From the west end, Aceh offers the Bukit Cinta or Love Hill tourist attraction with a distinctive culture. For those who want to experience a religious trip, the grandeur of the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque is certainly the right destination.
Moving on to the North Sumatra region, tourists can enjoy various water-based natural tourist destinations such as Lake Toba, Lake Siombak, and Dwi Warna Sibolangit Waterfall.
Meanwhile, the eastern region of Indonesia also offers interesting tourist destinations. The famous Raja Ampat archipelago, for instance, presents breathtaking views for tourists who set foot in Papua.
The variety of Indonesian tourism does not only stop in its nature. The country is also rich in cultural customs. Many heritage traditions, arts, and culture also attract tourist visits. In addition, various culinary choices with unique and interesting experiences from each tourist destination in Indonesia complement the country’s tourism industry.
With so many potential tourist destinations, the government has mapped out and focused on developing potential tourist destinations to become super-priority tourist destinations.
The five super-priority destinations are Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Likupang in North Sulawesi, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Lake Toba in North Sumatra, and Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).
These destinations, according to the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, become one of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi)’s direct instructions as an effort to increase Indonesian tourism.
“President Jokowi instructed us to focus on developing five super-priority destinations first. We must make sure that in the midst of a pandemic, we can still improve, not only in terms of infrastructure but also in terms of the creative economy,” Uno conveyed.
President Jokowi hopes that the five super-priority destinations will grow and develop first before a similar thing is done in other tourist areas.
After the development of five super-priority destinations in finished, in the coming years they will be expanded and developed into world-class tourist destinations.
The minister is optimistic that the target for developing these super-priority tourist destinations will be completed by the end of 2023 or mid-2024 by the latest.
Encouraging domestic tourists
Indonesia, which consists of a group of islands, is united by the ocean. This condition is one of the challenges for the government to provide adequate tourism infrastructure, facilities, and infrastructure in general.
Airplanes are one of the choices for travelers to enjoy the beauty of Indonesia from one island to another. This flying vehicle cuts travel time shorter than other modes of transportation. However, airplanes are not always the first choice because they depend on airport availability and capacity as well as fluctuating ticket prices.
Especially during certain seasons such as school holidays, Eid al-Fitr, Christmas, and New Year, flight ticket prices can increase by up to 100 percent of normal prices.
Looking at the end of 2022 when the community activity restriction (PPKM) was revoked, the Jakarta-Bali ticket was observed to be around Rp1,6 million for economy class. Even though during normal times, ticket prices were in the range of Rp700,000 to Rp900,000 per passenger in the same class.
The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, which oversees the tourism sector, is striving to help stabilize the commercial flight ticket prices by coordinating with the Ministry of Transportation to increase the number of flights and ensure the availability of seats with several airlines.
This year, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is targeting the movement of domestic tourists to reach 1.4 billion.
To achieve this target, the ministry and related staff will carry out movement called fast movement (gercep), joint movement (geber), and gaspol (working on all potential employment) or called 3G to revive domestic tourism, including with the ranks of the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Ministry for the procurement of aviation fuel.
With these various efforts,the ministry hoped it would be able to reduce the price of avtur for domestic routes. At Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, the price of avtur, based on the First One Solution data, was reported to have decreased.
On January 15-31, 2023, the avtur price was at Rp15,136,8 per liter for domestic flights and US$0,88,2 per liter for international flights. While in the period of February 1-14, 2023, the price fell to Rp14,947.59 per liter for domestic flight routes and increased to US$0,88.9 per liter for international flights.
Regarding the price of airplane tickets that increased significantly, Minister Uno noted that this was influenced by the load factor, the availability of aircraft, and the price of avtur.
Garuda Indonesia’s contribution
The state-owned airline, Garuda Indonesia, is making a positive contribution to the recovery of the national tourism sector by gradually optimizing the frequency of various flight routes with high levels of occupancy to Indonesia’s leading destinations.
“We can ensure that in determining ticket prices, Garuda Indonesia always refers to the rules set by the government, especially regarding the Upper Limit Tariff (TBA) and Lower Limit Tariff (TBB) policies,” Garuda Indonesia President Director Irfan Setiaputra said.
In a prudent manner, the implementation of ticket prices is carried out by considering the supporting aspects namely aviation fuel, to maintain the ticket price in accordance with the regulations.
In line with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy which strives to help solve the existing problems, the Ministry of Transportation is also committed to improving the quality of infrastructure, one of which is at Ngurah Rai Airport, Bali, which is said to be the busiest airport managed by the state-owned airport operator, PT Angkasa Pura I (AP I), in 2022.
The airport is attempting to expand its capacity to 35 million passengers per year or three times higher than the current capacity.
“With the Emirates airline’s plan to operate the Wide Body Airbus A380 aircraft in mid-2023, it is necessary to increase capacity such as extending the runway and developing terminals and aprons as our effort to provide better service to passengers,” Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said.
In addition, the Ministry of Transportation is also committed to increasing connectivity in Bali which is also a tourist magnet for Indonesia by connecting the resort island with surrounding areas such as Lombok and Banyuwangi.
Regional development is also expected to bring a greater impact on the progress of the tourism sector, rather than building a new airport.
By strengthening synergy and collaboration among related stakeholders, Indonesia’s tourism sector is expected to revive after the PPKM revocation.
Related news: Bali optimistic of tourism bouncing back in 2023
Related news: Shenzhen-Denpasar flight route to boost tourist visits: Ministry