Indonesia has a new Tourism and Creative Economy Minister, 49 year-old Wishnutama Kusubandio, the founder and chief executive of NET TV until his resignation on October 22.
He was educated in Indonesia, Australia and Singapore before joining the Military College of Vermont at Norwich University in the United States.
In the new Cabinet handpicked by Indonesia president Joko Widodo, Wishnutama replaces 58-year-old Arief Yahya, who has been in the role since October 2014.
Under Arief, Indonesia’s growth in foreign tourism reached an impressive 49% for the three years 2014-2017, compared to the 23% rate of growth in the preceding three years 2011-2014.
Indonesia welcomed 15.8 Million foreign tourists nationwide in 2018, although the 2019 target of 20 million tourists is likely to fall short when the numbers are tallied.
In his first statement since his appointment, Wishnutama said tourist destinations need to be managed with a more creative approach to generate higher interest among visitors.
He said tourism and the creative economy are the core of Indonesia moving forward and it should be managed with a more creative approach to generate more foreign exchange and gain visits from quality tourists. "Aside from promotion and infrastructure, more creative abilities are needed to manage tourist attractions," the new minister added.