From the newly opened direct flight services to the Sail Raja Ampat event, tourists are guaranteed a satisfying stay.A more integrative and detailed development will be emphasized on five National Tourism Strategic Areas, namely Toraja, South Sulawesi; Jakarta and Thousand Islands; Denpasar and Sanur, Bali; as well as East Java's Bromo-Tengger-Semeru area.
More airports will be constructed and opened next year including one near Lake Toba, North Sumatra where Sail Raja Ampat event is set to launch in 2014.These efforts are done not only to attract more tourists but also to invite them to visit many interesting destinations in the country other than Bali.
With that optimism in mind, The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has set a target to increase foreign tourist visits to Indonesia from 8.6 million this year to 9.2 million or a 7 percent increase in 2014.
Although that number is still below the initial estimation of 10 million, the Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu is optimistic that foreign tourist arrival numbers will still grow next year - in line with the increased amount of international direct flight routes to and from the archipelago as well as some improvements in infrastructure.
To achieve the target, the ministry will prioritize its promotional efforts to attract more tourists from South Korea as well as China's secondary cities such as Fuzhou and Xiamen.
In addition, Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board (BPPI) chairwoman Wiryanti Sukamdani said that the government would also try to lure more tourists from European countries, especially the German market.
“The number of tourists from Germany remains high despite Europe struggling to get out of the financial crisis. German airline Lufthansa’s recent plan to resume its Jakarta-Frankfurt route in March 2014 is another important factor for us to consider,” Mari explained.
“The recently opened Xiamen Airlines direct service to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport provides another good opportunity to tap into the already massive Chinese market,” Wiryanti added.
To support these initiatives, the government is targeting up to 2,000 Chinese tourist visits to the archipelago in 2014. A Mandarin language website, cn.indonesia.travel, is already developed and partnerships with Chinese local travel agencies have been signed to facilitate this goal
A significant contribution from meeting, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) industry is also expected due to the country's legislative and presidential election held next year.
The increasing number of hotels and function rooms in Jakarta and other Indonesia's cities will ensure more meetings, events and exhibitions will be sufficiently accommodated in the future.
Mari is hoping that the legislative and presidential election will have a positive impact on the MICE industry and other related creative industries such as advertising and handicraft businesses.
Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo also has many plans to pull more tourists to the capital city.
He recently announced that Jakarta was ready to become a sharia tourist destination and tap in Muslim tourist markets such as Malaysia and countries in the Middle East.
Sharia hotels, restaurants as well as catering businesses are currently being developed to support this target. A gubernatorial regulation on halal certification is under way while restaurants have been encouraged to get certification.
According to Deputy Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sapta Nirwandar, the halal food industry is currently contributing around 1.6 trillion dollars to the global economy.
“Everyone can contribute and support this movement, not just Muslim restaurant owners,” he said.