6 years ago

ITB Berlin News - Day 1

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20 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW The Many Faces of In Beyond Bali, the archipelago’s countless treasures are highlighted As many people from Europe think of Indonesia primarily for places like Bali and Jakarta, the Indonesian government plans to increase awareness of 16 destinations including Sumatra, Java, Lombok, Flores, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua… We asked Hon. Dr Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy to tell us more. Hon. Dr Mari Elka Pangestu Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Republic of Indonesia Prior to her current position as Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Mari Pangestu was the Minister of Trade for Indonesia for seven years (2004-2011). As Minister of Trade she played an active role in the WTO representing her country as well as groups of developing countries such as the G33; initiated and led various Ministers of Trade meetings; provided leadership in regional cooperation, including during the year Indonesia being the Chair of ASEAN in 2011, and at APEC; and prepared and led all international trade negotiations for Indonesia. In her current portfolio, she has also been active in regional and international fora such as the ASEAN Tourism Forum, T20 (Tourism Ministers of G20 Countries), and various bilateral talks and cooperation focusing on tourism and travel facilitation. Dr Pangestu obtained her Bachelor and Master of Economics from the Australian National University and her Ph.D in Economics from the University of California Davis. We have faced, and will continue to face, the challenge of Indonesia to be known beyond Bali. Don’t get me wrong, Bali is a beautiful spot and absolutely worth visiting. We have developed 88 strategic tourist areas under the National Tourism Development Plan. For the next three years, we will focus on 16 of these, including improvements in Bali, and will develop and promote existing sites with surrounding areas such as Borobudur, Jakarta, Lake Toba, Flores, Komodo and Toraja, as well as new specialized areas such as Wakatobi, Tanjung Puting, Derawan and Raja Ampat. In 2011, Indonesia experienced strong growth in tourist numbers from Europe’s key nations like the UK, Germany, France, etc. What has been the trend in 2012? Numbers are still on the rise. In the January-October 2012 period, tourist arrivals in Indonesia were up when compared to the same period in 2011, despite the Euro zone crisis. For example, arrivals from the UK increased by 4 percent, Germany increased by 9 percent and France increased by 5 percent. Only inbound arrivals from Holland declined, by 6.8 percent. In addition to raising awareness, are you planning to build infrastructure to help bolster tourism in these regions… and in Indonesia in general? Firstly, we aim to extend international direct flights to Indonesia, with the new airport in Bali scheduled to be completed by the middle of this year and the airport in Lombok already finished. Secondly, we also compiled a cruise ship and port development plan: Benoa harbour as well as nine other ports across the country will be ready to receive large ships in 2013- 2014. We hope to increase the current cruise arrivals from 118,000 to 500,000 by 2016. Thirdly, we experience a strong investment growth in hotels and restaurants. From January to September 2012, foreign investments tripled compared to the whole of 2011, domestic investments doubled in the same period. This last point is very important to us, as we see the MICE sector as a strong part of the national tourism strategy to enhance quality tourism. What is your main focus with your campaign “Wonderful Indonesia” and the colorful logo that goes with it? Aside from promoting our country, we want to focus on the people that live there, as they are an essential part of the experience of Indonesia. It is about the balance between Indonesia’s huge natural and cultural ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 6 th March 2013

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW 21 donesia at ITB Berlin We have developed 88 strategic tourist areas under the National Tourism Development Plan. diversity. It conveys the idea that human creativity, as expressed in Indonesia’s cultural diversity, is inspired by nature and rests on sustainable natural resources. We want to inspire the creation of a better world through human understanding of graceful ways to coexist with nature and each other. There are certainly too many aspects of Indonesia to be done justice in one interview… Would it be fair to say that “Where the heart matters” is the other key message above and beyond the diversity, and if so, why? It certainly is. Caring is the Indonesian’s way of engaging and managing, which allows them to be open and resilient. What travelers can surely expect is a wide smile from the locals. Indonesians of all stripes share an innate hospitality and fascination with visitors. Interaction with the locals always has been and always will be a highlight of travels to the world’s largest archipelago. What are the goals of your partnership with ITB and what is the key message you wish to drive home to the trade visitors and media representatives? No matter what you wish for on your holidays, no matter what you search for during your travels – you will find it in Indonesia, our country has so many different cultures and nature, from laid-back Lombok to the rice fields of Java up to the highlands of Papua. And you will be surprised because you will discover even more than that… you will find a lot more. [Interview by Richard Barnes] Hall 26 A ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 6 th March 2013

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