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Tourism in Indonesia

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Tourism in Indonesia is being developed through two main programs, covering tourism and tourism products. There are five supporting programs, namely' control of environmental pollution, education, training and tourism guidance; tourism research and development; tourism infrastructure development; and the supervision and development of arts and culture.

The target for tourism set in Repelita VI is 6.5 million foreign tourists with US$9 billion in foreign exchange. Meanwhile 84.2 million domestic tourists are expected to spend nine (9) trillion rupiahs. Through various activities, tourism is expected to generate 900.000 new job opportunities.

We know from looking at other towns and countries that tourism is key to creating booming economies. If you stay for example in hotels in Brighton in the UK or in a seaside resort in France, then you will notice that tourism is huge in these areas. If Indonesia understands how to appeal to the tourist then new jobs will be generated for those who live here.

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Tourist objects and tourist attractions are being introduced to the Indonesian people to promote domestic tourism. Group tourist awareness (Pokdarwis) has been established as moving spirit for tourist development such as the improvement of tourist attractions to socialize the Seven Charms Program (Sapta Pesona) consisting of safety, cleanliness, orderliness, comfort, beauty, hospitality, and enchanting memories. Until 1997/98, there were 921 Pokdarwis throughout Indonesia, or an increase of 71.5% since 1993/94. To encourage domestic tourism, in 1997/98 the Government started to develop tours for senior citizens.

The Tourist Awareness Campaign every year adopted different themes in accordance with the national development rhythm and dynamics. In 1997, the theme was The Year of Cooperatives and Telecommunication and in 1998 the theme was: The Year of Art and Culture.

Several national tourist events have been held throughout Indonesia. In 1997/98 the events included Toba Lake Festival in North Sumatra; The Indonesian Archipelago Palace Festival in West Java; Borobudur Festival in Central Java; Bromo Festival in East Java; The Balibo Art Festival in East Timor; The Bidar Kapuas Festival in West Kalimantan; Sea Park Festival in Maluku; and the Lembah Baliem Arts and Culture Festival in Irian Jaya.

Despite the current economic crisis which has hit Indonesia since July 1997, the number of domestic tourists increased steadily. In fiscal year 1997/98 the number of domestic tourists was 120 million persons who spent 14 trillion rupiahs.

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Tourist promotion campaigns have been staged through Indonesia's Seven Tourism Promotion Centers (P3I) abroad, namely in Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, London and Taipei. Since 1989 the Indonesia Tourism Promotion Agency (BPPI) developed new markets and improved promotion programs.

BPPI promotion efforts both at home and abroad was financed by 20% of the development tax revenue in ten tourist destinations, namely: North Sumatra, the Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, the Yogyakarta, East Java, Bali, North Sulawesi, and South Sulawesi. However, due the protracted monetary crisis which hit Indonesia the fund collected from the ten tourist destinations was only sufficient for BPPI operational cost until August 1997. To overcome this problem various marketing’s efforts had been conducted in Singapore, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, America, England, the Netherlands, Austria, and Switzerland.

In fiscal year 1997/98, an integrated promotion program was designed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness, of marketing by reexamining the role and responsibility of agencies involved in overseas tourism marketing while utilizing all related components including Indonesian delegations abroad as well as students and the foreign media.

Several important tourism events abroad in which Indonesia participated among others were: International Travel Expo, June 1997 in Hong Kong; Holiday and Travel Show, June 1997 in Sydney; World Travel Market, November 1997 in London; Diving Equipment Marketing Association (DEMA), January 1998 in Orlando, Florida; and Internationale Tourismus Borse, March 1998 in Berlin.

In fiscal year 1997/98, international tourist activities held in Indonesia, were: Krakatau Festival in Lampung; the Culture Enchantment and Folk Performances Festival in Jakarta; Maleman Sriwedari and Obral Gedhe Solo in Central Java; and International Wind Surfing Competition in West Nusa Tenggara, Bali and South East Sulawesi.

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Until fiscal year 1997/98 various conventions on tourism had been held: 845 MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Congress and Exhibitions) events with 140,762 participants. There were 26 companies operating in the convention services business, including the Jakarta Convention Center, Jakarta International Trade Center and Bali International Convention Center.

To promote convention tourism, in 1997/98 Indonesia participated in various events such as convention and exhibition (CONVEX) in London, European Incentive Business and Travel Meeting (EIBTM) in Geneva, and Incentive Travel and Meeting Executive Shows (ITME) in Chicago. In addition, some international conferences had also been held in Indonesia such as the International Conference on Culture Tourism (Batik Conference) in Yogyakarta; The Asia Art Fair and Jewels, in Jakarta; and Parmata Gem Related Tourism Conference and Exhibition, in Banjarmasin.

During three years of Repelita VI the country's foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector contributed significantly to balance the budget deficit in goods and services.

However, due to the current monetary crisis, natural disasters and security disturbances in many regions, the total number of foreign tourists in fiscal year 1997/98 decreased by 6.7% compared to 4,771,244 visitors in the previous year. The decline occurred since July 1997. Between April to July 1997, the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia still showed an increase by 3.9% or 1.75 million visitors with US$2,289.4 million in foreign exchange compared to that in the same period of the previous year with 1.69 million visitors and US$2,210.9 million in foreign exchange.

From August 1997 to March 1998, the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia declined to 3 millions from 3.4 million visitors at the same period in 1996/97, showing a 11.9% decrease. The country's foreign exchange earnings also decreased from US$4,447.9 million to US$3,924.6 million at the same period in 1997/98. On the whole, the country's foreign exchange earnings in fiscal year 1997/98 was US$6,241.7 million or a 2.6% decrease compared to that in the previous year.

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In fiscal year 1997/98, the Main National Tourism Development Plan (RIPP) was completed, as was the main Regional Main Tourism Development Plan for the provinces of Jambi, South Sumatra, South Sulawesi, Palembang, in South Sumatra; Kaliurang, Merapi and Merbabu in Central Java; Pasir Putih in East Java; Bukari in South East Sulawesi; the western part of West Java; Ratu boko in Sleman and Solo Kasunanan Palace in Central Java.

In facing the globalization era and to improve the regional and sub-regional economic endurance, a closer cooperation program in the tourism sector has also been implemented with several ASEAN countries, such as the Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore - Growth triangle (IMS-GI), Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Growth-triangle (IMT-GT) and Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) on marketing and promotion of tourist package programs, promoting tourist marketing between the member countries, accommodating and mobilizing private investment in the field of tourism.

In fiscal year 1997/98, the new accommodation capacity was 31,953 rooms. The number of rooms available until 1997/98 was 185,136 rooms consisting of 81,997 rooms in star-rated hotels and 103,136 rooms in non-star hotels. At the same time, the application of information technology in the field of tourism has also been continued in 47 international hotel chain networks and 16 national hotels chain networks.

The number of travel bureaus in fiscal year 1997/98 also increased to 2,631 with 721 tour leaders reached 721 and 9,365 tour guides.

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