blog.indahnesia.com - Discover Indonesia Online

    
You are currently in > Just a blog about Indonesia > Indonesia's tourism - a National tragedy


Indonesia's tourism - a National tragedy DENPASAR - Anak Agung Gde Agung is one of Indonesia's most distinguished and well-informed senior statesmen. He is a graduate of Harvard and Leiden universities. He as attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in the United States and served as social services minister during the administration of President Abdurrahman Wahid.

The following article is reprinted from The Jakarta Post.

Indonesia's tourism - a National tragedy

Government officials at all levels claim that Indonesia's tourism is doing well, with each year seeing robust advancements. On the contrary, however, all the data indicate how dismally Indonesia's tourism has done this past decade.

In the last 12 years to 2007, tourist numbers fluctuated between 4 million and 5 million visitors. The average length of stay has declined, from 10 days in 1997 to barely 8.5 days in 2008. Worst yet is how Indonesia compares with neighboring Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, which last year attracted 10 million, 15 million and 22 million visitors respectively.

How can such a huge discrepancy occur? How is it that Indonesia, brimming with such wealth in culture and natural beauty, attracts only a quarter of the tourists that basically barren Malaysia does?

This tragedy seems to have its source in the early 1980s, when Indonesia, strapped for funds, pointed to already world-famous Bali as its tourist cash cow. Since then, little has changed. As a result, Indonesia's tourist attraction has been practically limited to Bali, with devastating consequences. Tourists overflow in quantum leaps to Bali, creating an explosion of infrastructure requirements that visibly erode the natural environment.

The over-concentration of tourists in Bali has not only brought an unmanageable overflow of visitors to the island - often the wrong types who cannot appreciate the unique local culture and natural environment - but has also led to an utter neglect of the other many equally attractive tourist spots throughout the archipelago.

Fabulous sites such as Borobudur, Yogyakarta, Toraja, Bunaken and Ujung Kulon, for instance, have been practically left unheeded. Such complacency has a high price, as can been seen from the destructive erosion that the overcrowding of tourists has brought to Bali's culture and environment, and how it has stagnated Indonesia's other richly diverse tourist destinations.

How bad have these other destinations stagnated? Here are a few horrifying statistics:

Borobudur, that World Cultural Heritage icon, was only able to muster about 85,000 foreign tourists last year, compared to more than 1 million by the more recently discovered Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Toraja these last few years has only attracted an average of about 5,000 overseas tourists a year.

Bunaken averaged only about 10,000 foreign visitors a year for as long as one can remember, versus more than 4 million for the similar Pattaya in Thailand.

Ujung Kulon, with its rare one-horned rhino, can only claim an average of 6,000 combined domestic and foreign tourists a year.

A fast recovery is imperative here and the condition for this is a complete change in mind-set. The first order of the day is for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to declare tourism a national priority and for central and regional authorities as well as the government and the private sector to work hand in hand in this effort. This needs to be followed by a preliminary phase of quick-win activities rejuvenating tourist destinations that have so far languished but need only small improvements to boost them back.

Borobudur, for instance, can be brought back to full splendor by relocating the street vendors who have been encroaching on the temple grounds and harassed visitors from fully enjoying this beautiful temple/monastery. Toraja can also attract far more tourists by repairing its forsaken airfield so that visitors can arrive there within 45 minutes from Makassar and avoid the perilous 10-hour journey through steep mountains.

As for Ujung Kulon, tourist numbers can easily rise to more than a million there within a very short time if regular and safe sea transportation is made available from Jakarta. There are other fabulous places besides those mentioned above currently suffering from lack of attention, such as Mount Bromo, Yogyakarta and Komodo Island, which only need small touches to turn them quickly into major tourist destinations while easing the pressure on overcrowded Bali.

The quick-win phase should be followed by a longer-term buildup of other tourist sites nationwide, which will require more infrastructure investment to put them on the travel map. These sites are currently still relatively unfamiliar places, but have the potential to offer inherently unique attractions and help sustain the long-term development of Indonesia's tourist industry.

