Indonesia is set to improve its tourism standards and infrastructure under new Tourism Minister Arief Yahya.
Yahya’s has set a target of 20 million arrivals by 2019 and with a background in travel and IT hopes to improve infrastructure and implement IT as a marketing tool to grow awareness.
The archipelago received 8.8 million international tourists in 2013 and is aiming for 9.5m in 2014, with the UK market its strongest from Europe.
“Our Tourism Minister has plans to bring Indonesia up to the same international standards that are worldwide and at the World Economic Forum benchmark,” Ibu Nia Niscaya, director of international tourism promotion for the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia told Travel Daily. “Improving out IT means it is easier and quicker for us to reach the consumer. We are already looking to introduce free Wi-Fi to the old city of Jakarta.”
Yahya was only appointed into the role in late October and will hold a strategy meeting in December to set out his plans.
However Niscaya is certain that any promotion will focus on the entire archipelago and not just Bali.
This was supported by a recent fam trips where several UK travel agents and tour operators visited Komodo Island.
New flights from Garuda Indonesia, Royal Brunei and Oman Air have all contributed to a ‘positive impact’ on Indonesia’s tourism arrivals, she added.
“Connectivity is important and Indonesia offers so much for tourists to experience. The Garuda flight from the UK is great as being a SkyTeam member means travellers can go onto more destinations within Indonesia. The airline recently opened up more flights to the eastern part too,” Niscaya added.
The country will also be looking at several niches including the honeymoon market, sport, heritage, shopping, city, wellness, culinary and MICE.
Niscaya said the ministry will also look at ways to simplify the visa process for cruise tourists to increase the number of ship calls.
“Simplifying any process will make it easier for tourists to reach us and we have to work harder to get tourism,” she said. “Indonesia is already investment-friendly which makes it simpler to build; Accor is one of the largest hotel companies building in the region.”