Tuesday, January 26, 2016


 Jakarta, Jan 26, 2016 (Antara)- Indonesian tourism has been widely promoted across the world after bagging the ASEAN and UN tourism awards in the beginning of this year. 
  The country won prizes in several categories at the 12th United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism in Madrid, Spain, on January 20 and in the ASEAN Tourism Awards (ASEANTA) 2016 in Manila, the Philippines, on January 22.
        At the UNWTO Awards, the Banyuwangi district administration, with its "Re-inventing the Government in Tourism" project, was the winner in the Innovation in Public Policy and Governance category.
        The Banyuwangi project has involved civil servants in promoting tourism events such as the Banyuwangi Festival, which has significantly boosted the tourism industry in the district located on the eastern coast of East Java Province.
           Garuda Indonesia's Bali Beach Clean-Up Campaign has emerged as the first runner-up in the Innovation in Enterprises category at the UNWTO Awards.

          The Indonesian flag carrier has made the environmental project its CSR pillar as part of its commitment to become a green airline. 
   Indonesia's NGO, Karang Lestari Foundation, with its "Coral Reef Reborn" project, was also the first runner-up in the Innovation in Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) category at the UNWTO Awards.
        The NGO has worked closely with the Global Coral Reef Alliance (GCRA), a worldwide non-profit organization comprising volunteers focusing on cutting-edge coral reef research and management.
        The GCRA scientists, who developed the Biorock method for coral reef restoration, have provided scientific training on restoring coral reefs to Bali's Pemuteran community.
        The UNWTO Awards recognized innovation in four categories - Public Policy and Governance, Enterprises, NGOs and Research and Technology.
        Besides Banyuwangi, the three other first winners are the Itaipu Technological Park (Brazil), the Treetop Walking Path (Lithuania), and the Sisterhood of Survivors Program (Nepal) .
        The UNWTO selected the winning projects among more than 100 candidatures from 30 countries, the UN tourism organization said in a statement recently.
        "The UNWTO Awards aim to honor those that everyday work for the benefit of host communities, supporting the livelihoods of local people and protecting our environment and our culture for future generations. All 16 finalists are an example to all of us of how the principles of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the objectives set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can inspire sustainable tourism," UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said.  
  International tourist arrivals grew by 4.4 percent in 2015 to reach a total of 1,184 million in 2015, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.
        Some 50 million more tourists (overnight visitors) traveled to international destinations around the world last year as compared to 2014.
        In the meantime, for the ASEANTA 2016, Indonesia won awards in three out of the six categories, according Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said in a press statement on January 22.
        "We have beaten some competing countries, including Malaysia," Arief Yahya said.
        The three awards were in the categories of the Best ASEAN Tourism Photo, the Best ASEAN Cultural Preservation Effort, and the Best ASEAN Travel Article.
        "Morning in Bromo" by Agung Parameswara grabbed the award in the Best ASEAN Tourism Photo category.    
  "Mang Udjo," the Angklung bamboo musical instrument center in Bandung, Indonesia, was the winner of the Best ASEAN Cultural Preservation Effort category.
        And for the Best ASEAN Travel Article category, the winner was "The Perfect Wave," published in Garuda Indonesia Color Magazine.
        "Meanwhile, Malaysia won two awards and Singapore only one award," the minister said.    
   The three other ASEAN Award categories were the Best ASEAN Marketing and Promotion Campaign, the Best ASEAN New Tourism Attraction, and the Best ASEAN Airline Program.
        Minister Arief Yahya was in Manila to attend the 35th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF), held from January 18 to 22, 2016.
        The ASEAN Tourism Forum is very strategic to Indonesia because the ASEAN market is the largest contributor to tourist arrivals.
        In the ATF held in Manila, tourism ministers from all ten member countries of ASEAN - Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos participated.
        He believed that the ASEANTA Awards would help promote Indonesian tourist destinations internationally.
        Filipino President Benigno S. Aquino III when speaking before the ASEAN tourism ministers on January 20, said that the number of tourist arrivals in ASEAN reached 105.1 million in 2014, a staggering 42.4 percent increase from 73.8 million tourist arrivals in 2010.
        Of those 105.1 million visitors, he said, 49.22 million came from within the ASEAN itself.
        "We belong to a region that holds vast potential in terms of tourism," President Benigno was quoted as saying by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
         The Indonesian government hopes to generate foreign exchange amounting to Rp172 trillion from 12 million foreign tourist arrivals and Rp223.6 trillion from 260 domestic tourists this year.
         The tourism sector is expected to contribute five percent to the gross domestic product and create 11.7 million job opportunities in the country.
       During the World Halal Travel Awards 2015 held in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, last October, Indonesia successfully bagged three awards. 
  The awards for the Best Halal Tourist Destination and the Best Halal Honeymoon Destination were bestowed on Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara province, while Sofyan Hotel in Jakarta was adjudged the best family-friendly hotel.
(T.F001/A/BESSR/F. Assegaf) 26-01-2016 15:51:38

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