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JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Local government keep innovating to create new international-scale tourism sites in their regions, to boost number of people visiting Indonesia. Indeed, Indonesia needs more than such internationally-acclaimed tourism sites and annual events including the Jember Fashion Carnival in East Java, the Java Jazz Festival and Jakarta Fashion Week as sweeteners to attract the 17 million foreign tourists and 270 million local tourists targeted for 2018.

Bandung, a top-five Indonesian destination for tourists, recently unveiled its new ‘Chinatown’ tourism spot, on Klenteng Street, a site that offers a blend of Chinese and Sundanese cultures. This spot features 77 kiosks, many of which display products from micro, small and medium enterprises, such as clothes, handicrafts and foods. This new tourism site would help build the provincial capital’s image as a shining example of ‘Unity in Diversity’, a place where residents respect each other despite their differences in ethnicity, culture, religion and race.

“Tourism performances in the city are become more varied, and tourists feel more comfortable to stay; culinary and factory outlets are their main attractions. This has become our mainstay. Tourists arrive to stay in Bandung means it’s easier for them to enjoy tourism places outside the city (district). If they remain in those areas, they cannot have access to adequate facilities such as hotels, restaurants and other entertainments,” Ridwan Kamil, Bandung Mayor explained recently.

Meanwhile, North Sulawesi is preparing more diving sites. North Sulawesi has a lot to offer underwater like Bunaken and Lembeh, with vastly different types of diving. Bunaken has wall dives with nice reef tops in the shallows. The corals have big schools of reef fish. On the other hand, Lembeh provides a beautiful black sand view, usually small and well-camouflaged critters that look like they just landed from outer space.

Steven Kandouw, Vice Governor of North Sulawesi, said he is also preparing tours in collaboration with 470 sponsorships, estimated to generate Rp20 billion in revenue and a higher tourist flow, particulary from China, which increased 683 percent to 94,000 tourists in the last decade.

“We will allocate 10 percent of our regional budget of Rp4 trillion for tourism infrastructure development. We also ask 15 regencies and cities to allocate more spending on tourism. Also, special attention to Chinese tourists, fast-growing in the past few years. We prepare human resources by giving scholarships for more than 200 students to study the Mandarin language; we also train police and security officers to learn Mandarin as well as English,” he told TheInsiderStories.

Kutai Kertanegara meanwhile offers international events next year, including Erau Adat Kutai art performance, International Folk Art Festival, Rockin Borneo, International Dragon Boats Festival, and a SIOP (Society of Paediatric Oncology) international meeting. In addition there will be local events such as Mecat Undat rice harvest, Dayak Kenyah. Tuha Jembayan Village festival as well as Bahana Ceremony, according to Sri Wahyuni, Head of Kutai Kertanegara Tourism Department. Kutai Kertanegara has become a most favored destination in Kalimantan, after Balikpapan.

Yogjakarta, home of archaeotourism, is also preparing several international events, including a Jogja International Heritage Walk for November 2018 that will be participated in by more than 328 foreigners. The event will feature art performance as well as site tours to Prambanan temple, and Imogiri royal graveyard. In addition, Jogja Air Show event will feature sky divers from United States of America, Japan and Australia, diving to Prambanan and Borobudur Temple and landing on an 800-meter beachside airport.

Aris Riyanta, Head of Yogjakarta Tourism Department said last year that more than 355,000 tourists visited Yogjakarta. CAGR of tourist during 2012-2016 reached 14.72 percent, with an average 2.15 day stay period. 12.7 percent of the tourists came from Netherland, the biggest number of travelers based on origin, followed by Malaysia at 10 percent, Japan 7 percent, United States of America and Singapore 6.5 percent, respectively. Tourism has become the third-biggest contributor to regional GDP, with revenue of more than Rp10 trillion.

“Last year we also attracted 224,705 tourists to village tourism in Bantul, Sleman, Kulon Progo, Gunung Kidul and Yogjakarta Regencies. We have 1,500 homestays and 3,800 rooms provided by local societies, with much unique gastronomy and many art performances. We expect this will exert a direct multiplier effect on society,” he said.

Community Based Tourism

Riyanta added that many of the visitors of Jogjakarta are interested in the culture. They are not here for leisure, but they want to study the local culture and for that they need time to interact with the local people and they do not need to stay in luxurious hotels. A good sample is Borobudur Homestay Village, that has step forward in the digital ecosystem and created a website: to facilitate reservations for visitors.

According to him, Borobudur Homestay Village is a form of community-based tourism development. This should encourage other regions to develop community-based tourism. He said the Borobudur area has grown fast; therefore, synergy is needed between all stakeholders to sustain the growth.

The district head expressed thanks to a number of state companies for their contribution to social funding for the development of a village convention hall. He said development of homestays has contributed to development of local tourism and district economies, which will benefit the people in general. Thus, the Borobudur village chief is expected to maintain good security and allow the people to exploit all potentials in the village.

“Development of homestays, digitalization and expansion of international flights are all needed to back up the policy of the Tourism Ministry to attract more foreign visitors to the country. People in the villages of Ngaran II, Borobudur, already took the right initiative by expanding homestays and digitalization by opening their website.

The global cultural tourism market is expected to decline at a CAGR of (35.55 percent) during the period of 2017-2021, according to Research and Market studies. According to the report, one of the major drivers for this market is growing affordability.

Per capita disposable income has low volatility in developed countries, which is attributed to the spike in double-income households. This has a direct influence on individuals’ spending capability. Because of improved spending capability, the affordability of high-end products has increased in developing countries. Therefore, higher disposable incomes in Pacific Rim countries, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam, are expected to drive the global cultural tourism market growth even further.

Writing by Yosi Winosa, Email: