Tourism Minister Arief Yahya. (Photo courtesy of the Tourism Ministry)

Sharing Economy Helps Tourism Grow: Minister


MAY 28, 2017

Jakarta. Sharing economy has not only boosted telecommunication and transportation sectors in Indonesia, but also driven rapid growth in the tourism industry, Indonesia's Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said on Sunday (28/05).

Arief said the three sectors share many similarities. Transportation brings people, goods or cargo to another place; telecommunication transports text, voice and video between people. Meanwhile, he said, "Tourism moves travelers, locals and international visitors."

"These three industries also experience a low season, a high season and a peak season. They also have to cope with problems of distance, time and speed," Arief said.

The minister said Ramadan is typically a low season for tourism in many places in Muslim-majority Indonesia, since people tend to refrain from traveling during the fasting month — though holiday destinations like Bali are still filled with tourists.

"But religious tourism [during Ramadan] is booming. Many people use the occasion to visit the graves of the wali songo [the nine Islamic saints of Java] in Cirebon, Demak, Kudus, Tuban and Surabaya," Arief said.

"Sharing economy, a good example of which is homestay-style accommodation, can be very helpful to tourism," he said. "Travel apps have made booking everything easier, and help keep prices down," he added.

Travel sites that use the sharing economy model like Airbnb and Coachsurfing are now also supported by commercial travel booking agents like Traveloka and Agoda. "Sharing economy also encourages more people-to-people connection. This is a model that has been adopted in many countries," Arief said.