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Scant Funds Available for Tourism Promotion

Hopes for Aggressive Tourism Promotion Effort Dashed as Meager Budget Announced.

(12/29/2003) Proposals from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for a promotional budget of Rp. 356 billion (approximately US$ 41.8 million) received less than serious support from legislators who approved a final promotional budget of only 31.8% of the amount requested or Rp. 113.5 billion (approximately US$ 13.35 million).

For 2004, a total budget of Rp. 310.3 billion (approximately US$ 36.5 million) has been allocated to the Culture and Tourism Ministry. Of this amount some Rp. 300 billion is from State revenues with the remaining Rp. 10.33 billion in foreign loans for infrastructure improvement programs.

From the total funds available to the Ministry - Rp. 113.5 billion or 35.6% of the total available will be used for promotional activities; Rp. 82.33 billion (approximately US$ 9.69 million) will be used for tourism product development; Rp. 101.5 billion (approximately US$ 11.94 billion) is allocated for cultural preservation activities; Rp. 7 billion (approximately US$ 823,000) for data collection and planning; and Rp. 6 billion (approximately US$ 705,000) for auditing and control.

The Minister of Culture and Tourism used the opportunity to remind the legislators that the targets for increased foreign visitor flows and foreign exchange from tourism will not be met unless an intensive promotional campaign is continually carried out on behalf of Indonesian tourism.