"I have offered investment opportunities in three main tourism destinations to Chinese investors in the Anhui Province," the minister said when contacted on phone from Jakarta on Saturday.
Minister Arief Yahya was on a visit to the Chinese province of Anhui to meet the local government officials to offer investment opportunities in North Bali, Bintan Island in Riau Islands province near Singapore, and Manado, the provincial capital of North Sulawesi, in Indonesia.
He said investment in these three destinations is still very promising. For instance, in North Bali, the land is still very cheap and is available at a price one-tenth of the prevailing rate in South Bali.
A lot of Chinese tourists prefer visiting Bintan and Manado.
"Investment will be needed in infrastructure such as a toll road and an airport, especially in Bali. Possibly, there will be investors from Anhui who want to invest in these," the minister said.
The assistant deputy for Asia Pacific market development of the Ministry of Tourism, Vinsensius Jemadu, had earlier said Indonesia has selected China to intensively market its diving tourism as a large number of Chinese tourists can potentially visit the country.
Indonesia would continue to promote diving tourism in China, he said last month.
"We have already sent a diving tourism sale mission to Chongqing, which is one of the four municipalities under the direct control of the central government in China," he said.
He said his office conducted a "China Diving Sales Mission" on March 16, the first to be held in that city, bringing together Indonesian and Chinese tourism businesspersons.
"We hope it would lead to business transactions. The response was good," he said.
Asia Pacific market development staff William Kalua, who participated part in the initiative, said he showcased a large number of tourism destinations in Indonesia at the event.
"A lot of people there did not know that Indonesias coastline stretches for more than 5,000 kilometers, longer than that of China. Most of Indonesia is waters, making it a country very rich in marine tourism potential, including diving," he said.
Indonesian diver Gunawan Tjipto Adji, who also took part in the mission, explained that Indonesia has 55 diving destinations and more than 1,500 diving spots, spread from Aceh to Papua, and the number is bigger than what the Philippines or Malaysia claim.
"Not only in terms of numbers, the Indonesian diving destinations are also more superior in terms of quality," he said.
He said Indonesia lies in the heart of the worlds coral triangle, so while the divers can always find here the Philippines or Malaysia offer, the reverse may not always be true.
Representatives of around 75 local tourism industries in Chongqing attended the event.
Chongqings potential as a diving market could not be ignored because, according to information, there are around 10,000 certified divers in the city. Most of them have made the Philippines, Palau and Malaysia their diving destinations.
Unfortunately, there is no direct flight from Chongqing to Indonesia.
It is hoped that the tourism industry in Indonesia would find that tourism potential in China is not limited to Beijing but also exists in Shanghai and Guangzhou, he said.(*)