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One Hundred Days and Counting

Indonesian Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik Plots a Course for His First 100 Days of His Second Term.

(12/1/2009) Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, has revealed 11 key program for his department during the first 100 days of his second term as a cabinet minister.

Bisnis.com reports that Wacik is in the process of finalizing a strategic plan for the Department of Culture and Tourism covering the 2009-2014 in coordination with various related branches of the Indonesian government, including the National Planning Board (Bappenas) and the Office of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy (Menko Perekonomian). Wacik recently told Commission X of the House of Representatives (DPR): "We will take until December 31, 2009 to finalize our strategy. We are finalizing details with Bappenas and the Minister of Finance."

The Minister also said that a coordinated agency for the management of world heritage and national heritage sites is in the process of being established. "From November 3-6 there was a an international meeting on Borobudur and Prambanan as World Heritage Sites," explained Wacik.

The Culture and Tourism is in the process of creating an inventory of national and regional culture involving the Departments of Education, Law and Human Rights, Interior and Commerce. In this connection, the Department of Culture and Tourism has engaged 75 historians to prepare a book on Indonesian history and prepare for a meeting with President Yudhoyono set for January 2010.

Other programs include the development of a complex commemorating Indonesia's revolutionary hero General Soedirman that will include dioramas and base relief's documenting the national struggle for independence.

Wacik is also finalizing plans for Festival Film Indonesia (FFI) that the Minister hopes will promote the development of a national film industry. Wacik proudly cites how when he assume office five years ago the number of film produced in the preceding 12 years could be counted on one's fingers, a situation which has improved immensely with 90 national film production scheduled for completion in 2010.

There is also a Festival Musik Sasondo scheduled to be held on Rote Island in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) in December. The Sasondo is a musical harp found in the NTT region of Indonesia made from the leaves of the lontar palm. This is just part of a series of traditional music festivals planned across the entire nation. Said Wacik: "We wish to find those cultural threads that can be celebrated via festivals that will provide a symbol that will unite the nation."

Among the most prominent programs contained in Wacik's first 100 days of his second ministerial term is a commitment to create additional "tourism village" that will serve as tourism objects and sources of employment for local populations. "The program began in 2008 with just 10 villages has now expanded to become 104 village. Next year we will develop 200 tourism villages across the entire nation," explained Wacik.

A program to certify 4,000 workers in the hotel and restaurant field is now underway in cooperation with the national tourism industry and the National Certification Agency.

The Department of Culture and Tourism has targeted 6.4 million foreign visitors and 227 million domestic tourists for 2010, both programs supported by a marketing program now being finalized by Wacik's department.

Cautioned Wacik: "The target of 6.4 million for 2010 is the same as the previous year, but will be challenging to achieve given the continuing effects of the worldwide financial crisis on international tourism."