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Indonesia woos tourists with improved infrastructure post-pandemic

Jakarta Globe - July 5, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The endemic phase is here and Indonesia is welcoming travelers with improved infrastructure as the country aims for economic growth above 5 percent.

The Covid-19 pandemic had put a halt to global travel, thus dealing a fatal blow to the tourism industry. The government, however, took the chance to work on the country's infrastructure amidst fewer tourists. With the pandemic status now lifted, Indonesia expects to see all of this infrastructure development pay off, according to Endra S Atmawidjaja, an advisor to the Public Works Minister.

"We made use of the crisis to prepare the infrastructure. It is time that we reap the fruits [of our work]. Infrastructure is pivotal to economic growth," Endra told the Jakarta Globe in Jakarta on Tuesday.

"We are blessed with beautiful sceneries. This gives us a chance to boost foreign exchange from tourist arrivals," Endra said.

Over the past three years of the pandemic, the government had been working on the five "super priority destinations", namely: Toba Lake (North Sumatera), Borobudur (Central Java), Mandalika (West Nusa Tenggara), Labuan Bajo (East Nusa Tenggara), and Likupang (North Sulawesi). According to Endra, the infrastructure development also took place in other tourist destinations aside from the five "new Balis".

Labuan Bajo, the fishing town that hosted the 42nd ASEAN Summit, saw great improvements from a meeting, incentive, convention, and exhibition (MICE) industry standpoint.

Endra told the Globe that Labuan Bajo could manage to host MICE events with a capacity of up to 3,000 people. The number can go up to 5,000 people as Indonesia has transformed the Golo Mori village in West Nusa Tenggara into an international MICE destination.

"Building infrastructure is not something that gets done in just one presidency. Hopefully, the succeeding government can continue with what we have worked on so far, ... and even expand its scope," Endra said while also calling Bintan, which is part of the Riau Islands, a high-potential tourist destination.

"We should work on Bintan by adding the accommodations, amenities, and tourist attractions. The island has remarkable potential. It can attract tourists from Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam," Endra added.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/lifestyle/indonesia-woos-tourists-with-improved-infrastructure-postpandemi