"Protection is no longer justified. What we are going to do is improving competency standards," the head of the ministry`s tourism and creative economy resource development board, I Gde Pitana, said here.
In the era of ASEAN Economic Community as of 2015, there will be borderless movement of goods, services and human resources, he said.
The era is inevitable so that Indonesia must be able to take advantage of it, he said.
"So protection is no longer possible in this case. Therefore, we must strengthen our human resources," he said.
This can be done by improving competency, among others, he said.
"One of our flagships is strengthening and improving educated and trained workers in the tourism field," he said.
The ministry will only send skilled and semi-skilled tourism workers abroad, he said.
In 2011, a total of 15,51 tourism workers were certified by nine certification institutes, compared to 5,000 a year earlier, he said.
Though the number of certified tourism workers is limited, their "selling value" is relatively high at ASEAN and global levels, he said.