In a historically unprecedented Cabinet level coordinating meeting on Tourism and Culture, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono gathered together 17 members of his Cabinet, 7 provincial governors and a number of academics and association leaders concerned with tourism and culture issues at the Bali Presidential Palace of Tampak Siring on Saturday, February 26, 2005.
The meeting, originally scheduled to run from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m., did not finish until 7:30 p.m.. Although the matters discussed and decided at the top-level meeting were not detailed to the press, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik did indicate that the meeting ran overtime as the result of prolonged serious discussions of cultural issues.
It's expected that, based on ideas and recommendations put forth during the Tampak Siring meeting, a number of action steps to promote tourism's development will eventually be announced in Jakarta on both a Presidential and Ministerial level.
In comments made to the press in Tampak Siring, Minister Wacik repeated him calls for larger promotional budgets to help Indonesia achieve its ambitious tourism goals. His Ministry currently operates with a small promotional budget of Rp. 90 billion (approximately US$9.8 million), a figure he asking the government to at least double in order to successfully launch a new product branding program for national tourism.
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