Jakarta. The Ministry of Tourism will present a tourism business forum in Batam, Riau Islands province, on Friday (12/05), in cooperation with the local chapter of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or Kadin.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Esthy Reko Astuti, deputy for tourism development at the ministry, said the 2017 Batam Tourism Business Forum will be held to promote and develop tourism on the island, which offers attractive beaches, exciting nightlife and duty-free shopping.
"Businesspeople from Singapore, Malaysia, China, and various regions [in Indonesia] are expected to participate in the tourism forum," Esthy said.
She added that tourism-related business associations, such as the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Indonesian National Air Carriers Association (Inaca), Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (Asita), Riau Islands provincial government, and officials of the Batam Industrial Utilization Body, are also expected to attend.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said in the statement that tourism is the new way the government seeks to attract investment.
"Tourism is not less important than investment in infrastructure. This could draw domestic or foreign investment," Arief said.
"In general, the tourism sector has grown about 10.3 percent [annually] in Indonesia, which is higher than the average growth in the Asean region, at about 5.1 percent, and the world, at 4.4 percent. Thanks to Kadin Batam, the spirit of Indonesia Incorporated will continue to help grow the tourism sector," said Arief, a former chief executive of state-controlled telecommunications company Telkom.