Wed, 02 Aug 2000

Indonesia to reopen tourism centers overseas

JAKARTA (JP): The government plans to reopen Indonesia's tourism promotion centers in Germany, England, France, the Netherlands, the United States, Japan and Australia, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

Deputy for Marketing and International Relations at the Ministry of Tourism and Art Udin Syaifuddin said the re-opening of the tourism promotion centers would boost the arrival of tourists from these countries.

"After two years of absence from any direct promotional activities, we will increase our collaboration with our tourism partners, starting with the reopening of the tourism promotion centers," Udin was quoted as saying by Antara.

The economic crisis forced Indonesia to shut down all of its tourism centers around the world in 1998.

Udin said that reopening these centers was possible with the higher allocation for tourism promotion in the 2000 state budget.

Promotional activities in the seven countries, he said, would also include "Indonesia Nights" - a program featuring traditional dance performances - and collaboration with international tourism institutions.

He said that the government had selected the seven countries as they were markets which presented good potential for the Indonesian tourist industry.

Data from the ministry showed that tourists from the Europe region contributed the most to the country's foreign exchange revenue.

He said that the present state budget limited the target countries to only seven, but that next year he expected to include up to 15 countries.

Udin said that the government would also re-open tourism promotion centers in these countries.

He said that aside from Europe, the government was targeting Asia for next year, with countries including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and the Philippines.

"This year, we're still focusing on Europe but by next year we will not only expand to other European countries, but will also include Asian countries," he said.

Based on the ministry's data, the numbers of foreign tourist arrivals for the next five years will grow from the estimated 5.1 million people this year to 5.4 million by 2001, 5.8 million by 2002, 6.3 million by 2003 and 6.9 million tourists by 2004.

This tourism growth projection is based on tourist arrivals targets from Indonesia's three main tourist markets.

These consist of the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASAEN), the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.(bkm)