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Jakarta to boost tourism, strengthen brand

Publication Date : 15-01-2014

 

The tourist industry is among the capital’s priority sectors set for a boost this year, with promising growth in income from the sector expected. Jakarta Tourism and Culture Agency head Arie Budhiman said the city administration targeted a 20 per cent increase in income from the sector this year, from 3.1 trillion rupiah (US$258 million) last year.

“The significant increase is possible as we have applied an online taxation system,” Arie told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

He mentioned that the city would focus on strengthening Jakarta’s brand as a service-oriented metropolitan city, with festivals and meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE).

“We aim to establish the capital’s image as a festival city. We will also improve its attractiveness by promoting thematic tourist destinations such as the Setu Babakan Betawi Village [South Jakarta], Taman Ismail Marzuki arts center [Central Jakarta] and the Thousand Islands [off the northern coast of Jakarta],” he said.

He spoke of the new double-decker tourist buses, which arrived in Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta late on Monday, as a new tool for the agency to promote the capital.

“The new buses will become a new icon for the city,” he said. The agency expects to attract 2.5 million foreign tourists this year, up from 2.29 million foreign tourists last year. Meanwhile, the number of domestic tourists is expected to reach 35 million people, up from 31.64 million last year.

The city hosted 246 art and cultural events throughout 2013, an increase of 68.2 per cent from 147 events in the previous year.

Thousand Islands Regent Asep Syarifudin said his regency was set to welcome more tourists this year.

“Thousand Islands regency is set to develop itself as we aim to attract 2 million tourists this year, up from 1.7 million last year. With the new zoning regulation, we are now clearer about the development planning as our areas have been divided into different zones: resorts, housing and preserved areas,” he said recently, referring to the newly-endorsed Spatial Planning Bylaw.

The bylaw also regulates specific areas deserving particular treatment.

Asep said the regency allocated up to 138 billion rupiah to developing infrastructure and supporting facilities, including clean water facilities, boats and electricity.

“The budget will also be used to empower and educate local residents. For instance, we aim to educate them to develop better local products and so on,” he said. Asep pointed out he would also encourage private sectors to develop their property on the islands.

“I don’t want to see idle land anymore. Property owners should immediately build and develop their properties,” he said.

Jakarta Transportation Agency head Udar Pristono said his agency would acquire four new boats this year to connect Jakarta and the Thousand Islands.

“Each boat can accommodate from 80 to 100 passengers,” he said, declining to elaborate on the details regarding the budget.

“The boats will not be operated every day, only on weekends when the traffic is heavier,” he said.

The city administration is also expected to launch projects to develop the underground level of the National Monument (Monas) square in Central Jakarta and to rejuvenate Kota Tua (Old Town) in West Jakarta this year as part of its efforts to improve the capital’s iconic sites.

In each area, the administration planned to provide specific zones to accommodate street vendors. It also aimed to host art and cultural events to enliven the sites.

 

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