Mon, 01 Aug 1994

Licensing process for int'l meets to be simplified

JAKARTA (JP): The government will simplify arduous licensing procedures for the organization of domestic and international conventions to promote the country's meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition (MICE) industry, an official says.

Director for Convention and International Relations of the Directorate General of Tourism W.J. Pranoto told The Jakarta Post here over the weekend that private organizers frequently complain that licensing for domestic and international MICE is still complicated, thereby discouraging foreigners from organizing events in the country.

According to Pranoto, an organizer of a tourism-related exhibition, for instance, is often required to get licenses from the Ministries of Trade or Industry. "But if the organizer invites participants from countries which have no diplomatic relationship with Indonesia, it should get other permits from several government institutions," he said.

He said that the Ministry of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications will soon hold meetings with officials from related institutions, including the National Police, the Armed Forces Strategic Intelligence Agency (BAIS), the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Bakin), the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Trade, the Directorate General of Immigration and the Directorate General of Customs and Excise.

"Based on the Tourism Law of 1990, licensing for MICE businesses is actually the Ministry of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications' domain. But procedures to get MICE permits are so far very arduous," he said.


"Under the coordination of the Directorate General of Tourism, we hope the licensing for MICE will be easier," he said, adding that the progress of the business also depends on professionals, facilities and infrastructures.

Data from the directorate general show that Indonesia last year hosted 642 events, which indicated a three percent increase from 623 events in 1992. Of last year's total events, 96 were international events attended by 12,215 foreign participants.

Singapore recently claimed to be the most popular meeting venue in Asia in 1993 with 116 international meetings out of 690 held in the island republic.

In Indonesia, over the past five years, most of the events were held in Bali (40.71 percent), Jakarta (37.72 percent), Yogyakarta (5.4 percent) and Bandung in West Java (4.61 percent), while the remainder were held in Surabaya (East Java), Medan (North Sumatra), Batam (Riau), Ujungpandang (South Sulawesi) and Manado (North Sulawesi).

Pranoto said that the number of spacious convention rooms in hotels and tourism complexes should be increased as there are currently only two sites, in Jakarta and Bali, which can accommodate more than 2,000 participants within a single room.

He also said that there are only 12 professional companies licensed to organize MICE. (icn)