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On the Road to Recovery, Indonesia Goes Off the Beaten Track
31 July 2021 | Written by Chris Alexander

Ask any traveller to Indonesia what the highlights of their trip were, and they’ll most likely talk about ‘friendly locals’ and charming places off the beaten track. With post-pandemic travel likely to focus on remote locations in the great outdoors, the government is committing funds to support the development of special tourism villages throughout the archipelago. 

The Ministry of Tourism has announced plans to help village-owned enterprises come up with new products and highlight some lesser-known tourist attractions for returning travellers to discover and enjoy. The new campaign is expected to create jobs, spur economic development and broaden the range of experiences available to international visitors after travel restrictions have been lifted.  

“Amid the large-scale development of super-priority destinations, there is an ongoing micro-scale development, namely the tourist villages, which have proven themselves as the pandemic winner,” explained Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno earlier this month.  

Speaking during the Investor Daily Summit 2021 – Indonesia’s biggest investment forum – the minister outlined his plans for a tourism revival, in which the country’s 1,500 tourist villages could have a big part to play. “What we are pursuing here is a personalised, customised, localised, and smaller-in-size approach,” explained the minister, who intends to expand the number of operational villages to include 244 more destinations. 

To support this growth, the Ministry of Tourism is focusing on training, assistance and entrepreneurship in suitable locations nationwide. The government has allocated a budget of IDR 72 trillion (around US$4.9 billion); resources used to improve infrastructure and attractions in more than 75,000 villages nationwide. 

Several award-winning tourism villages already popular in Indonesia include Penglipuran in Bali, which preserves the island’s traditional way of life and showcases local artistic heritage; Nglanggeran in Yogyakarta, home to rice fields, waterfalls and Javanese cultural traditions such as batik and jatilan; and Tamansari in Banyuwangi, famous for its cloves, coffee beans and chocolate, grown on farms located at the foot of the Mt. Ijen volcano. 

Panorama Destination is currently helping to develop three tourism villages in Lombok (Bilebante, Sembalun, Sesaot) and another in Yogyakarta (Kebon Agung), as part of our mission to enrich the health, wealth and sustainability of the tourism sector in Indonesia and the other destinations where we operate. To find out more about these initiatives, take a closer look at our sustainability policy