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March 5, 2014updated Mar 24, 2014

Indonesia Readies For Growth

By Chris Boyle

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIndonesia is prime time for foreign investment with increasing visitor demand, Dr. Sapta Nirwandar, Vice Minister of Tourism and Creative of Economy told journalists during a press conference at ITB in Berlin where he was also attending a hotel investment conference.

Calling his country a “world class destination offering many things” plans are to build on the over $10 billion in foreign exchange earned in 2013.  One in 11 jobs are tied to tourism and the goal is 9.5 million visitors in 2014.

Esthy Reko Astuty, Director General of Marketing, noted Indonesia has 10 World Heritage cultural sites and low fuel costs and airport charges are attractive to private jet travelers.  Investment in infrastructure will open 24 new airports by 2015 adding to the country’s inventory of 217 airports, she said.

With 13,000 islands and some 250 million people who speak 742 languages and dialects, diversity extends to ecotourism and soft adventure. Indonesia is home to  121 butterfly species, 12 percent of the world’s mammals, 17 percent of all birds and 16 percent of reptiles.

Helping drive tourism growth, particularly for affluent travelers, are the promotion board’s focus on Culture and Heritage, Nature and Ecotourism, Recreation and Sports, Cruise, Culinary and Shopping, Health and Wellness and MICE.

Activities such as diving and world class surfing are augmented by ver 100 golf courses and while all the top global luxury brands are present local “beautiful textiles, silver goods and ceramics” add special interest for elite travelers who like to shop.

Ongoing festivals and events around the year drawn visitors, and even the Jakarta Marathon, scheduled for October 26 is expected to provide a reason to come.

Image credit: Flickr user Riza Nugraha

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