In light of the profound shift in tourist behaviour worldwide from
the pandemic, the Indonesian government is looking to prioritise
sustainable tourism as a key driver of economic development, ushering in
a wave of eco-friendly policies and incentives for green investments.
Quality > Quantity
"As we adapt to the new normal, the urgency of sustainability in the
tourism sector has never been more pronounced," stated Rizky Handayani,
Indonesian Deputy Minister for Tourism Product and Events at the 8th
Tourism Hotel Investment and Networking Conference (THINC), which took
place at Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua from 6-7 September 2023.
Rizky advocates transitioning from mass tourism to special interest
tourism for the country's tourism development. While recognising the
significance of a thriving hotel industry, the government now
prioritises attracting high-quality special interest tourists.
Budi Tirtawisata, CEO of Panorama Group, echoed the government's
sustainability drive, adding that Panorama has already taken steps
towards sustainability amid growing consumer demand for eco-friendly
options. However, he stressed the necessity of defining quantity and
quality in tourism and requested clear government guidelines.
Budi believes that quality tourism does not entail excluding tourist
groups from Indonesia but instead underscores the importance of
upholding high-quality standards while accommodating a significant
number of tourists.
“What's most important is quality, so there can be many tourists
(visiting Indonesia) as long as they are of high quality,” he
Indonesia Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy’s Rizky Handayani and Panorama Group’s Budi Tirtawisata speaking at the 8th Tourism Hotel Investment and Networking Conference in Bali. Photo Credit: Hotelivate
Bali leads the way
Bali is one destination in Indonesia that has taken the lead in
implementing green tourism practices, including electric cars and
renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. Several hotels in
Nusa Dua Bali have already adopted sustainable practices, such as using
electric cars and transitioning to solar energy.
Rizki encourages more investors to follow suit in participating in
sustainable tourism across Indonesia, promising significant incentives
for eco-friendly businesses.
The government remains committed to developing priority tourism destinations
like Lake Toba, Borobudur, Labuan Baju, Mandalika, and Likupang. An
additional budget of Rp15 trillion (US$963 million) is set aside for
this purpose over the next two years.
More investment needed
The tourism industry in Indonesia continues to show promise, with the
government targeting 1.4 billion domestic tourists and 6.5 million
foreign tourists by year-end. Notably, international tourist arrivals
grew by 250.3% in the second quarter of 2023, with the top five source
countries being Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, India, and China.
Despite the positive outlook, the tourism industry's investment
levels still lag behind. The government seeks to attract more
investment, with a target of US$2.68 billion. Rizky recommends investing
in star hotels for investment value, with Bali and Nusa Tenggara Timur
as primary destinations. The new capital city, Nusantara, also presents
The government remains committed to developing infrastructure in
priority tourism destinations, including Lake Toba in North Sumatra,
Borobudur in Central Java, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Mandalika
in West Nusa Tenggara, and Likupang in North Sulawesi. An additional
budget of Rp 15 trillion (US$963 million) has been allocated for these
developments over the next two years.
“I invite all of you to consider these promising opportunities and
join us in crafting a sustainable future for Indonesia's tourism and
creative economy,” Rizky remarked.