Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, has urged tourism investors to increase their investment in five super-priority tourism destinations (DSPs) to optimize economic development in the regions.

"We see that the growth in the five super-priority destinations remains sub-optimal. I am keen to push for more investment because the total (investment realization) of Rp5.31 trillion (US$356.7 million) is very low for a sector with such a strategic value for Indonesia," he stated while opening the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association’s (GIPI’s) national working meeting here on Tuesday.

The five DSPs designated by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy are Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Likupang in North Sulawesi, Borobudur in Central Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, and Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara.

The total value of all existing projects at the five DSPs is estimated to be Rp172.2 trillion (US$11.5 billion), including government investments, he disclosed.

Meanwhile, the value of ongoing cooperation commitments with various parties has reached Rp1.55 trillion (US$104 million) and the investment interest value has touched Rp1.18 trillion (US$79.2 million), he added.

However, Uno emphasized that the total commitment value has remained low considering the opportunities available at the five super-priority destinations.

The minister said that the five destinations need US$6 billion to US$8 billion in investments to develop the regions, while the ongoing investment value has only reached less than Rp10 trillion (US$671 million).

He added that one probable reason for the sub-optimal investment at the five DSPs has been the investor's wait-and-see approach in view of the general elections next year.

Meanwhile, GIPI Chairperson Haryadi Sukamdani said that another reason that may be impeding investment in the five areas is that banks still consider tourism as a risky business sector.

"We should consider this again because if banks do not support us, the investment will be slow," he added.

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Translator: Sinta Ambarwati, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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