Besides, the country which also offers a beautiful landscape is also rich in local cultures as it has more than one thousand tribes and 300 ethnic groups. With these potentials, the government is confident that it could boost its tourism development and attract a great number of foreign tourist arrivals.
Thus, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) since the onset of his government has set a gradual increase of foreign tourist arrivals from 9.4 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2019.
The government was able to meet its targets of 10 million in 2015 and 12 million in 2016. Yet, in 2017 the arrivals of foreign tourists in the country was recorded at only 14.04 million, lower than the targeted at 15 million.
This year, the government must work all out to reach its target of 17 million foreign tourist arrivals, including its target of 20 million arrivals next year.
Data issued by the Ministry of Tourism indicated that the number of foreign tourist arrivals from January to May this year was recorded at 6,166,109. Although this figure showed an increase by 11.89 percent compared with the arrivals in the same period in 2017, yet it seems the government has to work hard to achieve its target of 17 million.
Therefore, the government is implementing three special programs to achieve its target of attracting 17 million foreign tourists this year. Tourism Minister Arief Yahya stated in Jakarta on Thursday that the three programs are incentives provided for airlines and wholesalers, Hot Deals Visit Wonderful Indonesia, and Competing Destination Model.
These are viewed as being breakthroughs adopted in a bid to encourage airline operators and attract foreign tourists to visit Indonesia.
Yahya said the strategy was necessary to attract an additional two million foreign tourists this year to achieve the target of 17 million, as the average number of monthly arrivals of foreign tourists currently stands at some 1.25 million.
He said with the three breakthroughs, the Tourism Ministry has forecast that the country would record 1.95 million additional visits at the end of the year.
The minister remarked that with this addition, some 50 thousand visits are still required.
"Yet, the projection of 1.95 million additional arrivals is a realistic target, lower than the optimistic target that we have set," he noted.
He gave an example, the airlines/wholesaler incentive program an optimistic target of 1 million foreign tourists was set, but the meeting with businessmen (airlines/wholesalers) set a target of 750 thousand foreign tourists.
"About the incentive program, the government set a realistic target of 700 thousand foreign tourists," he said.
Meanwhile, the target of Hot Deals program Visit Wonderful Indonesia is set at 2.5 million foreign tourists, consisting of Great Kepri Hot Deals package with 500 thousand foreign tourists; Great Jakarta Hot Deals Package with one million tourists; and Hot Deals Packages Great Bali with one million foreign tourists.
With the realistic target of 750 thousand and the target of 1 million CDM program it is projected to attract a real number of 500,000 foreign tourists.
The Ministry of Tourism also focuses on the problem of tourism access, especially the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT).
According to Yahya, LCC terminal (LCCT) is most appropriate because the traffic growth is above 20 percent and in line with the tourism growth target of 21 percent.
"If you rely on Full Service Carrier Terminal (FSCT), the growth is below 5 percent so it is difficult to be relied upon to reach tourism target" said Minister Yahya.
As is known, promotional cooperation program with airlines and wholesaler is very strategic in bringing foreign tourists because 75 percent of foreign tourists come to Indonesia via air (airlines) both regular and chartered flights.
In addition, the pattern of purchasing tour packages to Indonesia is done through wholesaler and retailers, even on certain markets purchasing tour packages through wholesalers are very dominant.
Integrated promotions are held together in the form of sales missions, trade shows, festivals, publications and incentives.
The Hot Deals program is a program used to optimize unused capacity. Priority is given to three main entrances: Great Bali (40 percent), Great Jakarta (30 percent), and Great Kepri (20 percent).
When the idle capacity on 3A (Attractions, Accessibility, and Amenity) factors is combined and utilized on a platform, it will offer a cheap and easy tourism service.
"The Hot Deals program is an attractive and competitive way to increase the number of foreign tourists arrivals." Hot Deals package is projected to attract 2.5 million foreign tourists by 2018, " he said.
In the meantime, Competing Destination Model (CDM) is a method conducted by the data platform providers in directing prospective foreign tourists who already have a destination.
CDM allows the retrieval of data from various online sources of travelers; profiling, and data segmentation travelers, then targeting those travelers with targeted advertising campaigns and needs.