Indonesia to Quintuple Tourism Promotion Budget

JANUARY 06, 2015

Jakarta. To make up for the loss of income hotels are experiencing because civil servants are no longer allowed to hold regular meetings there, the Indonesian government is going to quintuple its tourism promotion budget, the vice presidential spokesman announced on Tuesday.

Minister of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Yuddy Chrisnandi issued the hotel meeting ban last year as part of government spending cuts.

The spokesman for Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Husain Abdullah, said the tourism promotion budget would be raised to Rp 1.2 trillion ($95 million) from Rp 250 billion now. That way, he argued, more foreign tourists — up to 20 million — would visit Indonesia and boost hotel occupancy rates.

Indonesia's tourism minister last week expressed the hope that Indonesia would be able to welcome 10 million foreign tourists.

“The tourism situation in Indonesia in 2014 has been bright,” Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said in Jakarta on Friday. “That is why the Tourism Ministry is targeting $12.05 billion in foreign exchange income over the next year and 10 million foreign tourists.”

In 2014, foreign tourists spent $10.69 billion in Indonesia, the minister said, adding that 2014 saw around 9.3 million arrivals of foreign tourists.

Yuddy, the administrative reform minister, has implemented a number of policies in an attempt to cut state spending and create an image of a budget-conscious government.

In a letter issued in late November, he told cabinet members, military and police generals, and other high-ranking government officials, including mayors and district heads, that they should pursue a more humble lifestyle.

The letter presented four main guidelines for officials: invite no more than 400 people for wedding receptions or other family events, with a maximum of 1,000 attendants; prevent public displays of extravagance; do not send flower boards to other officials to congratulate them, or convey condolences in case of a death; and limit spending on advertorials as part of public relations activities.