Plans to invest millions in border areas with other countries
Indonesia is investing heavily in developing and promoting cross-border tourism. Its tourism ministry has set aside 200 billion rupiah (€12.5 million) and prepared 214 events to be staged in 29 cross-border areas for 2018, TTG Asia reports.
“Cross-border traffic is still small, at 20% of total arrivals (or 3.2 million), of which 90% are to the Riau Islands, Batam and Bintan in particular,” said the tourism minister, Arief Yahya, at the launch of the programme in Jakarta.
In contrast, cross-border traffic makes up 93% of total arrivals in the Netherlands, 65% in Malaysia and 61% in Singapore, according to Arief.
With the ministry targeting 3.6 million cross-border arrivals next year, Arief identified opportunities to increase traffic between Indonesia and Malaysia, East Timor, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Lack of facilities
While challenges such as the lack of facilities, infrastructure and lower purchasing power in many of the border areas remain, Arief believes there are ways to get around these obstacles.
These include, for example, overcoming the lack of accommodation with glamping facilities or caravans, and operating portable network systems to overcome the lack of internet access.
He also reminded the audience, which included district heads from cross-border areas, of the importance of millennials, who are eager to broadcast where they have been and what they have done on social media.