Rabu 01 Jun 2016 16:21 WIB

Indonesia promotes halal tourism

Red: Julkifli Marbun
Arief Yahya
Foto: Republika/Edi Yusuf
Arief Yahya

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The tourism ministry is developing halal tourism in various provinces to attract domestic and foreign tourists, particularly from the Middle East region.

"Halal tourism has huge potential," Watie Moerany, assistant to the deputy in charge of Nusantara tourism marketing strategy of the tourism ministry, noted in a statement here, Wednesday.

Moerany made the statement during a familiarization of halal tourism marketing cooperation strategy held in Makassar, South Sulawesi, on May 31 and June 1, 2016.

Over the last month, the ministry has held halal tourism promotional activities, including in Jakarta on May 10-12, 2016; Banda Aceh, on May 18-20, 2016; Padang, West Sumatra, on May 23-25, 2016; and Makassar, on May 30-June 1, 2016.

A similar event will be organized in Bandung, West Java, on June 2-4.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has set up a team to accelerate the development of halal tourism.

The team has formulated development and marketing strategies to boost halal tourism, she remarked.

The ministry has been familiarizing the strategies among various stakeholders, including relevant businessmen, academicians, police, the Indonesian Ulema Council, the media, and the Drug and Food Supervision Board.

The country's domestic tourists made 255 million trips and spent Rp203.61 trillion last year.

Based on the ministry's data, domestic Muslim tourists had spent Rp160.3 trillion in 2011, and the figure increased by seven percent to Rp179.2 trillion in 2015.

The government has set a target of a five percent increase by 2019.

Several Arab airlines, such as Emirates, Qatar, and Etihad, serve regular flights to Indonesia.

The tourism minister will urge the airlines to start direct flights to Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara, Aceh, Bandung in West Java, Surabaya in East Java, Jakarta, Medan in North Sumatra, and Makassar, in addition to Bali and Manado in North Sulawesi.

Tourists from the Middle East made some 140 million annual trips, mostly to Europe.

Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia were popular destinations among visitors from ASEAN countries.

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