Indonesian Tourism is Ready for AEC

JAKARTA ~

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Mari Elka Pangestu announced that Indonesian tourism sector is prepared to achieve ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015.

Mari reported on her opening remarks at the national conference of tourism human resources to face AEC 2015, on Tuesday that Indonesian tourism sector have been preparing itself for AEC since the ASEAN single market had been initiated in 2007.

“The opportunity for tourism in AEC is relatively greater than its market competition, as the tourism of ASEAN will be a single destination, which will also push more tourists from South East Asia to visit Indonesia,” she noted.

Mari emphasized that tourism is a priority sector that is prepared to implement AEC tourism agreement, including tourism profession standardization by increasing domestic tourism professionals based on certification.

Since 2007 till 2014, Ministry of Tourism has certified 64,127 tourism employees who work as tour leaders and in hotels and restaurants, SPA services, tourism agencies, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions), food and beverage, as well as specific tourism such as diving and rafting.

The number of certified tourism employees until 2014 had reached beyond the target of 50 thousand.

On the competency standardization, Mari said Indonesia has been a leading country in the tourism human resources development since 1998.

Mari noted that almost half of the standards enacted by ASEAN Common Competency Standard for Tourism Professionals (ACCSTP) are the same as that implemented by Indonesia.

Indonesia has also been the regional secretariat to facilitate the implementation of Mutual Recognition Arrangement of tourism professionals in ASEAN region.

“The other opportunity that can be utilized is that Indonesian tourism has been growing better, particularly with respect to culture and heritage, rich natural resources, and value for money,” Mari said.

According to World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2013, Indonesian tourism competitiveness is ranked 70th, or has increased by 4 ranks compared with 2012.

The implementation of single destination and common visa policies had also boosted tourist visits to ASEAN member countries, including Indonesia.

“Tourism growth in ASEAN region has been the highest in the world in 2005-2012 period, which has grown evenly 8.3 percent per year, much higher than global tourism, which has only been 3.6 percent per year,” added Mari.

Mari noted that, even in 2013, tourist visit to ASEAN countries had reached 92.7 million or increased 12 percent than the year before, while the global tourism growth was only 5 percent.

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