Indonesia seeks massive $9.7bn investment alongside ‘10 New Balis’ project

Paal Beach in Likupang, north sulawesi

The Indonesian government is seeking to attract billions of dollars in investments to develop new tourism destinations.

In a bid to also expand tourism regionally, Indonesia’s government is seeking to attract Rp 89.6 trillion (around $9.7 billion) in investment to develop the regions of Likupang in North Sulawesi, Singhasari in East Java and Kendal in Central Java, among others.

A reported Rp 7.1 trillion (more than $537 million) in investment is expected to be funnelled into tourism development in Likupang, which has been given the status of a special economic zone (SEZ), The Jakarta Post reported.

Pulisan Beach in Likupang North Sulawesi: Around 100,000 people visited Likupang from around the world in 2018 (iStock.com/Ryan Melandie)

While up to a further Rp 12.5 trillion (around $1.4 billion) is expected to be invested in Singhasari, also a SEZ, in digital and tourism sectors, among others.

In addition, up to Rp 70 trillion (around $7.8 billion) in investment is reportedly expected to go to a range of industries within the Kendal special economic zone (SEZ) in Central Java, including automotive and food and beverage.

The projects are expected to begin in 2021, with a completion date of 2024 or 2025. However, it has been reported that the SEZ status of Likupang and Singhasari could be revoked if they fail to meet investment targets.

Of the 15 SEZs in Indonesia, nine are reportedly industrial and six are tourism-focused.

Indonesia announces five “super-priority” destinations alongside ’10 New Balis’ project

In separate news, Indonesia’s Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry formally introduced five new “super-priority tourism destinations” as part of its efforts to make the tourism industry one of the new drivers of economic growth.

These include Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Borobudur in Central Java, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara and Likupang in North Sulawesi, which also form part of a previously announced project with the aim of developing tourism destinations that would supplement the success of Bali.

Indonesia is also working to promote and develop destinations like Lake Toba, as part of a recently announced project (iStock.com/protej)

Indonesia has seen an 11.5 per cent year-on-year increase in international tourists, according to data from Statistics Indonesia.

Of the nearly 15 million people that visited Indonesia between January and November 2019, more than five million travelled to the tropical paradise of Bali, a destination recently hit by a water crisis influenced by unsustainable tourism development.

A fifth of the travellers who visited originated from Australia.

As a result, the country – which is home to more than 18,000 islands – is additionally planning to promote and develop 10 new destinations as part of the Ministry of Tourism’s earlier announced ’10 New Balis’ project.

The government hopes to transpose the success of Bali to several corners of the country, with upgrades to airports and improved access to destinations and amenities.

These include Borobudur Temple (Central Java), Belitung (Sumatra), Mount Bromo (East Java), Labuan Bajo (East Nusa Tenggara), Lake Toba (North Sumatra), Thousand Islands (Jakarta), Mandalika (West Nusa Tenggara), Wakatobi (Southeast Sulawesi), Tanjung Lesung (Banten), and Morotai (North Maluku).

Paal Beach in Likupang, North Sulawesi (iStock.com/Ryan Melandie)

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