Such places include Trowulan and Kota Gede for historical interests, Banda Naira and Raja Ampat for spectacular surfing, and the Baliem Valley and Waikabubak for unparalleled ethnic experiences. There are many other such tourist sites and they can be offered in clusters of similar attractions to make the trip for tourists richer and more diverse.

Both during the quick-win and long-term phases, the tourism recovery effort has to be supported by appropriately directed promotional campaigns with a common national branding. Malaysia has its "Truly Asia", India its "Incredible" claim while Singapore and Thailand have respectively dubbed themselves "Uniquely Singapore" and "Amazing Thailand". Branding is important to position the country concerned at the top of mind of would-be tourists while also filtering the right tourists who can appreciate what that country offers.

Increased arrivals of tourists, who show their appreciation of the local specialties, will make the local people proud of their heritage and motivate them to strengthen it further, which in turn will bring even more like-minded tourists. This will result in an upward spiral of tourists and local people hand in hand strengthening the traditional inheritance of the land.

A successful tourism program can have many priceless benefits for Indonesia, including making it the most diverse tourist destination in the world, providing it with a sustainable and environmentally clean source of revenue larger than any of its current ones, and bringing overall prosperity to the people throughout the archipelago (and not just Bali) through grassroots empowerment and self-sustenance.

These are huge potentials that Indonesia should strive its best to realize, as the rewards for their successes are just too great to forgo.


Related blog entries (category 'Tourism') Related blog entries (category 'Tourism'):
26 January 2010 · Visa-on-arrival can be extended as of January 26
22 January 2010 · Good hopes for growth of tourism in 2010
11 January 2010 · More than 2.2 million tourists for Bali is difficult
05 January 2010 · Southeast Sulawesi promoting itself
04 January 2010 · Bali needs more direct air access from Europe
31 December 2009 · Indonesia sees tourist arrivals up 8.5 % in 2010

Related blog entries (category 'Tourism') Tags: tourism, national tragedy, Bali, Indonesia


Posted in Tourism @ 02 February 2010 01:30 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





Yogya-Bali
User
User icon of Yogya-Bali
spacer line
 
(Edited) Posted @ 04 February 2010 17:26

Amazing.....it is a native allowed to speak the truth! But he forgets to mention one thing and that is the poor quality of service in the tourism branch and lack of right attitude towards tourists (that's something which has negative results already 2 decades to see in Bali).



Fairy
User
User icon of Fairy
spacer line
 

Malaysia "basically barren?" Are you kidding me? Has the writer ever been to Malaysia? The country is yes smaller, but barren? Absolutely not. What a close-minded and prejudiced thing to say!



Log in to write a reaction

You are not logged in to the website. You have to be logged in to write a reaction on this blog entry.

· If you already have an account, please login.
· If you have lost your password, please retrieve it.
· If you don't have an account yet, you can create one.

    
 ABOUT THIS ENTRY
Add this blog entry to your email, your own blog, MySpace, Facebook, or whatsoever via AddThis:
Bookmark and Share

e-mail updates for this blog article

Login if you want to receive emails for reactions on this blog entry. You will receive an update as soon as a reaction on this blog entry is posted.

