to the site and those who watched Tour de Singkarak broadcast through various international media channels. Through events like Tour de Singkarak, we not only promote tourism to the world but also invite more people to participate in these sporting events.

Besides Tour de Singkarak, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (MoTCE) also organizes international events such as Musi Triboatton, ASEAN Jazz, Jakarta International Marathon, Tourism Indonesia Mart Expo, etc. In addition to that, MoTCE supports major consumer events for instance Java Jazz Festival, INACRAFT, Festival Jakarta Great Sale, Sail Raja Ampat, etc.



Travel And Tour World: The 561 tourism villages will offer a rare opportunity to experience true Indonesian village living, when is this project scheduled to be completed and how successful will it be in blending the culture of the locals with the tourists visiting from any part of the world?

Francesca Nina Soemitro : Note: On 2009 there were 104 developed tourism villages in 17 provinces. On 2011 there were 569 developed tourism villages in 33 provinces. On 2012 it continue with 980 developed tourism villages in 33 provinces, but due to budget revisions in 2014, the project this year will only cover 275 villages.



Travel And Tour World: The prospects of Indonesian tourism look good and the numbers of tourist visiting Indonesia are growing, what measures are being taken to bring an increase in numbers?

Francesca Nina Soemitro : To bring an increase in numbers, the Ministry is focusing the majority of its global marketing resources on markets which represent the greatest potential for sending tourists to Indonesia. For example, it is now making special marketing and promotional efforts for the China market. This is because UNWTO has projected that China will be the biggest source market for international tourism, easily surpassing 110 million outbound travels, and China is already Indonesia’s fourth largest source of visitor arrivals and has showed faster growth than any other market. Part of the reason for this is the excellent air connections between many of China’s cities with Indonesian destinations such as Bali and Jakarta.



Travel And Tour World: Medical Tourism also has the potential to be a major player in the Indonesian tourism industry. How is this industry making advances? Has the setback received by Malaysia after the disappearance of its national carrier’s flight MH370 shifted medical tourist to Indonesia?

Francesca Nina Soemitro : Indonesia has not yet concentrated on medical tourism. For the time being, we are focusing on promoting health and wellness as one of our niche products. In general, the disappearance of MH370 has no noticeable influence on tourist flows to Indonesia.

But Malaysian Airlines has reported significant decline in international passenger numbers especially with the China market, so indirectly Garuda International may benefit from this tragedy as consumers seek alternative routes to travel on well-established carriers with good pricing.




Travel And Tour World: What developments are you planning to make in your aviation facilities to provide best standards comparable to the Middle East of other Western Countries?

Francesca Nina Soemitro : The development plan to make in aviation facilities is under the authority of the Transport Ministry, but in general, Indonesia is a member of all major air transport organizations and its airlines have to meet international standards in order to fly to other countries’ destinations.




Travel And Tour World: What is your stand on sustainable tourism?

Francesca Nina Soemitro : This is a top priority for the Ministry as with other key Ministries in Indonesia. The Tourism Law 2009 requires that tourism development should safeguard the natural environment and should comply with the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism adopted by UNWTO General Assembly in Chile in 1999, the Article 3 of which sets out tourism as a factor of sustainable development.



Travel And Tour World: How do you plan to improve your infrastructure to give a better feel to return to Indonesia again?

Francesca Nina Soemitro : All forms of infrastructure development are under the authority of the Ministry of Public Work. In general Indonesia government has a strategic guideline to accelerate and expand economic growth in MP3EI which stands for Indonesian’s Economic Development Expansion Master plan. The vision was: locally integrated, globally connected, one of the main strategic is strengthening national connectivity throughout the archipelago.




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