Among Indonesia’s hundreds of attractions, the government has identified 16 priority destinations to be developed in the coming years, said Minister for Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, recently.
The 16 destinations include Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Pangandaran in West Java, the Borobudur–Prambanan areas in Central Java, Yogya-Sleman in Yogyakarta, the Bromo–Tengger–Semeru area in East Java, Lombok and the Rinjani volcano, Flores in East Nusatenggara, Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi, Toraja in South Sulawesi, the Derawan islands in East Kalimantan, in addition to Pulau Weh
in Aceh, the Togean islands in Central Kalimantan, the Thousand Islands and Old Batavia – both in Jakarta, and Bali’s southern and northern coasts, as well as around Mount Batur.
“As a short-term plan, we have picked 16 out of 80 locations as pilot projects on how to manage the tourism sector comprehensively and coordinate with other sectors such as the Public Works Ministry, Transportation Ministry, and local governments. The biggest challenge is collaboration with local government. The most extreme case is Lake Toba in North Sumatra, because 10 regencies and cities are involved.
In Flores, 8 regencies have to team up to develop the island, including Komodo. Improving tourist locations is very difficult if there is no collaboration with locals. This is the real challenge.
The target is not only to increase the number of tourists visiting the country, but to inspire good quality tourism and make them stay longer.
Moreover, Indonesia needs to relate the development of tourist attractions to special interest tourism such as cruise ships and the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions) industry.