The Jakarta Post
Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio during the Onward Indonesia Cabinet announcement by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Oct. 23. (JP/Seto Wardhana)
NET TV cofounder Wishnutama Kusubandio was inaugurated as tourism and creative economy minister on Wednesday.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo introduced on Tuesday the television veteran to his Cabinet, saying “ The 10 new tourist destinations and creative economy are [now his responsibilities].”
Born in Jayapura, Papua, Wishnutama is known for producing popular television shows, such as Extravaganza, Dunia Lain, On the Spot and more. He was the creative director for both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 Asian Games.
In his remarks at the ministry in Central Jakarta, Wishnutama said one of his first challenges was to align tourism and the creative economy.
The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry was first created during President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Cabinet reshuffle in 2011. However, it was then separated into Tourism Ministry and Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) during President Jokowi’s first term.
Wishnutama said the ministry had the capability to manage both fields.
He also explained that there would be many interesting events held with creative economy as the core, mentioning electronic dance music festival Tomorrowland in Belgium as an example.
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“We see Belgium as an example; they have Tomorrowland, which only depends on grassland. We have more than that,” said Wishnutama as quoted by kompas.com.
He explained that to attract foreign travelers, regional tourism agencies needed to create high quality attractions.
Responding to the 100 Calendar of Events launched by the Tourism Ministry in October, Wishnutama said all existing programs were good but it would be better to focus on certain events.
“We don't have to hold many [events]; it's better to put focus on [a few]. It will be one of the attractions that we're going to develop, however such [ a program] requires a process [to be successful],” he said.
Wishnutama said that while he had little knowledge of tourism, he wanted to learn more, asking for support from the ministry’s staff and young generation.
In the next 100 days, he planned to learn more about local tourism.
In addition to the aforementioned responsibilities, Wishnutama also shared that Jokowi had asked him to develop culinary diplomacy by strengthening Indonesian restaurants overseas, so that it could compete with Thailand. (jes/kes)