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Tourism Minister Fighting for Bigger Budget

Sandiaga Uno, Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, is seeking a Rp. 3 trillion (US$184.75) million)  increase in the tourism ministry’s budget,

A press release from the Indonesian Tourism Ministry confirmed it is seeking an additional Rp. 3,052,364,852,000 to finance new programs to help develop and expand the nation’s tourism sector.

Sandiaga Uno and Deputy Minister Angela Tanoesoedibjo tabled the request for additional funding at a meeting with Commission X of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR-RI) in Jakarta on Wednesday, 05 June 2024.

At the meeting with legislators, Sandiaga said the supplemental allocation of Rp3.052.364.852.000 is in addition to the Ministry’s budget as presented in the existing indicative ministerial budget submitted as part of the State budget on 05 April 2024. “We hope (the supplemental budget) can be championed in order to advance the tourism and creative economy sector,” added Sandiaga.

The Tourism Minister underlined his Ministry’s accomplishments, saying additional funding would pave the way for future impressive advancements. Sandiaga highlighted that Indonesia’s ranking in the Travel Tourism Development Index/TTDI issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF) that has increased ten places from 32 to 22. Indonesia has also earned a top rating as a Muslim-friendly Destination, as announced by the 2024 Mastercard Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI).

“I feel positive regarding the request for additional funding, and my colleagues in the Banggar (DPR Budget Body) will fight for it. In the end, this will end well for everyone. We will immediately write and further increase the priority scale of this request for an additional budget,” he said.

Deputy Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Angela Tanoesoedibjo explained that the current budget represents a decrease of 49.96 % from the 2024 budget ceiling of Rp. 3,534,132,141,000. Angela said the additional budget proposal was submitted to cover the draft government work plan (RKP) 2025.

Continuing, Angela said: “In this way, the 2025 achievement target indicators, namely increasing economic growth by 5.3% to 5.6%, can be achieved. In addition, the 2025 tourism and creative sectorial development target seeks to increase the tourism GDP (gross domestic product) percentage by 4.6 percent, achieving foreign exchange amounting to US 22.1 billion, and enhance its share of the creative economy GDP by 7.92 percent.’

The request for supplemental funding received a signal of support from the Vice-chairman of Commission X of the DPR-RI, Agustina Wilujeng Pramestuti. She said the additional funding is needed for further sustainable development of the national tourism and creative economy sectors.

Meanwhile, CNN Indonesia quotes Indonesia’s Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani, who urged her Ministerial colleague, Sandiaga Uno, not to become cynical about the current budget that he considers inadequate. In response, Sandiaga cited Indonesia’s improved ranking in the 2024 Travel & Tourism Development Index. Mulyadi remarked: “I congratulate Bapak Sandi, who said that Indonesia’s ranking had jumped to 22nd place, despite the Tourism Ministry’s limited budget.” Continuing, Minister Mulyadi jokingly said: “That’s all good. So, (does this mean that) the more I cut the tourism budget will result in a higher ranking in the Indonesia Travel & Tourism Development Index? Great!” 

Minister Mulyadi said the small state budget for tourism should not leave Minister Sandiaga cynical and discouraged. She reminded everyone that the State Budget for the Tourism and Creative Economy is one of many government stimulus programs for the tourism economy. Mulyadi said that State funds intended to advance tourism do not flow solely through the Tourism Ministry. For example, funding provided to the Public Works and Public Housing Sector pays the cost of developing airports undertaken by the Ministry of Transportation

“So, in this case, don’t be cynical about the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy’s budget because it (Kemenparekraf) is not always related (to tourism). Tourism depends on human resources, infrastructure, and the environment,” explained Mulyadi. Concluding: “We need to be very careful in examining the actual contributions supporting the tourism sector.”

Mulyadi said the Government has allocated Rp.3.53 trillion for the tourism and creative economy sector for 2024. This amount is more than the Rp.3.39 trillion allocated in 2023. However, the 2022 budget is less than the 2019 budget of Rp. 3.83 trillion.

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