Speaking to the press following the coordination meeting here on Wednesday, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya stated that the meeting agreed on the creation of a tourism coordinating board to follow up on President Joko Widodo's wish to develop the four tourist destinations as super priority destinations.
"Mr. President has declared four super priority destinations, with Lake Toba being number one, followed by Borobudur Temple, Mandalika, and Labuan Bajo-Komodo Island. So, this is the tourism coordinating board with Mr. Vice President as its chief. At the meeting, Mr. Vice President also wanted to hold a monthly meeting." he noted.
The coordination meeting on tourism was aimed at increasing the number of tourist arrivals in Indonesia to prop up the country`s foreign exchange earnings.
Yahya remarked that the tourism sector is one of the main foreign exchange earners. In 2018, Indonesia's foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector reached US$17 billion, up from $15 billion a year earlier.
"The foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector in 2018 are projected to reach $18 billion compared to $15 in 2017," he added.
The Indonesian government has set the target of tourist arrivals for 2019 at 20 million and hoped the amount of foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector will increase to $20 billion.
Reporting by Fransiska Ninditya, Suharto