Jakarta. The Switzerland government will make a "big investment" in Indonesia's tourism industry within the next four years, providing expertise in the hospitality industry and vocational skill development to support the Indonesian government's ambitious target of attracting 20 million international tourists annually by 2020, an official said on Friday (14/07).
"We actually plan to do quite a big investment into tourism in three new projects," Martin Stottele, the head of economic development cooperation at the Embassy of Switzerland in Indonesia, said.
Stottele made the comment on the sidelines of the Switzerland-Indonesia Economic Development Cooperation Strategy 2017-2020 launch in Jakarta during which the two countries renewed economic and development partnerships.
According to Stottele, Switzerland will be working with the World Bank to create an integrated tourism masterplan for selected tourist destinations in Indonesia including Labuan Bajo in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara; Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi; and another location to be announced by the Indonesian government later.
In a second project, Switzerland will provide technical assistance to establish a new tourism school in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, and four polytechnics in other areas.
The Indonesian government, Stottele said, plans to set up four new polytechnics to teach wood carving and furniture in Semarang, East Java; smelters in Morowali, Central Sulawesi, and Bantaeng, South Sulawesi; and a food processing facility under the management of the Industry Ministry and the Research, Technology and Higher Education Ministry.
"The first polytechnic in Indonesia was established [with] Switzerland's assistance. Now we want to come back and assist mainly in a new sector," Stottele said.
Stottele was referring to a polytechnic for mechanics in Bandung that was established in 1973 by the Indonesian and Swiss governments. The Swiss Polytechnic for Mechanics has now transformed into the Bandung State Polytechnic for Manufacture.
A third project will be set up to assist the Indonesian government with implementing masterplans designed in cooperation with the Swiss government.
At the launch event, the Swiss government announced it will invest a total of 75 million Swiss francs ($77.5 million) in the next four years in Indonesia.
Kennedy Simanjuntak, the deputy for development funding at the National Development Planning Ministry (Bappenas), praised Switzerland's effort to help Indonesian cocoa farmers increase their income and reduce greenhouse emissions by 30 percent in the past four years.
Kennedy told reporters he hopes Switzerland will invest more in Indonesia's tourism sector in the next four years to help the Indonesian government achieve its goal of growing the country's tourism industry.
Indonesia has set itself a target of attracting 20 million foreign tourists annually in the next three to four years. The country attracted 11.5 million foreign tourists last year, up nearly 11 percent from 10.4 million in 2015, according to Indonesia's statistics agency.