WITH the holding of the Indonesia Tourism Outlook (ITO) 2024 entitled “Investment Opportunities and Challenges for Sustainable Tourism” which was held by the Tourism and Creative Economy Journalists Forum (Forwaparekraf) on Tuesday (11/28), 2023 it is hoped that the development of the tourism sector and creative economy will increase. In the future, especially in the investment sector, we must pay attention to environmental sustainability issues in the concept of green investment as the main key to success.

According to Chairman of Forwaparekraf, Pasha Ernowo, said that his party chose the theme “Investment Opportunities and Challenges for Sustainable Tourism” in this outlook activity considering that Indonesia, with its abundant natural wealth and supporting geography, is the time to focus more on developing sustainable tourism or sustainable tourism.

“On the other hand, investments that prioritize sustainability and environmental sustainability in the tourism sector must continue to be intensively carried out. So that we are not left behind by other countries and the most important thing is development that can have a long-term positive impact on the environment,” said Pasha

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, said that when attending as a speaker at ITO 2024, a number of international institutions predicted various challenges at the global level that could affect sectoral growth. These include geopolitical conditions, economic turmoil and environmental crises.

“From these various challenges, investors’ attention to macroeconomic volatility tends to decrease. However, this is different from the issue of climate change, which is increasingly becoming a concern for investors. This year, the level of concern has increased by 10% compared to 2022. With increasing attention to the issue of climate change, it is time for the commitment to quality and sustainable tourism development to be strengthened,” he said.

He explained that there are concerns about climate change, so tourism facilities such as hotels and other tourism should be able to refer to the green economy. Indonesia, with its various potential natural resources and cultural diversity, has high potential in developing green tourism.

“It has been proven that the renewable energy sector has attracted the highest total capital investment globally in the last 4 years. Green Tourism is an opportunity and attraction for us, and there must be a commitment to developing quality and sustainable tourism,” Sandiaga stated.

Sandiaga continued, in the various programs carried out always refers to quality and sustainable tourism as the main ideal of Indonesian tourism. One of them is through tourist villages, to ensure even distribution of tourism and revive the local economy.

“At the World Travel Mart (WTM) London event, the tourism village program received a lot of appreciation. Starting from the Indonesian Tourism Village Award, certification of sustainable tourism villages, as well as the tourism awareness campaign 5.0. Ultimately, UNWTO named Penglipuran Tourism Village as Best Tourism Villages 2023,” Sandiaga remarked.

Apart from the tourism village program, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is collaborating with Jakarta to present the Carbon Footprint Calculator as a program to monitor carbon footprint production for tourism activities in Indonesia.

In addition, under the coordination of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, the government is trying to implement the Blue Green Circular Economy program.

Meanwhile, Director of Check-In Asia, Gary Bowerman, said Indonesia must start paying more attention to the Chinese and Indian markets. These two countries are predicted to be the markets with the highest growth next year.

“How to find the right marketing strategy to attract Chinese tourists from traveling only within the country, to markets in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia,” Gary noted.

Likewise, the Director of Marketing and Consumer Experience at PT Aviasi Wisata Indonesia, Maya Watono, said that the five Super Priority Destinations (DPSPs) are a new attraction for tourism to attract foreign tourists. The government will aggressively promote ‘Bali beyond’ in an effort to encourage the spread of tourist visits from Bali to the 5 DPSPs.

Maya Watono sees that apart from the distribution of foreign tourists, the challenge that must be overcome immediately to achieve the target of 14 million foreign tourists by 2024 is flight connectivity. To achieve the target of 14 million foreign tourist visits by 2024, flight connectivity is a major concern.

“We are trying to provide sufficient aircraft seats to support the target of 14 million foreign tourists. Stating that with an average load factor that has reached 70%, around 20 million seats are needed, while currently available are around 11 million aircraft seats. I hope that by 2024 the shortage of 9 million airplane seats will gradually be filled.

According to General Chair of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) who is also the Chair of GIPI, Hariyadi Sukamdani, said that people’s purchasing power is still an obstacle in increasing domestic tourism. “Our challenge is to improve people’s purchasing power next year.

“For this we need joint efforts so that it doesn’t stagnate,” said Hariyadi Sukamdani.

Hariyadi Sukamdani hopes that the government together with domestic airline business players can reduce the price of domestic airline tickets, which until now are considered by the public to be expensive and unaffordable for tourists.

“We positively welcome the government’s efforts to encourage foreign tourists to travel by land. For example, from Palembang (Sumatra)-Java-Bali, which is currently connected by a toll road,” Hariyadi pointed out.

Hariyadi explained that the important thing is to synchronize joint promotional programs between the central government, regional governments and tourism industry business players in order to increase tourist visits.

Hariyadi gave the example of the Kharisma Event Nusantara program (KEN), including the Kasodo event on Mount Bromo, East Java, which has great potential to bring in tourists, because it is not promoted enough, so it does not attract many tourists to the Malang Raya tourist destination and its surroundings. Even though the Kasodo event is packaged and promoted well, it will bring in many tourists and increase hotel occupancy there.

The 2024 ITO activity held by Forwaparekraf in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy also featured several other speakers such as the Head of the Communications Bureau of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, I Gusti Ayu Dewi Hendriyani, Andry Satrio Nugroho, Head of the Indef Industry, Trade and Investment Center, Vitria Ariani, Tourism Observer/CEO & Founder of Berbangsa, Eko Binarso, Founder Tanakita and AB Sadewa, Corporate Secretary of Panorama Group. []