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November 28, 2020, 03.39 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Covid-19 pandemic might hit Indonesia’s tourism industry hard. But this does not stop the government from aiming to raise Indonesia’s travel and tourism competitive index to the world’s top 30 in 2021.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan urged Indonesia’s tourism industry to step up promotion of the country’s sights to meet this goal.

But the former four-star general warned that Indonesia still has its work cut out for it, especially in contrast to other ASEAN countries like Thailand or the Philippines.

Also read: Indonesia's Tourist Industry Holds Out Hope for Rebound in Final Stretch of 2020

“Indonesia has some of the most beautiful natural attractions for adventure tourism in the world like Labuan Bajo, Mandalika, Bali and [North Sumatra’s] Toba region,” he said in a meeting to develop 5 Super Priority Tourist Destinations on Friday, 27 November.

“While many of these sights surpass those in Thailand, we have not been as successful in pitching these destintions compared to those countries because of lack of promotion, as well as issues like infrastructure and hospitality [for foreign tourists].”

Luhut pointed out that Indonesia faced similar challenges from Singapore and the Philippines.

“Singapore managed to sell themselves as an entertainment destination, though [Indonesia’s] sights are no less diverting. The Philippines also promoted themselves as a culinary destination despite Indonesia’s fabled culinary heritage. The issue is the same; namely lack of savvy promotion.”

Luhut pointed out the need for “peace and stability to keep Indonesia’s tourism industry viable.” He also pledged to explore medical tourism as a source of revenue in Indonesia.

Also read: Bumpy Road to Restoring Indonesia's Tourism Sectory During Pandemic

“I will invite international medical facilities like the Mayo Clinic or Johns Hopkins to operate in Indonesia so as to make this country a viable site for medical tourism. I hope that having them open here will take away the need for Indonesian citizens to get medical treatment overseas.”

Luhut noted the need for the government to promote Indonesia as “a peaceful and stable country to make it a viable tourist destination. The last thing we need is to highlight Indonesia as a violent, frightening destination as that will scare off prospective tourists,” he asserted.

“This includes political instability by politicians scrambling for power. We should not allow this fact to smear our image and discourage foreign visitors,” he emphasized and urged the tourist industry to be revived "so as to be a viable source of income for millions of Indonesians.”

(Writer: Ade Miranti Karunia | Editors: Erlangga Djumena, Ambaranie Nadia Kemala Movanita)

Sources: 

https://money.kompas.com/read/2020/11/27/143700826/soal-objek-wisata-luhut--kita-kurang-jual-indonesia

https://money.kompas.com/read/2020/11/27/125839426/tarik-wisatawan-ke-ri-luhut-jangan-jual-ide-kekerasan-yang-buat-negeri-kita

 

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