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See Indonesia First!

Tourism Minister Pangestu Focuses on Domestic Tourism as Safety Measure in the Face of Uncertain World Economy

(12/10/2011) The Indonesian government is urging its citizens to take visit domestic holiday destinations in order to strengthen the national economy.

The Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, told Bisnis.com that domestic tourists give a positive impact across a whole range of national economic sectors.

The potential of the domestic tourism market offers insurance to the Indonesian economy in withstanding the vagaries of the uncertain current world economy. “Indonesian tourism is not immune to crisis, but the domestic market offers a safety belt for the national economy,” explained Pangestu at a seminar of the outlook for tourism in 2012 with the theme “optimizing the creative economy for Indonesian tourism.”

The Minister cited data form the World Tourism Organization (WTO) that shows negative overall growth in world tourism over a 15-month period in 2010 and 2011. The Minister predicts that the current economic crisis and uncertainty will remain a fact of life for at least several years into the future.

“But don’t worry, because the potential of domestic tourism is strong. In 2010 a total of 234 domestic trips were taken in Indonesia generating an income of Rp. 150.49 trillion (US$16.7 billion),” essured the Minister. For this reason, Pangestu is optimistic that domestic tourism remains the “safety belt” of Indonesia’s overall tourism economy.

This advantageous position is further bolstered by its ranking at #39 for cultural heritage among 139 countries worldwide, as measured by the World Economic Forum. The Minister boasted that Indonesia is home to eight World Heritage Cultural Sites and as such has strong potential as the site for festivals and exhibitions linked to the creative economy.

Moreover, points out Pangestu, the majority of Indonesians are in the productive age of less than 29 years, which is another positive indication for the domestic tourism industry.