Jakarta (ANTARA) - Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said that interconnectivity is needed to realize the vision of ASEAN as a single destination.

"The concept of ASEAN as a single destination must be supported by interconnectivity in terms of more air flights and ferries connecting the Riau Islands to Singapore and Malaysia," Uno said after speaking at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) here on Sunday.

Indonesia is holding ABIS on September 3-4, as part of the ASEAN-BAC Summit Week on September 1-8, 2023 in Jakarta, and the ASEAN Chairmanship throughout the year.

As the host of the 2023 ASEAN Chairmanship, Indonesia encourages the image of ASEAN as a single destination in accordance with its G20 Presidency spirit last year, namely, the transformation centered on community-based tourism.

The vision of ASEAN as a single destination was initiated at the ASEAN Tourism Forum in January 2023 and has been strengthened with Indonesia's membership in the UNWTO Executive Board, Uno explained.

The minister also called for an increase in the number of flights and seat availability to support connectivity between tourism destinations in Indonesia and other ASEAN member countries and vice versa.

"We hope that there will be more flights. I had just returned from Belitung, and there were no direct flights to Belitung (from Malaysia or Singapore). So, this must be improved," Uno said.

There should also be direct flights from Labuan Bajo to Bangkok, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur, he added.

"We will increase the number of flights and available seats in the next two-three months," he said.

He said there was a high demand for flights to a number of destinations in Indonesia, but the flights were limited.

"I am working with the Transportation Minister and airlines to increase the number of flights and seat availability to very expensive destinations such as Labuan Bajo and Sorong," he said.

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Translator: Ade J, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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