Indonesia and Bali is a popular destination for Chinese because it is clause and quite affordable.
Why is Indonesian tourism not as attractive as its neighboring peers?
From recent years, Indonesia’s efforts to develop its tourism industry have been relevant since its rank in the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, which “measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the Travel & Tourism sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country” jumped from 70th in 2013 to 50th in 2015.According to this report, Indonesia’s competitive advantages are numerous like its price competitiveness, its rich natural resources and the presence of several heritage sites.However, despite these advantages, Indonesia’s ranking in the report (50th), lags behind its neighboring peers Singapore (11th), Malaysia (25th) and Thailand (35th).
Why should Indonesia develop its tourism industry?
The final aim is to produce more GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Tourism industry represents today 4% of the economy and the government wants to target 8% by 2019 which would result in a doubling of visitors to 20 million. These new visitors should increase the foreign exchange earnings and create more employment in the tourism sector which already stands for 9% of total national workforce.
Why did the Indonesian tourism not develop as well as its neighboring peers?
One main reason is the several terrorist incidents targeting westerners in the 2000s that weakened the foreign tourist arrivals. However, the number of foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia has grown steadily between 2007 and 2015. This performance results in a way by a reduction of terrorist incidents around the country, led by a – small but consistent – radical Muslim community who are willing to use violence to spread their way of thinking.In order to fight against these incidents, the government set up a special counter-terrorism squad, named Densus 88. Since 2009, there have not been any terrorist attack against western tourists thanks to the efforts of this squad. Unfortunately, the other side of the coin is that the radical groups organized smaller networks to escape from the Densus 88’s tracking and aimed the Indonesian symbols such as policemen in reprisal of the many arrestments made by Densus 88.
Where Indonesia still should improve?
Environmental sustainability (water treatment, protection of forests and endangered species) and safety and security concerns (regarding terrorist attacks) are definitely issues the Indonesian government need to solve.Although Indonesia has been working hard on the infrastructures, there is still a lot to do. Infrastructures are correct in Bali and Jakarta but are neglected elsewhere. Moreover, the poor islands connection restrains also a lot the tourism potential of the country. Indeed, some regions can’t be reached, travelling outside the two big cities becomes difficult and quite unpleasant.Besides infrastructure, education needs also some reforms. English is only spoken in the two big touristic areas and it quickly becomes hard to communicate with locals when you move away from these regions. more information about Indonesia tourismAll negative news from Indonesia heard in the West (radical Islam, natural disasters) are influencing badly on the image of Indonesia abroad. In order to counterbalance this, the country is trying to regain prestige with its “Wonderful Indonesia” campaign, especially abroad.
How can Indonesian government attract more foreign tourists?
Indonesian government is already focusing on improving infrastructures, accessibility, health and hygiene. It is also enhancing online promotional marketing campaigns abroad with its “Wonderful Indonesia” campaign. Last measure taken to attract more foreign tourists is revising its visa-free access policy.
Indonesia’s New Visa Policy
Last year, 45 countries were added to the list of visa-free access countries to Indonesia in attempt to boost the tourism industry (Find here all visa-free countries). Although it implies that the country misses out approximately USD $11.3 million per year (as a ‘visa on arrival’ is charged USD $35), it is expected to attract 450,000 more foreign tourists per year, which are estimated to spend on average USD $1,150 during their stay. This results in a potential gain in additional foreign exchange revenue of USD $500 million each year.
How to choose your point of entry to Indonesia?
Full of small islands, Indonesia offers several ways to enter its territory which accordingly offers different perspective of Indonesia.Most tourists choose Ngurah Rai International Airport on Bali. Bali is known for its beautiful countryside, with astonishing landscapes and its lively nightlife too. It is also the earth of most Indonesian Hindu minorities which offers all sort of arts and culture related to them.Then comes the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport located near Jakarta. Jakarta is the capital city and also the economic center of Indonesia. Finally, the third-most used point of entry is Batam. Batam is the largest city in the Riau Islands, across the Strait of Singapore. It has managed an industrial boom and transport development these recent years, thanks to the free trade zone Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore Triangle and the Special Economic Zone with Singapore which eliminates trade tariffs and value-added taxes for goods shipped between both cities.