President Jokowi: Indonesia Has Destinations that Tourists Look For
Date 4 Oktober 2017
President Joko Jokowi Widodo gave grounds for the Government’s incentive to provide visa-free entry for international tourists. For the record, more than 140 countries are granted visa-free travel to Indonesia.
According to the President, Indonesia has all destinations that tourists are looking for. We have the products but, as you may be aware, for many years our international tourists have never exceeded 10 million visitors. Whereas, Thailand has over 30 million visitors and Malaysia has over 24 million visitors.
In fact, we have a number of tourist destinations 10 times as many as they have, maybe 15 times. “Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore continue to grow. I heard, Thailand has exceeded 35 million tourists per year. What about us?” the President said at the closing of the 2017 National Coordination Meeting (RAKORNAS) of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Jakarta (3/10) evening.
The President said that he has told the Minister of Tourism that the target of 20 million tourists in 2019 must be met. Otherwise, his position is at stake.
Therefore, the President continued, the Government issued visa-free program two years ago. He mentioned, when Singapore, Malaysia granted free visas for 170 countries, Indonesia granted free visas for 14 countries. Now, the number jumped already to 140 countries.
The President admitted that some reminded him that if Indonesia is visa free, there will be terrorists coming in. However, the President said he was not afraid. He asserted that if other countries are visa free, Indonesia should also be visa free.
Now, according to President Jokowi, there are already 140 countries. The President believes the results can be seen later in 2019, from 7 million will jump to how many.
On that occasion, President Jokowi also raised the issue of the absence of parking spaces for tourist boats. The President questioned this because Indonesia is an archipelagic country that has 17,000 islands but we do not have the cruise and yacht terminals. “How come the cruise ship wants to come to Indonesia, where will they park?” the President said.
The President mentioned that Singapore has many cruise terminals. In fact, the President continued, we can build 10 cruise terminals in a year. “This is very simple. Yesterday, in a Plenary Cabinet Meeting, I ask to build 10 cruise terminals in 2 years,” the President concluded.
Accompanying the President on the occasion were Coordinating Minister for the Economy Darmin Nasution, Minister of State Secretary Pratikno, Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita, Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto, Minister of National Development Planning/Head of National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) Bambang Brodjonegoro, Head of Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) Triawan Munaf, and Head of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Thomas Lembong. (FID/JAY/ES) (MUR/YM/Naster).