Indonesia: Destinations need to team up

Tourist destinations in Indonesia which suffered a drastic decline in tourist arrivals should take joint measures by joining with other more popular tourist destinations to promote their tourist objects, a spokesman said.  “When the tourism industry declined in the past five years especially after the first and second Bali bombigs, it went through difficult times in which many foreign and domestic tourists stopped coming to the destinations,” Chairman of the Association of National Tour and Travel Agencies, Ben Sukma, said here Wednesday.   

Speaking at a discussion themed “Steps to Attract Tourists Back to Visit”, he said that when the first bomb blast occurred, domestic tourists replaced foreign tourists who visited Bali and Lombok in particular though foreign tourists spend more.

“But foreign tourists from the US and Europe really left Bali and domestic tourists also worried to go to Bali for vacation after the second bomb blast. This caused the occupancy rate of hotels to drop by 80 prcent,” he added. 

He said other tourist destinations like Lombok, Yogyakarta, North Sumatra, North Sulawesi exeienced a similar fate.   

Ben called on parties involved in the industry to cooperate and not to be arrogant by promoting their own regions to reinvigorate it.   

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He said that the association supported the idea to jointly promote the industry by neighboring regions like Bali and Lombok and Java and Sumatra.   

Meanwhile Director of Foreign Marketing at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Tatang Rukhiyat, said that a number of tourist arrival in almost all countries in Asia declined.   

But their government responded by providing promotion budget to recover their espective tourism industry, he said.   

Malaysia provides US67 million for promotion while Indonesia just reaches US3 million. A number of tourist arrival to the neighboring country has reached 12.5 million, most of them go to the Genting Highlands.   

The number of tourist arrival to Indonesia has yet to reach the number to Malaysia.
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