Jakarta (ANTARA) - Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno is targeting the potential of Batam (Riau Islands), Medan (North Sumatra), Surabaya (East Java), and Solo (Central Java) to become shopping tourism destinations, especially for international tourists.

The minister noted that Indonesia currently has two shopping tourism destinations, namely Jakarta and Bali.

"The three main gates for foreign tourists are Bali, Jakarta, Riau Islands. Thus, there are opportunities in Batam. However, we can see now that there are direct flights to Kualanamu (airport in North Sumatra), which means Medan will boom," he stated at the 2023 Indonesia Retail Summit (IRS) here on Tuesday.

Uno assessed that Medan's rise was seen on the basis of its location as the entry point for South Asian tourists. According to the minister, this potential must be developed.

Surabaya and Solo are also deemed to have vast potential in line with the high interest of tourists.

In addition, the other city that has potential is the new capital city (IKN) Nusantara, East Kalimantan, which is currently being developed.

According to Uno, the new capital needs retailers. Thus, he called on the chairperson of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo), Shinta W. Kamdani, to encourage several entrepreneurs to develop their businesses in the new capital.

The minister noted that Indonesia is in the top position among ASEAN countries in terms of the retail sector. As for the creative economy sector, Indonesia ranked in the top three in the world, with a contribution to the national gross domestic product (GDP) reaching around 7.8-10 percent.

Uno stated that Indonesia only lost to the United States, with its Hollywood, and South Korea, with its dramas and music, while Indonesia is in the third place.

"The strengthening of various sectors, including retail, is expected to be able to drive our economy to become even stronger in the future," he remarked.

In response to Uno's request, Kamdani, who also attended the event, stated that businesses have started to target business development in Nusantara. However, she noted that entrepreneurs are still focusing on basic sectors and facilities, such as health and education.

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Translator: Ade Irma, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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