Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Jakarta Needs Strategic Alliances with other Destinations

As a tourist destination, Jakarta experienced a decline in reputation after the bomb blast at Mega Kuningan, in addition to sharper competition among destination in territorial, regional, and global levels. To recover its reputation and to win in the competition, Jakarta needs to established strategic alliances and to build networking with other destinations.

Arie Budhiman, Head of the DKI Jakarta Province Tourism and Culture Agency, in a discussion with Business News, stated that tourism development, recently, was increasingly sharper because each region and country placed tourism as a reliable sector in economic development, which had been proven to have contributed to state and regional revenues and absorbed many workers.

In order to win in the competition, besides increasing the attractiveness of a tourist destination, be it in the form of natural attraction, man-made attraction, or event that become objects of tourist visits, we also need to build networking with other destinations, especially destinations which were near Jakarta.

At present, the challenge faced by tourism in Indonesia, including Jakarta, was very big, as a result of Indonesia’s reputation as a safe and comfortable destination which weakened due to many terrors, such as tsunami, terrorism, bird flu, swine flu, and flight ban of Indonesia national airlines by European Union, and the recent suicide bombing at Mega Kuningan, Jakarta.

Attempts to restore the reputation of Indonesia, especially Jakarta, needs a commitment from each tourism component at all levels to improve the existing weaknesses, whether in policy structure or front-line services.

Nationally, tourism sector also needs an open-sky policy review supported with increase of airline seats capacities, socialization and expansion of visa on arrival, free-fiscal policy for certain tourism business operators, application of tax refund, and increase of role of society in the framework of increase of travel awareness.

Diyak Mulahela, Chairman of Association of Hotel Controller (AHCA), told Business News that Jakarta needed to eye domestic tourists, who, in 2008 alone, spent around Rp. 81 trillions. From such amount, around 52% was spent on accommodations and food & drink.
The restoration of safety is preformed by, amongst others tightening of supervision over hotel guests. But, security tightening should not be done extraordinarily that it may cause lack of comfort. If it was done based on international standards, hotel guests would feel that they were quite safely protected.

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