REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, BEIJING -- A Chinese company has committed to investing US$1 billion in the tourism sector in Tanjung Lesung, Banten Province. The commitment was outlined in the Letter of Intent (LoI) signed by the Director of Yunnan Ice Sea Investment Group, Wei Xiao Lin, and the President Director of Jababeka, Budianto Liman, at the 2018 Investment, Trade and Tourism Forum here on Friday.
The exchange of the LoI document between the two companies was witnessed by the Indonesia Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, and the Indonesian Ambassador to China, Djauhari Oratmangun. Tanjung Lesung is one of 10 tourist destinations, besides Bali, which is known as "the Ten New Bali Destinations".
The 10 destinations are Borobudur in Central Java, Mandalika on Lombok Island (West Nusa Tenggara), Labuan Bajo in Flores (East Nusa Tenggara), Bromo-Tengger-Semeru in East Java, Pulau Seribu in North Jakarta, Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Morotai in the northern region of Halmahera in the Maluku islands and Tanjung Kelayang in Belitung (Bangka Belitung).
Until 2024, the 10 new destinations need an investment of $35 billion.
"The investment in the 10 tourist sites is divided into two categories, namely, tourism investment and tourism funding," the Tourism Minister said, adding that the Indonesian government had invested $12 billion.
"However, we still need additional investment worth $23 billion from the private sector. Tourism investment from the private sector will be directed to develop hotels, restaurants, recreational parks, ports and other facilities," Arief said.
According to the minister, during the period 2013-2017, investment in the tourism sector had reached $5.47 billion. Of that amount, around $4.23 billion came from foreign investors. Foreign investors in the tourism sector are dominated by Singapore with $460 million and China with $330 million.
Minister Arief said China had made the biggest contribution to the development of Indonesia's tourism sector in the past three years. In 2017, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia was 1.97 million, up 35.7 percent compared to that of 2016.
In 2018, the Ministry of Tourism expected 2.6 million Chinese tourists. During the period January-October 2018, the number of tourists amounted to 1.87 million.
"Therefore, we still expect more Chinese tourists," Arief said at the event, which saw the participation of Indonesian and Chinese businessmen.