Your website for tickets in Indonesia!
Looking for e-tickets for flights in Indonesia? Here's your solution! Order your e-tickets at ticketindonesia.info.
 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
 BLOG ARCHIVE
· 2015, 28 entries
· 2014, 591 entries
· 2013, 750 entries
· 2012, 1061 entries
· 2011, 792 entries
· 2010, 644 entries
· 2009, 916 entries
· 2008, 504 entries
· 2007, 725 entries
· 2006, 1014 entries
· 2005, 723 entries
· 2004, 558 entries
· 2003, 525 entries
· 2002, 375 entries
· 2001, 162 entries
 POPULAR TAGS
· gigolo
· jakarta
· blogger
Automatically generated every hour
 BLOG CATEGORIES
· General (1205 entries)
· Economy (643 entries)
· Politics (574 entries)
· Accidents (561 entries)
· Terrorism (541 entries)
· Earthquake (539 entries)
· Volcanoes (387 entries)
· Crime (357 entries)
· Corruption (349 entries)
· Flooding (278 entries)
· Elections (276 entries)
· Travel (268 entries)
· Bird Flu (254 entries)
· Religion (242 entries)
· Tourism (239 entries)
· Oddly enough ... (219 entries)
· Violence (198 entries)
· Drugs (196 entries)
· Health (192 entries)
· Aceh conflict (191 entries)
· Environment (185 entries)
· Weather (171 entries)
· Military (168 entries)
· Protests (157 entries)
· Culture (106 entries)
· Garuda Indonesia (91 entries)
· C. Sulawesi conflict (86 entries)
· Human rights (82 entries)
· Forest fires (78 entries)
· Sidoarjo mudflow (71 entries)
· Power supply (64 entries)
· Ramadan (63 entries)
· PT Freeport (55 entries)
· Picture guess (48 entries)
· Maluku conflict (47 entries)
· Dengue Fever (37 entries)
· History (37 entries)
· Infrastructure (36 entries)
· Polio (35 entries)
· Mexican flu (35 entries)
· Website (25 entries)
· Media (22 entries)
· Nuclear power (21 entries)
· Sports (20 entries)
· Sexy (16 entries)
· SARS (15 entries)
· Nightlife (10 entries)
· Others (5 entries)
· Lippo Cikarang (5 entries)
· Close smallest categories
 EXCHANGE RATES
EUR-IDR: 16,590 · 16,620  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 18:12 CET
JPY-IDR: 126.83 · 126.95  The Rupiah rate improved since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 21:58 CET
MYR-IDR: 3,545 · 3,549  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 15 May 2018 08:42 CET
SGD-IDR: 10,479 · 10,501  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 07 May 2018 07:48 CET
THB-IDR: 439.14 · 439.41  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 16 May 2018 09:18 CET
USD-IDR: 14,097 · 14,157  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 00:46 CET
Go to 'exchange rates' 
 MOST RECENT REACTIONS
·  At 20 September 2018 06:54 erik12 reacted on Fuel prices lowered, again
·  At 19 October 2015 17:17 imambudianto5 reacted on Bank Indonesia maintains benchmark interest rate at 7.75%
·  At 04 March 2015 19:18 merdekaSah reacted on Alleged terrorists shot dead three villagers in Poso
·  At 04 March 2015 13:11 Yogya-Bali reacted on Alleged terrorists shot dead three villagers in Poso
·  At 26 February 2015 13:02 Irena reacted on Sexy, a young woman with candy
·  At 08 May 2014 09:51 jstar reacted on No alcohol should be sold in warung
·  At 01 May 2014 10:07 jstar reacted on Indonesia to be among the top 10 peacekeeping contributors
·  At 27 March 2014 05:50 harlys reacted on PPP leader voices concern over Islamic parties' future
·  At 10 March 2014 06:11 Yogya-Bali reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 09 March 2014 00:11 Yerun reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 08 March 2014 20:33 nicknick reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 18 February 2014 04:17 Yerun reacted on Ash from Mount Kelud eruption spreads over all of Java
·  At 16 February 2014 05:41 Amed East Bali reacted on Ash from Mount Kelud eruption spreads over all of Java
·  At 14 February 2014 22:27 Anne Mieke reacted on Asylum seekers in Medan wish to be sent to Australia
·  At 14 February 2014 22:22 beritaislam reacted on Asylum seekers in Medan wish to be sent to Australia
·  At 16 January 2014 15:37 Anne Mieke reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 15:21 Yerun reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 15:05 Anne Mieke reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 14:48 Yerun reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 14:41 Yerun reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
Go to 'forum topics' 

Created by indahnesia.com · feedback & contact · © 2000-2019
Other websites by indahnesia.com: ticketindonesia.info · kamus-online.com · indonesiepagina.nl · suvono.nl

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional 125,572,021 pageviews Discover Indonesia Online at indahnesia.com