Outlook for Indonesia as tourism destination

Kenneth Rogers, Regional General Manager, Indonesia & Australia of The Ascott Limited talks about tourism sector in Indonesia.

Kenneth Rogers, Regional General Manager, Indonesia & Australia of The Ascott Limited talks about tourism sector in Indonesia.

What is the outlook for Indonesia as a destination?

Well, if you look at Indonesia as a whole on how diverse and widespread it is, there is a lot of unknown and untapped destinations within the whole country that have not been well-promoted or marketed.  We think the recent marketing campaigns and bigger budgets and more spending from the government, you are seeing more appropriate marketing to an international market, and increasing the profile of Indonesia.  You know, hospitality in tourism is generally a fairly labor-intensive industry. 

As that grows, that is certainly going to be creating jobs and opportunities for the people, and particularly for some secondary or smaller cities.  As they grow with tourism, those job opportunities will come and that will flow onto the economy of that whole, small region.  Of course, there are also issues with related infrastructure needed for those developments.  But we do see it coming in terms of roads, electricity, communications.  It is coming, but that probably needs to be expedited a bit.

Getting skilled talent is not easy.  At Ascott, we spend a lot of time, resources, money developing the skills of our staff, particularly the high-potential staff.  A lot of training locally, overseas exposure to our staff, overseas training.  We take a long-term view.  If the staff want to stay with us, they have got the abilities, we will give the training, the time, the resources to develop their skills.  But from a countrywide perspective as tourism does grow and it is a labor-intensive industry, there are needs for an increase in training, universities, hospitality schools, to meet that new demand that will be coming up.  But as a foreign company, we think we have also got a commitment to put the time and resources and effort into training our national staff as well.

What is your perception on these campaigns policies such as “Wonderful Indonesia”?

I think it helps, but it is something that needs to be continually pushed, marketed more overseas.  The Indonesian Tourism Bureau is doing a lot more overseas marketing, and we participate in trade shows with them overseas, or trips with them.  I think it just needs probably more effort to continue that advertising campaigns, those trade shows, and to help bring up the awareness to potential markets.

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