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Indonesia, which is the largest archipelago in the world, consists of 18,108 islands. It has five big islands, and other 30 smaller groups which spread along the equator, which gave Indonesia a tropical climate throughout the year. The most populated and largest islands are Sumatra and Java. The other islands which are also as important and famous as Sumatra and Java are Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Irian Jaya. The capital city of Indonesia is located in Java, Jakarta, which has about the same size as Singapore (Jakarta = 750.28 km2 and Singapore = 707.1 km2).
Since Indonesia is located across the equator, the country has a tropical climate throughout the year. It consists of 6 months of dry season, and 6 months of raining season, though it is not always precisely 6 months. West coast of Sumatra, West Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua receive the highest rainfall due to the mountainous area of its place.
Winds are moderate and generally predictable, with monsoons usually blowing in from the south and east in June through September and from the northwest in December through March. Typhoons and large-scale storms pose little hazard to mariners in Indonesia waters; the major danger comes from swift currents in channels, such as the Lombok and Sape straits. (‘Climate of Indonesia’ 2009)
Tourist Destinations & Types of Tourism
Indonesia consists of 32 provinces and each province has special attractions to attract the visitors, and this are the explanation of three major tourist destinations in Indonesia:
Jakarta is the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia, a country composed of more than 13,000 islands with a population of over 180 million. Comprising more than 300 ethnic groups speaking 200 different languages, the Indonesia population exhibits marked diversity in its linguistic, culture, and religious traditions. (‘Jakarta Tourism’ 2006)
People who come to Jakarta usually want to enjoy the luxurious city life. Jakarta provides many great shopping malls, bars, luxury restaurants and best service hotels. Jakarta also offers historical tourism for the visitors such as: Taman Ismail Marzuki Art Center, Jakarta 1945 Museum, Keong Mas, Sunda Kelapa Harbour, National Museum, Ancient Inscription Museum, and Jakarta History Museum.
With a reputation as being one of the most beautiful and diverse spots in Asia, Bali attracts almost 1,000,000 visitors a year, from all around the world. Geographically, Bali lies between the island of Java and Lombok. Bali is small, stretching approximately 140 km from east to west and 80 km from north to south. Slightly off centre, and running east to west, is a string of volcanic mountains. The tallest and the holiest is Gunung Agung, and the height 3,142 meters above the sea level. (‘Bali Tourism’ 2006)
Bali offers many attractions for the visitors to make them come again and again. First is from the adventure tourism in Bali such as Grajagan, Uluwatu, river kayaking, and rafting activities. For the religion destinations, Bali has Pura Luhur Temple, Gajah Cave, Besakih Temple, and Tanah Lot Temple. Bali also has many cultural attractions such as The Dramatic of Kecak Dance, Ngaben, and Barong Dance.
Yogyakarta Special Region (Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, DIY) is officially one of Indonesia’s 32 provinces. Yogyakarta is one of the foremost cultural centres of Java. This region is located at the foot of the active Merapi volcano. This province is one of the most densely populated areas of Indonesia. Gamelan, classical and contemporary Javanese dances, wayang kulit (leather puppet), theatre and other expressions of traditional art will keep the visitor spellbound. (‘Yogyakarta Tourism’ 2006)
Yogyakarta is famous for its culture. Visitors usually come to Yogyakarta to see and enjoy its cultural tourism such as Sonobudoyo Museum, Imogiri, Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace The Kraton, Kalasan Temple, and Prambanan Temple.
Indonesia is a country with a mix of interesting cultures, exotic foods, and beautiful places. That is why it is quite a waste if the world never knows about Indonesia, and by then here comes the role of Indonesian prime minister to boost the touristic values of Indonesia, and brings out the best of Indonesia in the eyes of the world.
The department which controls over the tourism and culture in Indonesia is called Ministry of Tourism and Culture, which is currently seated by Jero Wacik. The vision and mission of this ministry is to:
Envisage a national identity, unity of nation in multiculture, people’s welfare and international cooperation
To carry out conservation and culture development based on cultural value.
