Beware of Overtourism! Indonesia Prepares to Welcome Record Number of International Tourists in 2024

WARTAINDONESIA EN – Indonesia is preparing to welcome a potential record number of international tourists in 2024. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) predicts a surge in global tourists, and Indonesia, with its captivating natural beauty and culture, is predicted to be one of the favorite destinations.

Vice Chairperson of the MPR RI, Lestari Moerdijat, reminded the importance of thorough preparation in facing the potential for overtourism, or an excess of tourists in tourist destinations. “Efforts to anticipate the development of the national tourism sector must be planned carefully,” she emphasized.

The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenparekraf) is targeting 14 million foreign tourists (wisman) in 2024, with foreign exchange earnings of US$ 7.38 billion – US$ 13.08 billion. The achievements of January-June 2023 show promising potential, with tourism foreign exchange earnings of US$ 6.08 billion and the value of creative economy exports of US$ 11.82 billion.

Strategies to Face Overtourism:

Lestari emphasized several strategies to anticipate overtourism:

  • Preparation of favorite tourist destination areas: Improve infrastructure, such as accessibility, accommodation, and tourist facilities.
  • Involving local communities: Empower local communities in the management of tourist areas and ensure they benefit from the tourism sector.
  • Overcoming social inequality: Prevent inequality between local residents and newcomers through training and economic development programs.
  • Implementing strategic steps: Learn from the examples of Amsterdam and Hawaii in managing overtourism.
  • Improving human resource capacity: Improve the quality of human resources in the tourism sector, such as training in foreign languages, hospitality, and tourist destination management.
  • Preserving the environment: Preserving the natural and cultural heritage in tourist areas.
  • Developing infrastructure: Build supporting infrastructure, such as transportation, clean water, and waste management.

Collaboration is Key to Success:

Lestari emphasized the importance of collaboration between stakeholders, both at the central and regional levels, in realizing effective and sustainable policies. “Strong collaboration between stakeholders at the central and regional levels must be realized,” she added.

The government, private sector, academics, and local communities must work together to develop a responsible and sustainable tourism strategy in Indonesia record number of international tourists in 2024.

Challenges and Opportunities in 2024:

Challenges:

  • Overtourism: The surge in tourists can lead to environmental damage, congestion, and exploitation of local resources.
  • Social inequality: The benefits of the tourism sector are not always evenly distributed, and local communities can be left behind.
  • Infrastructure availability: Adequate infrastructure, such as transportation, clean water, and waste management, may not be available in all tourist destinations.
  • Human resource quality: The quality of human resources in the tourism sector, such as foreign language skills and hospitality, still needs to be improved.

Opportunities:

  • Developing sustainable tourism: Implement sustainable tourism principles to protect the environment and local culture.
  • Improving human resource quality: Increase training and education to improve the quality of human resources in the tourism sector.
  • Developing new tourist destinations: Develop new tourist destinations outside of Bali and Lombok to distribute tourists evenly.
  • Promoting domestic tourism: Encourage domestic tourists to travel within the country.

2024 is an important year for the Indonesian tourism sector record number of international tourists in 2024. With thorough preparation, the right strategy, and strong collaboration, Indonesia can seize opportunities and overcome challenges to become a responsible and sustainable world-class tourist destination.

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