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Money to Promote

Efforts on Several Fronts to Increase Tourism Promotion Spending.

(9/9/2002) Lobbying efforts are underway on both the national and regional level obtain more money from the Government for tourism promotion.

Mr. Setyanto P. Santosa, Chairman of the Indonesian Culture and Tourism Board (ICTB) appeared in late August before Commission IV of the Indonesian House of Representatives pleading for US$30 million for overseas tourism promotion. He told the legislators that the increased funds, still substantially less than that spent by competing destinations in the region, would be used to purchase advertising on TV stations, focusing on both international and national broadcasts in key markets. A portion of the money would also be used to upgrade several musuems and historical sites around the nation.

Indonesia has set a tourism target of 5.4 million visitors spending an estimated US$5.4 billion for 2002. Total tourism arrivals for the first six months of 2002 stand at 2.1 million. Tourism officials are estimating that tourism arrivals by 2005 could exceed 8 million.

Tourism promotion was only allocated $3 million last year, a paltry sum in comparison to the $100 million spent by Thailand, $150 million by Malaysia, and $60 million by the island state of Singapore.

On the local front in Bali, the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) has announced its intention to lobby the government to allocate more funds for national and Bali-based tourism promotion. In addition to supporting the ICTB's call for more funding, BTB will also be seeking an increase in the local tourism promotion budget from Rp. 3.5 billion (approximately $368,000). Reflecting the belief of local lawmakers that tourism happens without promotion, Bali's annual allocation for promotion is among the lowest in Indonesia with East Java spending Rp. 17 billion; Jakarta Rp. 25 billion; and Central Java Rp. 11 billion.