Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies Sandiaga Uno, has told the media during his press conference his plans to recession-proof Bali. He shared with reporters how he and his teams are adjusting their strategy for 2023 in light of global economic change. He suggested that with the threat of a worldwide recession, Indonesia must stay ahead of the game to help reduce the impact on the country’s tourism sector.
Minister Uno led by explaining how the world’s three major economic areas, North America, China, and Europe, are all heading toward recession in 2023. He said, “Of course, this will have an impact on people’s spending, especially in the tourism sector. Therefore, we immediately made adjustments in terms of focus on developing tourism and the creative economy, especially foreign tourists.”
He highlighted how there is an increased interest in Indonesia as a tourism destination from travelers from India, Australia, and New Zealand. He continued, “also, Malaysia and Singapore are still growing.” Minster Uno shared that the adjustments needed to help recession-proof the tourism sector include marketing, like his partnership with Airbnb, and the provision of more direct flights to the country’s leading tourism destinations like Bali.
He explained, “there have been several foreign direct flights from Qatar and Dubai that have already delivered. We also want additions from Singapore and several ASEAN countries. This is what we are trying to do in the first quarter of this year in collaboration with airlines and the Ministry of Transportation so that the market is very this potential also includes India being served by direct flights, especially to the two leading destinations, namely Denpasar and Jakarta, maybe later it can be added to other destinations”.
There has been speculation around the launch of direct flights from mainland China and direct flights from Mumbai in 2023, though official statements have yet to be made by airlines or the Department for Transportation.
Minister Uno is keen to ensure that tourism development is not only concentrated in Bali. He has identified five super-priority areas for tourism development. These include Lake Toba in Sumatra and Labuan Bajo in the Flores Islands.
Despite the looming global recession, Minister Uno remains positive about the prospects of the Indonesian economy in 2023. He said, “Indonesia will still grow by around 5 percent. Of course, we must focus on encouraging the movement of domestic tourists to reach the target number of 1.2 billion to 1.4 billion. We will greatly encourage the movement of domestic tourists”.
Minster Uno set his targets for the tourism sector in 2023 in late December, having smashed targets for 2022. In addition to the billions of domestic tourism movements, he wants to see 7.4 million international arrivals to Indonesia by the end of the year. Speaking at the time of the announcement, Minster Uno said, “This can be achieved if the focus is on two strengths, namely nature and culture. In addition, tourists with a special interest in ecotourism, spiritual tourism, and religious tourism”.
Tuesday’s press briefing concluded with more dialogue around how the Ministry for Tourism can facilitate improvements to domestic tourism across the country. Minister Uno said, “What about the definition of the movement of domestic tourists who move between districts for more than 6 hours this can be triggered by several activities such as events, culinary tours, shopping tours, healing tours, as well as tours in tourist villages around us”.
Minster Uno handed over to the Deputy for Strategic Policy at the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Nia Niscaya, who encouraged Indonesian citizens to explore their home country.
Niscaya said domestic tourism is good for communities and the economy, adding, “events can be enjoyed by people outside their regency area and are counted as domestic tourists. Because basically, the movement of people will lead to economic movement.”
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