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Minster Wants To Integrate West Bali And East Java In Tourism Development Strategy

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Indonesia’s Minster for Tourism and Creative Economies has announced that he wants to integrate the development of West Bali and East Java as a part of the National Tourism Strategic Areas. Minister Uno shared his vision with communities and the press during a weekend visit to Pescuen Village in East Java. Minister Uno told small business owners that it would be an opportunity to create jobs and expand emerging markets.

Temple On Menjangan Island In West Bali National Park

He specifically wants to develop Banyuwangi and West Bali as tourism destinations. Both these areas of East Java and Bali are often overlooked, especially by international tourists. Minister Uno spoke openly in 2022 about his intentions to bring more people to enjoy the west of Bali. His announcement to incorporate the development of Banyuwangi with West Bali aligned with his mission to spread the tourism economy more evenly throughout the country. 

Ketapang Harbor in Banyuwangi East Java.

He told local business owners in Banyuwangi that promoting tourism in the area will help create more jobs. He explained, “we must be involved in the community. We must be present and absorb their aspirations; that’s what I have proven. Moreover, in 2024 we are targeting 4.4 million new, quality jobs. Improving the quality of MSME’s (micro, small, medium enterprise) products must lead to job creation and absorb people’s aspirations, especially with regard to solutions so that the economy revives, jobs are created.”

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Tourists Enjoy Beach in West Bali National Park Menjagan island.

Minister Uno added that the key to tourism development in areas like Bayuwangi and West Bali was to support MSMEs. He explained, “Earlier I asked the women selling sweets, their sales had only recovered 50 percent compared to before the pandemic. It means we have to continue to work hard so that their economy recovers.”

Women Selling Food and Drinks At Stall in East Java

Through his role as tourism minister, Sandiaga Uno is on a mission to create 4.4 million new jobs in tourism across Indonesia. Speaking in the first week of January, Minister Uno said that his department has already created over three million new tourism jobs in the last 12 months alone.

He told reporters, “What excites me the most is the addition of the number of tourism workers and the creative economy, which was targeted to be 1.1 million in 2022. It is likely to be over three million. So, three times the prediction”. He and his department are keen to now only reach but surpass tourism targets set for 2023, and their success rate certainly suggests that this is feasible. 


He continued, “The revival [of tourism] has been very visible, and the target for foreign tourist arrivals has been exceeded this year. From the optimistic target of 3.6 million, we have reached 5.2 million foreign tourists. So, the increase is almost 70 percent above the target.”

On the 30th of December 2022, Minster Uno visited West Bali National Park. Minster Uno reiterated his support for conservation-based tourism in the National Park. During his meeting with the Head of the West Bali National Park, Agus Ngurah Krisna Kepakisan, and the Regent of Jembrana, I Nengah Tamba, he praised management teams for the success in introducing the critically endangered Bali Myna, also known as the Bali Starling or Jalak Bali. 

Bali Myna Bali Starling Jalak Bali Endangered Bird in West Bali Nationa Park

Minster Uno said, “conservation carried out for the Bali Starling here is extraordinary so that the animal is protected from extinction.” Prior to conservation initiatives targeted at saving the endangered bird, there were just six known individuals in the wild and around fifty in captivity.

Minster Uno continued, “Now there are 560 in nature. That’s a great development. Therefore, even if the TNBB is made a tourist object, it must be based on conservation because there are endangered birds here that are protected.”


When asked how business and tourism initiatives in west Bali, specifically within Jembrana Regency, could be supported further, Minster Uno said that the Gilimanuk-Denpasar Toll Road, due for completion in 2025, would make it easier for both domestic and international tourists to explore what the area has to offer; including West Bali National Park and accessible public transport routes to tourism destinations in East Java like Banyuwangi. 

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Wayan Bo

Wednesday 18th of January 2023

Because continents are moving, perhaps one day Bali could be integrated into Europe or Mediterranean Sea too.


Wednesday 18th of January 2023

The minister want to share the Bali crowd with East Java?

If Lombok is ok with bikini clad influencers -- should be ok with East Java.


Wednesday 18th of January 2023

Good idea, existing tourist areas are already way to crowded, spread that out a bit and share the tourism dollar, with appropriate measures in place to not then destroy the existing nature of these areas.