The Jakarta Post
Fun and games: Tourists enjoy an outdoor activity at the Taman Simalem Resort in Karo regency, North Sumatra. The resort won the Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Award (ISTA) 2018. (JP/Apriadi Gunawan)
The Tourism Ministry has plans in store to have all tourist destinations in Indonesia certified for sustainability to become world-class destinations.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said the ministry’s Sustainable Tourism for Development (STDev) program, based on Ministerial Regulation No. 14/2016, adopted the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) worldwide standards for sustainable travel and tourism.
The Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Awards (ISTA) event, held for the third year running this year, is meant to help achieve the target. Offering a total prize of Rp 1 billion (US$70,522), the award is the ministry’s way to express appreciation for and evaluate the implementation of sustainability in the management of tourist destinations in Indonesia. It involved 176 destinations last year.
ISTA 2019 will open its registration (https://sustainable.indonesia.travel./en/) from March 18 to May 18, and the selection phase will follow. The winners will be announced on Sept. 27, coinciding with World’s Tourism Day.
Read also: Taman Simalem gets sustainable tourism award
“ISTA is an early step to certification,” Arief said in a statement. “I’ve formed a sustainable tourism acceleration team, led by Valerina Daniel.”
Meanwhile, Valerina said the program was aligned with sustainable development goals and with the government’s National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN).
“We’re limited to providing guidance for travel destinations for now, but we’ll add rules on the standardization of sustainability for [hospitality] industries, including hotels and travel agents, in the future,” said Valerina.
Additionally, the ministry has formed the Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Council (ISTC), which will certify destinations – beginning with the winners of ISTA 2017 and 2018 – that are deemed to meet the required standards and have been acknowledged by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Sustainable tourism takes into consideration three main aspects, namely environmental, social and economic concerns. It is also known as the people, planet, prosperity and management approach. It focuses on several elements, including environmental and cultural conservation. (wir/kes)