The Jakarta Post
The Tourism Ministry is set to get an additional Rp 2.2 trillion (US$176.4 million) from the proposed revised 2015 state budget and will use almost half of the extra funds to enhance its marketing strategy.
'The previous budget allocated for tourism promotion was only Rp 300 billion and that is obviously not enough to promote all provinces in the country,' Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said after a meeting with House of Representatives Commission X overseeing education, youth affairs, sports, tourism, art and culture on Thursday.
'The Finance Ministry has agreed to increase our budget from Rp 1.7 trillion to Rp 3.9 trillion this year, with Rp 1.2 trillion allocated for promotion,' he added.
Arief, the former president director of PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), said that he would allocate 50 percent of the promotion budget for developing digital marketing.
'Around 75 percent of our promotion will be held abroad, focusing on our main markets; Singapore, Malaysia, China and Australia,' the minister said.
Arief added that of the total Rp 3.9 trillion in the budget, Rp 2.4 trillion would be allotted for the tourism sector, while the rest of the Rp 1.5 trillion would fund the creative economy sector, which would remain under the ministry until the establishment of the Creative Economy Body.
The ministry is aiming to attract 10.06 million foreign visitors this year, an increase of 7 percent from the 2014 target. As for domestic tourism, the ministry has set a target of 254 million trips this year, an increase from 251 million trips last year.
Recent figures from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) show that the number of foreign-tourist arrivals reached 8.52 million in the January-November period of 2014, an increase of 7.29 percent from the 7.94 million arrivals recorded a year earlier.
Arief said that the recent policy issued by Transportation Ministry to increase the price floor for scheduled airlines would have no significant impact on the country's tourism industry.
As reported, under Transportation Ministry Regulation No. 91/2014 on price-ceiling mechanism ' which was signed by Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan on Dec. 30, 2014 ' the price floor for scheduled airlines is set at
40 percent of the maximum price, an increase from the previous 30 percent.
'Most airlines are already offering ticket prices above the regulated floor price, particularly during the peak season,' Arief said. 'They only offer cheapest-option airfare as a marketing strategy and the number of tickets offered that cheap is not significant,' he added.
Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board (BPPI) chairwoman Wiryanti Sukamdani previously said that the ministry was on track to record 20 million foreign visitors in 2019, buoyed by the elimination of visa requirements for visitors from Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia. She said the measure was a good start for further boosting the number of foreign arrivals.
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