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Chasing the Tourism Dollar

Chair of Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) Declares What's Needed to Make National Tourism Blossom.

(2/20/2005) Yanti Sukamdani, the Chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) recently told the Indonesian-language daily Bisnis Indonesia what she thought was needed to make Indonesia's tourism industry blossom and grow.

Among the recommendations made by Ms. Sukamdani:

A commitment of US$50 million for national tourism promotion. Current promotion budgets are only US$ 3 million.

Cross-departmental cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism from various other branches of the Government including the Department of Trade, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Agency for National Planning, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

An exemption from the Rp. 1 million (approximately US$108) fiscal fee paid by tourism professionals traveling abroad to participate in promotional activities. According to Sukamdani, trade missions from other sectors of the nation's export economy are extended this facility, while tourism workers are not.

Support for the Department of Foreign Affairs to open Indonesian tourism promotion centers in Australia, Japan and China in 2005, in the Middle East and Europe in 2006, and in the United States in 2007.

A coordinated push among all Indonesian government departments to stimulate the MICE sector - Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions.

Support from the Ministry of Communications to improve facilities and services at all of Indonesia's international gateways.

The PHRI Chief said coordinated action is needed in order to meet the Government's stated goal of 6 million foreign visitors in 2005 capable of bringing the Nation US$6 billion in much needed foreign exchange.