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Indonesia Invests in Sustainable Tourism Development
04 March 2024 | Written by Chris Alexander

Tourism officials in Indonesia have highlighted environmental sustainability as the key ingredient in plans for development of the tourism sector. In practice, this will involve strengthening partnerships and forging new collaborations, while also striving to preserve local traditions and cultures, strengthen social and environmental awareness, and invest in the development of new innovations. 

“Indonesia has been pursuing sustainable tourism development by implementing various initiatives, including preservation of local traditions and culture,” said Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno in a speech at the Raisina Dialogue 2024 held in New Delhi on Thursday, 22 February. 

“Indonesia’s efforts to pursue sustainable tourism and a creative economy align with the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in several ways, including the promotion of sustainability and economic development,” added the minister. The Government of Indonesia has been quick to invest in new technologies and innovations that can expedite the achievement of SDGs and strengthen the nation’s sustainability offerings. 

During his speech, Uno elaborated that sustainable tourism and other creative economies should help forge competitive ecosystems based on innovation, boost the economy, attract eco-minded tourists and contribute to global initiatives aimed at building a more eco-friendly future. To that end, Indonesia has been following a number pathways towards decarbonisation of tourism, through the roll-out of eco-friendly vehicles and other green energy solutions, with activities supported by carbon offsetting enterprises.  

In October 2023, Indonesian President Joko Widodo created a tourism fund for the purpose of financing quality and sustainable tourism development. At the time, Uno confirmed that the fund will be used to “support quality and sustainable tourism development such as high-quality international events, cultural festivals, sports activities and MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions).”  

He has since revealed that the Indonesian tourism fund will concentrate more broadly on sustainable, high-quality and eco-friendly tourism, with priority given to Indonesia’s cultural assets. “Through the financing ecosystem, we can gauge foreign tourists not only in terms of quantity but also quality, considering factors like their length of stay, spending on local MSMEs, and their potential to generate business opportunities and employment in tourism and creative economy sectors,” he said. 

The Government is currently reviewing additional sources of funding for sustainable tourism investment, which include endowment funds and tourism-generated foreign exchange. “Sources of funding will be carefully reviewed to ensure its sustainability without burdening the State Budget and the tourists. We aim to strike a balance that enhances the quality and sustainability of our tourism sector,” said the minister.