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Indonesia expects higher tourism growth post 2012 investments
Publication Date : 02-09-2013
Indonesia is expecting big growth in the tourism industry in the years ahead after booking a record high of up to 210 per cent in annual tourism investments last year from the year before.
Numerous international events slated to be held here this year had triggered an investment boom in the industry that amounted to US$869.8 million last year, according to data from the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) and the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry.
That figure, which consisted of $768.3 million in foreign investments and $101.5 million in domestic investments, tripled 2011’s record of $279.8 million.
Henky Manurung, the ministry’s tourism investment division head, attributed the hike to various international events held in the country this year that had, since last year, attracted investors to build hotels for participants and tourists.
Among the international events is the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit, which will be held in Bali in October.
“Most of the investments were focused in Bali, while Lombok and other areas in eastern Indonesia have also shown progress in tourism investments,” Henky said.
The soaring figure comes as a relief after a slump in investment in 2011, which saw a 27 per cent decrease from $385.4 million in 2010.
Henky deemed 2011 “a cooling-off period” when most invested projects in previous years were being finalised.
The data also shows that the country booked $119 million of tourism investment in the first half of this year, one-eighth of total investment made last year, indicating another cooling-off period.
He said that while the ministry aimed at reaping 4 per cent of annual investment growth, “[being able] to achieve half of last year’s investment figure will be good enough as investors might be busy realising projects they have invested since last year”.
Among this year’s major investments is a plan to build a 1 trillion Indonesia rupiah ($92 million) resort by European investors in forests in Tanjung Ringgit, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, that will apply a green, ecotourism concept, according to Henky.
PT Banten West Java Tourism Development, a subsidiary of publicly listed PT Jababeka, has also inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China-based Hanking Industrial Group to develop a resort, which will comprise a marine spot, golf course, a hotel and a villa, on 300 hectares of land in Tanjung Lesung, Banten, he said.
Initial investment for the project is $50 million.
He added the ministry was also focusing on developing golf as special interest in tourism to attract foreign golfers and their avid fans.
The ministry’s tourism destination development director general Firmansyah Rahim also said that in developing the country’s tourism sector, the ministry had designed 13 national tourism destinations beyond Bali to be developed, including Raja Ampat in West Papua and Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi both of which have recently seen airports built and revamped to lure visitors.
However, he highlighted the need to build proper infrastructure to connect visitors to potential tourism destinations, most of which were located in remote areas.
The government has targeted the number of overseas tourist arrivals to reach 20 million, which will spend up to $17 billion by 2025, in an attempt to boost the sector’s contribution to the country’s economy.
It targets to attract 8.6 million foreign tourists this year compared to last year’s 8.04 million.
Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI) chairman Didien Junaedy said Indonesia should seek momentum from the Asean multi-country tourism strategy to develop and promote domestic tourism.
“We have to take advantage of our integration with other ASEAN countries as momentum to boost our own tourism, rather than seeing our neighboring countries as competitors,” he said.