In a bid to compete with other countries in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the Government of Indonesia plans to certify 65,000 tourism workers in 2017.
Dr. Wisnu Bawa Tarunajaya, Assistant Deputy for Tourism Human Resources Development to the Tourism Minister said, “We are optimistic that the target can be achieved. Last year 35,150 out of the targeted 35,000 tourism workers were certified,” Antara News reports.
To accomplish the target of certifying 65,000 workers, the Ministry will conduct competency tests on 27,000 tourism workers across the country. Tourism colleges and vocational schools have also been set up across Indonesia to conduct competency tests on 8,000 to 20,000 tourism workers.
Further, tourism colleges will be the given the status of professional certification institutions (LPS) and opportunity to certify 10,000 tourism workers. Some of the tourism colleges with LPS status are found in Bali, including STP Bali Nusa Dua and STPBI Denpasar.
These efforts are made by the Government hoping to attract 15 million foreign tourists to Indonesia this year.
The tourism industry in Indonesia has grown by 9.5 percent in 2016, as reported by Kompas. There were 9,403,614 foreign tourists visited Indonesia between January and October 2016, higher than figures recorded by neighbouring countries.
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From January to August 2016, tourism in Malaysia increased by 3.8 percent with 17,611,563 foreign visitors, while Singapore managed to grow its tourism industry by 9.4 percent during the January-September 2016 period with 12,423,952 foreign tourists. Another attractive destination for tourists in South East Asia is Thailand, which showed 11.3 percent growth from January to October 2016.
Thailand welcomed 27,076,308 foreign tourists, much higher than the number of foreign tourists coming to Indonesia.
Also the Tourism Ministry in Indonesia is implementing three priority programs to encompass digital tourism, home stay and airline connectivity. In the digital tourism sector, the ministry is launching the Indonesia Tourism Exchange (ITX), a digital market place platform where buyers and sellers of tourism products and services could interact, according to Global Indonesian Voices.
Chinese nationals accounted for the most foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia between January and November 2016, according to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in its latest report. The Government sets a higher target for tourist visitors from China this year, despite political and immigration issues that may hinder travel plans.
The Tourism Ministry says it hopes to attract 2.4 million Chinese tourists from Greater China, which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong, in 2017, higher than the 2.1 million expected for last year, Jakarta Post reports. However since August 2015, Indonesia has waived visa requirements for Chinese tourists.
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