The Indonesian government is taking bold steps to boost its tourism sector by planning to establish a permanent tourism fund by the second half of 2024. The initial goal is to accumulate Rp2 trillion for this purpose. Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, shared this development after participating in a meeting with President Joko Widodo and government officials at Istana Merdeka, Jakarta.
Sandiaga Uno outlined the focus of the Tourism Fund, stating, “The Tourism Fund will concentrate on three key aspects: nation branding, tourism promotion, and the organization of national and international events.” This strategic approach aims to elevate Indonesia’s profile globally and attract more visitors.
The concept of the tourism fund involves creating a legal structure with specific objectives to ensure that the initial capital remains intact. Sandiaga Uno highlighted the fund’s potential to support international agendas, particularly major sports events. There’s an optimistic expectation that these events could contribute to a significant increase of up to 15% in foreign tourist visits.
The utilization of the fund for specific purposes will be derived mainly from returns on investments, development projects, and, as much as possible, avoiding tapping into the initial capital. The permanent tourism fund is envisioned to act as a financial catalyst, promoting and advancing the tourism sector, with a special emphasis on green and local tourism initiatives.
Importantly, Sandiaga Uno clarified that the financing source of the tourism fund would not impose a burden on domestic tourism stakeholders. The accumulation of the endowment fund will primarily come from government revenue generated through visa fees and tourism foreign exchange, amounting to a substantial US$25 billion annually.
Looking ahead, Sandiaga Uno expressed his hope that the tourism endowment fund would play a pivotal role in empowering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) situated around tourism festival locations. This approach aligns with the government’s broader goal of promoting inclusive economic growth.
In addition to supporting local businesses, the tourism endowment fund will be allocated to enhance the quality of domestic tourism facilities. This includes improvements to accommodation locations and other supporting infrastructure, such as attractions and souvenir centers.
Sandiaga Uno stressed the government’s commitment to elevating the overall quality of accommodation and services in tourist destinations. The aim is to create an environment that encourages tourists to extend their stay, contributing to a more vibrant and sustainable tourism sector.
Emphasizing the fund’s significance, Sandiaga Uno highlighted its role in boosting the promotion of local tourism. Traditional events, such as the Pacu Jalur Festival in Kuantan Singingi Regency, Riau, and Mombawa Tumpe in Banggai Regency, Central Sulawesi, are expected to receive increased support through the tourism fund.
Beyond domestic initiatives, the tourism fund will also be instrumental in bringing renowned international events to Indonesia. Events like MotoGP, F1 Powerboat, Aquabike Jetski World Championship, and major concerts by international bands, including the FIFA World Cup, will find support from this fund.
These initiatives are poised to enhance Indonesia’s global appeal and solidify its position as a premier destination for tourists and international events alike.