Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has said that Indonesia needs to improve three key aspects of Indonesian tourism, and it could do so by learning from its Southeast Asian neighbor.
Properly developed tourist destinations, skilled human capital and strong marketing were strengths of Thailand, Arief said.
“The country has managed these three things very well. Its tourist destinations are well-developed, human capital well-managed and its marketing and promotion have been properly implemented,” the minister said, adding that its government and the people had worked hand-in-hand to develop the industry.
Similarly, Bali also excelled in these three areas, hence the resort island’s status as world-class tourist destination, Arief said.
“[Thailand] is just like Bali. Its people and destinations are ready to welcome tourists. Meanwhile, promotion and marketing there are ready [to support tourism],” he said.
Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia monetary and economic policy director Reza Anglingkusumo echoed Arief’s opinion, saying that Thailand could be the benchmark for Indonesia in developing tourism.
Even though Thailand has fewer tourist attractions than Indonesia, its industry earned US$62.2 billion in 2017, a significant difference compared to Indonesia’s US$14.1 billion in the same year.
Indonesia, he said, had 1,734 tourist attractions, while Thailand had 1,715. “We could maximize our potential in tourism by capitalizing on foreign exchange, thereby narrowing the current account deficit,” Reza said.