Following a hugely successful 2023, Indonesia’s tourism officials are looking to break new ground in 2024. Specifically, this new direction will focus on green travel, providing visitors with experiences that prioritise sustainability, respectful interactions with local communities and the responsible use of resources.
“We want green tourism to become a mainstay in 2024,” said Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno in a recent statement, in which he also highlighted the potential of destinations like the Riau Islands to be a focal point for green development in the months ahead. According to the minister, attractions in this region such as Nirup Island Batam, Boyotomo Bintan and Lagoi Resort Bintan provide the ideal gateway into Indonesia for environmentally friendly travellers.
The number of international arrivals to Indonesia exceeded expectations last year, prompting the government to double down on its strategy to revamp the sector along environmental lines. “The number of foreign tourists exceeded our target of above 35 percent (from 8.5 million visits),” said Uno in his statement, referring to the 11 million visitors from abroad in 2023.
Of this group, 1.5 million entered Indonesia via the Riau Islands, with particular focus on Batam City. According to Uno, this makes Batam a location that’s just as important as Bali or Jakarta when it comes to inbound travel. “This strengthens the Riau Islands’ position as the third largest gateway for foreign tourists entering Indonesia,” said the minister.
The Government of Indonesia is putting an emphasis on high-quality, sustainable tourism offerings, as part of efforts to attract 14.3 million foreign visitors to Indonesia in 2024. Uno himself announced this target at the National Coordination Meeting on Tourism and Creative Economy 2023, held in Bandung, West Java, in December.
The ministry is currently exploring a range of partnership opportunities with various airlines, with a view to increasing the number of international flight routes available to places like Kertajati West Java International Airport. Combined with development of infrastructure in Riau, the objective is to boost the number of foreign tourist entries to Indonesia in 2024, while also increasing the quality and the sustainability of their experiences after they arrive.