May 4, 2010
Intervention by the Delegation of Indonesia at the Discussion on Agenda Item “The Contribution of Tourism to Development”, Second Session, Trade and Development Commission UNCTAD
- It is my pleasure to participate in this high-level panel discussion on “The contribution of tourism to trade and development”, and to listen to the inspiring presentations of the panel this morning.
- We extend our appreciation for the highly substantive report made by the UNCTAD Secretariat. A special thanks goes to Ms. Mina Mashayekhi who has given an extensive presentation on how tourism can best channel its contribution to development.
- Indonesia believes that the most important economic feature of activities related to the tourism sector is that they contribute to three high-priority goals of developing countries: the generation of income, employment, and foreign-exchange earnings. In this respect, the tourism sector plays an important role as a driving force of economic development.
- In the case of Indonesia, tourism is second only to the natural resources in the proportion of foreign exchange that it brings into the economy. Bearing in mind the important role played by tourism, Indonesia adopted action-oriented strategies to strengthen the tourism sector namely:
- Building and modernizing infrastructure to increase tourist arrivals.
- Improve access to the attraction site or facility.
- Launching the “Visit Indonesia Year” in 2008. The program proved to be a great success, largely due to the excellent cooperation of all stakeholders, including the airline services, hotels, food and beverage industries, and local communities. In 2008, over 6 million tourists spent more than USD7 billion in the country. The revenue gained from tourism in that year has helped us in dampening the impacts of the global financial crisis.
- Promoting marine tourism and strengthening the tourism sector in the Eastern parts of Indonesia, such as through the convening “Sail Banda 2010”, with most of the events taking place in Ambon, Maluku, in the coming months. The annual “Sail Indonesia” event is an annual yacht rally that leaves Darwin in North Australia in July of each year, has helped put Indonesia on the map as a world class sailing destination.
- Boosting intra-regional tourism within the South East Asia region through promoting ASEAN as a single tourism destination, and facilitating intra-ASEAN travel and freer tourism services trade. On this note, ASEAN has also established a Working Group on tourism and tourism-related services, namely business services, maritime transport, telecommunication and information communication technology services, to examine ways to strengthen regional tourism industry.
- As a part to raise the profile of Garuda Indonesia as our international airline carrier, the government purchased several Boeing 777-300ERs. Beginning from 1 June 2010, these airplanes will re-open non-stop flights from Jakarta to various destinations in Europe, including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Rome, Paris, and London.
- Indonesia experienced a slowing down in tourism sector due to the global financial crisis, which can be seen from the significant down turn of the occupancy rate of hotel rooms nationally, nevertheless, during 2009, Indonesia was able to receive 6.5 million visitors, or a growth of 0.4% compared to 2008. We believe the increasing growth was largely due to the implementation of the aforementioned national strategies. Even though minimal, this small growth actually meant that the tourism sector in Indonesia has withstood the impacts of the 2008-2009 global economic crisis.
- Bali, the most famous holiday destination in Indonesia, remains an attractive place for both domestic and foreign investors with investment rising by 31%, from IDR10.4 trillion in 2008 to IDR13.7 trillion in 2009. Such investment has generated 2340 jobs, not only for the Balinese people but also other Indonesians originating from various provinces.
- In 2010 Indonesia targets a total of 7 million international visitors spending on average USD1.000 per stay, thus contributing some USD7 billion to Indonesia’s economy. This is an increase of growth between 8%-10% compared to 2009 which is above the expected 2010 economic growth of 5.5%-6%. It is expected that earnings from domestic tourism to surpass USD13.3 billion (IDR120 trillion).
- In conclusion, Indonesia stands ready to work together with all member states to explore more ways and means to enhance the contribution of tourism to development, particularly to utilize the tourism sector as one of our key tools in achieving the MDGs.
I thank you.
Geneva, 4 May 2010