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Too Little Too Late?

Tourism Promotion Budget Increased by 66% for 2006.

(12/31/2005) Indonesia's Department of Culture and Tourism have been allocated a promotional and marketing budget for 2006 of Rupiah 100 billion (approximately US$10 million).

With current projections suggesting that the total foreign direct arrivals to Indonesia for 2005 will come in at around 5 million – a figure 6% below last year's totals, the new allocation for tourism promotion represents a 66% increase from the 2005 promotional budget of US$6 million and a de facto acknowledgement from the Government that current promotional efforts are inadequate.

Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, has identified safety and security as a central theme in the Government's drive to regain lost tourist flows. Speaking to the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, Wacik said: "One of the keys to promoting tourists to visit Indonesia will be guaranteeing the security and safety during their stay. Because of this, a budget of US$10 million or around Rp. 100 billion has been approved for promotion and marketing."

Is it Enough?

Although a significant increase from past year’s promotional allocations, the Indonesian expenditure remains relatively small in comparison to competing destinations, such as Malaysia (US$60 million) and Thailand (US$100 million).

The Minister, who had optimistically targeted 6 million foreign visitors for Indonesia early in 2005, now blames the under performing tourism sector on the lingering effects of the 2004 tsunami and the October 1, 2005 Bali bombing.