To develop promotion and tourism destination in order to obtain competitive advantage.
To develop culture and tourism resources.
To develop clean government and public accountability (‘Vision & Mission’ 2006)
What they do is basically:
a. formulating national policy, implementing policy, and technical policy in culture and tourism area;
b. implementing government affair as according to its area;
c. managing the ministry properties;
d. monitoring the implementation of the duty;
e. delivering report evaluation, suggestion, and consideration to the President of the Republic of Indonesia. (‘Position, Duty, Function, and Authority’ 2006)
Since by doing that are not enough to promote Indonesia to the world, they created one theme called ‘Visit Indonesia’, it can be found in ‘http://www.my-indonesia.info’.
They have launched ‘Visit Indonesia 2008’ with the theme of commemorating 100 years of Indonesia’s awakening on 26 December 2007.
The figure of Visit Indonesia Year 2008 branding took the concept of Garuda Pancasila as the Indonesian way of life, but it was performed by perfectly modern approach. The 5 norms draw by 5 different colored lines and symbolized the Indonesian Unity in Diversity. This logo brand was formulated into dynamic figure and colors as the implementation of Indonesian Dynamic which is developing. The types of letters of logo brand is driven from the Indonesian elements which perfectly by modern approach. (‘Logo Visit Indonesia Year 2008’ 2006)
The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 release a statement about world tourism. From the statement, Indonesia has position in 81th. (‘World Tourism: Indonesia’s Rank is 81th’ n.d.)
Reading from the sentence above, we will realize that Indonesia actually needs to pay more attention on the tourism section as it has a lot of potentials to be explored. Different from the neighbouring country, Singapore, it is in top ten after Switzerland, Austria, German, France, Canada, Spain, Swedia, US, and Australia.
The number of tourists arriving at Soekarno-Hatta, one of major and busiest International Airport in Indonesia, in January 2009 is 92,136. (‘Tourism Statistic’ n.d.)
Although Indonesia’s climate is tropical, but the weather is unpredictable, sometimes it can have a very humid weather then suddenly it rained heavily. But the best time to visit Indonesia is from April to October. (‘Best Time to Visit Indonesia’ 2009)
Current & Future Target Market
The current target market for Indonesia tourism now is Japan, Australia, Korea, Taiwan, and a number of Europe. (‘Jambi and Visit Indonesia Year: Sumatra’ 2009) They usually go to Bali or Jakarta because it famous with the natural beaches, beautiful scenery, great shopping centre, and many others.
China, India, Russia and Middle East are the future target market for Indonesia tourism. Minister Wacik also targeting 6.5 million foreign tourist visitors for 2009, only slightly more visitors than the number achieved in 2008 (6.433.509) (‘Tourism Indonesia’ 2009)
5. Potential Destinations
Mentawai Island is located in middle of Indian Ocean and it takes nine hours travel from Padang (West Sumatera) to reach there. Mentawai Island is a nature place for people who want to take a break from city situation. It is also the natural habitat for 16 endemic species and some of them are classify as rare species such as Simakobu monkey.
Mentawai Island has some best beaches which offer one of the highest waves in the world from three to four meters. There are also four diving spot in Mentawai Island such as Siberut, Sipore, Pagai Utara and Pagai Selatan. The best waves are during dry season which is started from April until October.
World’s best surf is one of the special attractions that Mentawai Island offers that can make this island become one of the potential destinations.
Nikoi Island is located at 8 kilometres off the east coast of Bintan Island. Nikoi Island also near with Singapore, it’s only take two and a half hours from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.
Nikoi Island can be one of the Indonesia’s potential destinations because it offers many attractions such as sailing, snorkelling, nature discovery, and a wide range of non-motorised water sports. Nikoi Island also provides professional instructors to teach the visitors sculpture and painting, cooking, and yoga. All of the facilities in above make Nikoi Island more special than the other islands.
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