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Indonesia Invests: Nature Tourism the Root of Revival
05 October 2020 | Written by Chris Alexander

This week, Wishnutama Kusubandio, Indonesia’s minister of tourism and creative economy, stated that Indonesia’s vast wealth of natural attractions will be central to a nationwide tourism revival. When restrictions are eventually lifted, returning visitors are expected to flock to the great outdoors in the post-pandemic travel landscape. 

Nature-based tourism has been identified as a safe and healthy arena in which to restart Indonesia’s tourism sector, with many experts already suggesting that this is the way forward. Wishnutama has confirmed that 24 billion rupiah (US$1.6 million) has been set aside in the budget for financial assistance to six tourism and creative economy sub-sectors.  

The new investment rollout forms part of a wider funding scheme, in which Indonesia’s central government is preparing to spend around 3.8 trillion rupiah on developing new destinations and launching new marketing initiatives to promote them. These include so-called ‘rebound’ projects for Bali, Lombok and North Sulawesi. The tourism ministry has also been given a budget of 4.1 trillion rupiah to revive the MICE sector, with meetings and business events hosted at the country’s priority destinations in Bali, Toba, Labuan Bajo, Likupang and Mandalika. 

According to Wishnutama, his office has been busy forging partnerships with finance, hospitality and aviation partners, such as Garuda Indonesia and the Association of State-Owned Banks (Himbara), in a bid to offer tourists special deals and incentives, including discounted flights to featured destinations. 

Investment is also being earmarked for the development of additional tourism villages, to provide returning tourists with memorable cultural encounters across the archipelago. One such project is the village of Jodipan (also known as kampung warna-warni or ‘colourful village’) in Malang in East Java. According to government plans, incentives of up to 200 million rupiah will be offered to each hotel and homestay operating in tourism villages, particularly in ‘super priority’ destinations.  

One such destination is Lake Toba in North Sumatra, where last month the government began the construction of ten new tourism villages, spread across 279 hectares in scenic locations surrounding the lake – one of Indonesia’s most popular natural attractions. 

With locations such as Sumatra’s Lake Toba, Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara and Mount Bromo in East Java, Indonesia is blessed with many superb natural attractions. Added to the beaches of Bali, the rainforests of Kalimantan and many world-class diving destinations nationwide, Indonesia is poised to be a favourite choice for returning travellers. As the government begins directing major investment into preparing and optimising these destinations, the tourism sector is ready to make the most of new arrivals.