Senior tourism players representing a number of organizations, including the Indonesia Tourism Society Bina Pariwisata (Care Tourism); Concern Group for Indonesian Aviation (PAUKI); and the Indonesian Tourism Senior's Club (ITSC) have united in a call for the establishment of a new official body charged with the promotion and marketing of tourism, similar to the now defunct Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board (BPPI).
The call for new body for national tourism promotion was made during a workshop held by the three tourism groups in Central Java with the theme the "Survival of Indonesian Tourism."
Wahyu Hidayat, the former President Director of Merpati Nusantara Airlines and a member of PAUKI, said the need for such a promotion body is essential to the salvation of national tourism. Hidayat, quoted in the Indonesian language daily Bisnis Indonesia, said, "by whatever name the proposed body is called, its presence is badly needed, as was the BPPI. But the main problem that must be resolved is a source of revenues and accountability for the use of those funds."
Current regulations stipulate that only the government or a body owned by the government is allowed public funding, effectively barring the private sector from tourism support funds.
Hidayat expressed the view that the government is often ineffective in its promotional programs and needed to engage a professional or undertake outsourcing, requiring cooperation between the private and public sector.
The former BPPI was disbanded by the Ministry for Culture and Tourism with accumulated debts of US$ 19 million left unpaid. The sudden disbandment of the BPPI is reported to have left its former Chairman, Ponjo Sutowo in a precarious legal position, with creditors pursuing him for the debts incurred by the BPPI in the promotion of national tourism.
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