In an effort to boost tourism next year, when is set to be declared “Visit Indonesia Year“, the government should consider establishing a travel-pass system for overseas visitors, Indonesia’s Tourism Council says.
Dorodjatun Kuntjorojakti, an advisor to the council, told a tourism seminar that the year 2008, which will also see Beijing hold the Olympic Games, will provide a good opportunity to attract millions of tourists from all over the world to Indonesia as a Business News article explains.
“Thus, the government should make the best out of this by working on a travel-pass system enabling post-Olympic tourists to come here,” he suggested.
He explained that travel passes, consisting of round-trip tickets to destinations throughout Indonesia using any means of transportation, could be sold at tourist destinations and entry gates worldwide.
For the travel pass to work, the government would have to collaborate with travel agents, international airlines and local transportation operators, such as bus companies, state-owned railway operator PT KAI and ferry firm PT Pelni.
“Even though we have don’t have an integrated, intermode transportation system or an MRT, we can still make use of what we’ve already got.”
Up to 500,000 foreign tourists and 2.5 million local tourists are expected to attend the Olympics, according to a forecast by the International Olympic Committee. China has invested around US$17 billion on hosting event.
To coincide with the Olympics, Indonesia will declare 2008 “Visit Indonesia Year”, with the country set to stage 100 international-scale events and cultural festivals throughout the 33 provinces of the archipelago.
It is hoped that the promotion will increase the number of foreign visitors to some seven million next year from around six million this year.
The official announcement of Visit Indonesia Year, which was initially planned to take place next month, will now be made in September.
As part of its preparations, the government is working on improving basic infrastructure, such as roads and telecommunications access, in the country’s top tourist destinations.
The Culture and Tourism Ministry will spend some Rp 153 billion (US$17 million) on improving tourism attractions and promoting the campaign.
Dorodjatun, a former coordinating minister for the economy, said that besides availing of the opportunities provided by the Olympics, the government should also continuously strive to sustainably upgrade tourism facilities and access to tourist destinations.
Responding to the suggestion, the ministry’s director general of marketing, Thamrin B. Bachri, said that the proposal sounded good, although what the government was focusing on at the moment was improving the basic infrastructure in tourist destinations.
“The most important thing is to enhance the basic elements first,” he said. “How can we attract the tourists if we still adequate facilities, like airports, for instance.”
The Indonesian Tourism Council groups tourism experts and business players, and is charged with providing advice and suggestions to the government for the development of the tourism sector.