Blusukan to Manado Town Square, President Jokowi Inspects the Effect of Tourists Surge to North Sulawesi
Having paid a two-day visit to Papua inaugurating a number of electricity infrastructure projects and launching single fuel price policy, President Joko Jokowi Widodo accompanied by First Lady Ibu Iriana continued his working visit to North Sulawesi Province.
President Jokowi paid an impromptu visit ‘blusukan’ to Manado Town Square (Mantos) 3, Manado, North Sulawesi, on Tuesday (18/10). Arrived at 8:15pm Central Indonesian Time, the President accompanied by Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki, Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi, Governor of North Sulawesi Olly Dondokambey and Manado Mayor Vicky Lumentut was greeted by the people who were in the mall.
Wearing a long-sleeved white shirt and black trousers, President Jokowi directly entered the mall and walked around the mall. The number of mall visitors who want to shake hands with the President has resulted in the President walked slowly to greet the people and to meet their wish to have a photograph together.
After walking around in the mall for nearly 60 minutes, the President explained to reporters that he was present at the mall to see the development of tourism in North Sulawesi following a surge of foreign tourists. “There is an increase particularly tourists from China who come to Manado,” the President said.
The increasing number of tourists coming from China made up to 1000 percent is due to the availability of direct flights from several cities in China to Manado which only takes three hours, the President further said.
The President believes that the increasing number of foreign tourists who come to visit Indonesia has given a positive effect on the national economy. That is why the President felt the need to witness at firsthand the activity of the people of Manado City. “Tonight I come here to look at it and I notice the economic growth is clearly seen. The economic growth could be seen if we enter the market, the mall like this,” the President said.
In order to support the development of tourism in North Sulawesi, the President has asked the Governor of North Sulawesi regarding the facilities needed in North Sulawesi to support the tourism sector. “He raised the issues of the ring road 3 (Malalayang-Winangun) which is ready to be built and the road from the airport to the Mayor’s office. That is it,” the President said.
The President also underlined the importance of infrastructures to support tourist arrivals. To that end, the President requested that the central, provincial, regental/city governments synergize to work together to build infrastructures.
“If the readiness of infrastructures including roads, airports, tourism is not assisted by the central government immediately, I am worried that the city government gets overwhelmed. It will be much better if the central, provincial, and city governments work together,” the President said.
In addition to the adequate infrastructures, services at the airports such as customs and immigration services must also be in place to welcome foreign tourists. “We check every single thing one by one,” the President concluded. (BPMI Presidential Secretariat/ES)(Mur/YM/Naster)