Tue, 26 Aug 2003

'RI fails to convince ecotourists'

JAKARTA: Indonesia's proposed ecotourism industry has failed to attract foreign tourists as many questioned the government's commitment to preservation of the environment, says the head of the tourist association.

"Foreign tourists who prefer adventure are reluctant to visit ecotourism sites as they consider Indonesia to be insincere in the area of natural conservation as exemplified by the rampant illegal logging," said Meity Robot, who chairs the Indonesia Tourism and Travel Agents Association (ASITA).

She was speaking after the signing of Memorandum of Understanding on ecotourism between ASITA and the Nature Conservation and Forest Protection Directorate General of the Ministry of Forestry on Monday.

In fact, Meity said, Indonesia possesses many potential natural sites for ecotourism, which tourists from the Asia- Pacific region, Europe and the U.S. are looking for.

Indonesia has 41 national parks and 103 tourism parks. -- Antara