Sunday, August 19, 2007

Indonesia – Tourims

Tourism in Indonesia is an important component of the Indonesian economy and an important source of foreign exchange revenues. With a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, the second longest shoreline in the world, 300 different ethnic groups and 250 distinct languages, and tropical climate throughout the year, nature and culture are two major components of Indonesian tourism.

Tourism in Indonesia is currently overseen by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. International tourist campaigns have been focusing largely on tropical destination with white sand beaches and blue sky imageries. Beach resorts and hotels were developed in some Indonesia islands, with Bali island as the primary destination. Cultural tourism is also an important part of Indonesia tourism industry. Toraja, Prambanan and Borobudur temples, Yogyakarta and Minangkabau are popular destinations for cultural tourism, apart from many Hindu festivities in Bali. About 5 million foreign tourists have visited Indonesia annually since 2000.

However, tourism development had sometimes clashed with local people, that has created criticism over Indonesia's tourism industry. Most of the disputes were related over land possession, local traditions (adat) and the impact of tourism development to the local people. In another area, tourism industry in Indonesia faces major threats. Since 2002, several warnings have been issued by some countries over terrorist threats and ethnic/religious conflicts in some areas, which significantly reduces the number of foreign visitors.

Indonesia has well-preserved natural ecosystem such as rainforests that stretch over about 57% of Indonesia's land (225 million acres) and about 2% of them are mangrove. One reason why the natural ecosystem in Indonesia is still well-preserved is because only 6,000 islands out of 17,000 are permanently inhabited. Forests on Sumatra and Java are examples of popular tourists destinations. Moreover, Indonesia has one of longest coastlines in the world, measuring 54,716 km, with a number of beaches and island resorts, such as those in southern Bali, Lombok, Bintan and Nias Island. However, most of the well-preserved beaches are those in more isolated and less developed areas such as Karimunjawa, the Togian Islands, and the Banda Islands

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