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Tourism Summit: Jakarta, West Java

Jakarta is set to host the Jakarta Tourism Summit from Nov. 6 to 9 in conjunction with Jakarta’s sister cities. Governor Fauzi Bowo said the summit was aimed at creating a global tourism network and sharing insights among participating countries.

“We want to learn through the summit what big cities in the world have to improve their tourism sectors,” he said at City Hall after a meeting with a number of city officials.

“There will be a Jakarta declaration after the summit concludes.”

For the four-day summit, the administration would cooperate with urban tourism networking international organizations.

Those organizations include the Council for Promotion of Tourism In Asia, ASEAN Network of Major Cities 21, Tourist Promotion Organization for Asia Pacific Cities and United Nations World Tourism Organization, according to an official website, https://jts2007.com.

Fauzi said the summit would feature an exhibition and speakers including Indonesian former tourism minister Joop Ave and the secretary general of Tourist Promotion Organization for Asia Pacific Cities.

According to city tourism agency head Yusuf Effendi Pohan, who attended the meeting, nine of the 18 sister cities Jakarta has been engaged with have confirmed their participation.

The confirming sister cities include Turkey’s Istanbul, Thailand’s Bangkok, Japan’s Tokyo, the Netherlands’ Rotterdam and South Korea’s Seoul.

“Jakarta’s tourism sector is still behind other big cities despite the huge potential we have,” said Yusuf.

One major obstacle in improving the tourism sector, he said, was the limited budget for promotions which sits at Rp 15 billion (US$1.65 million) this year.

“Ideally, we need at least $10 per tourist arrival for our promotion budget,” Yusuf.

“So, we’ll need $15 million if we target 1.5 million in tourist arrivals.”

The number of tourist arrivals in Jakarta slumped to the lowest point in 1999 to 981,183 as a result of 1998’s political and financial crises.

Numbers are slowly rising and figures reached 1,235,514 in 2005 and some 1.24 million last year.

Yusuf said the summit was also meant to show other countries that Jakarta was “conducive”.

“Jakarta, which has been a destination for many businesspeople, has the most complete facilities for MICE — meeting, intensive tour, convention and exhibition — compared to other cities in Indonesia.”

Yusuf said businessmen accounted for 70 percent of a total of 1.24 million in tourist arrivals in Jakarta last year.

“I’m sure this year’s figures will surpass last year’s as we (have) already recorded some 800,000 in tourist arrivals as of September,” he said.

Yusuf said the administration was also targeting a surge in tourist arrivals from India, China and Middle East countries “in years to come, as a long-term consequence of the summit”.

Mustaqim Adamrah