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Minister Wacik: Don't Only Holiday in Bali

Indonesian Culture and Tourism Minister Urges Public to See Indonesia First, Instill a Love of Country and Avoid Taking Your Holiday in Singapore.

(12/21/2009) Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik has called on the Indonesian public to not only spend their year end holidays in Bali, but to also consider other destinations within the country, many of which are hosting cultural festivals to attract foreign and domestic tourists.

Quoted in Bisnis.com., Wacik said his department was recommending that Indonesian holidaymakers avoid Bali and Bandung (West Java) which are "already overcrowded with tourists visits during the Christmas and New Year's holidays."

"We are recommending people chose destinations such as Palembang which has just launched "Visit Musi," or travel to Belitung to see where the film "Lasakar Pelangi" was made. In South Sulawesi there is the "Tanah Toraja Festival," while in East Nusa Tenggara they can attend the “Sasondo Music Festival" in Kupang," explained the Minister.

Wacik said that market forces would prevail with transportation, flights, hotels and services costing more during the busy holiday period, but this does not detract from the travel industry's concomitant desire to provide good service at all times.

The Minister said that in order to face heavy demand over the Christmas and New Year's Holiday period all airlines, both foreign and domestic, and ground transportation operators need to increase capacity in order to efficiently handle the upswing in holidaymakers.

Don't Go to Singapore

Wacik warned: "All our tourist destinations - from Aceh to Papua - are safe and excellent. What's important to me that nobody goes to Singapore and cause us to lose valuable foreign exchange. Remember we need to instill ‘Know Your Country, Love Your Country' as a motto in the hearts of our children."