Friday, April 27, 2018


Jakarta, April 27, 2018 (Antara)-  The Indonesian Government has intensified various promotional activities to make the public aware of the 18th Asian Games which will be held simultaneously in Jakarta and Palembang in South Sumatra Province, on Aug 18-Sept 2, 2018.
          The efforts are in accordance with a call voiced by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) who considered that publications on the planned Asian Games on the domestic and international media were too few.
          During a meeting discussing the preparations for the largest sports event in Asia, held in Bogor Palace, on April 18, 2018, the Head of State  urged his cabinet to publish promotional materials and advertisements of Asian Games once in every two weeks.
         "Promotion of the Asian Games can be conducted every two weeks on  local and international media," Jokowi said.
         Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi recently organized a fun biking event at the Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, as part of promotional events for the 18th Asian Games and the Third Asian Para Games which will be organized on Oct 6-13, 2018.
         "This is one of the events to promote the implementation of the Asian Games and Para Games," Minister Nahrawi stated.
           Officials and other employees of the youth affairs and sports ministry participated in the fun biking event.
            While biking, he made several stops to check various venues to be used for the Asian Games and interacted with the people exercising in the sports stadium.
            The minister plans to hold a fun biking event to promote the Asian Games and Para Games every Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


  Jakarta, April 25, 2018 (Antara)- After waiting for three years, Garuda Indonesia finally on April 24 materialized its inaugural direct flight serving Mumbai-Denpasar, with the aim of boosting Indian tourist arrivals in Indonesia.
         Direct flight is believed to be crucial in attracting more Indian tourists as the south Asian nation is one of the highest growing markets.
         Indian tourist arrivals to Indonesia has grown significantly, reaching 485 thousand in 2017 or an increase of 29 percent than the previous year.
         With the start of direct flights, Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya is optimistic that the number of Indian tourists would grow up to 40 percent to reach some 700 thousand this year.
         The airline noted that the occupancy rate for the carrier's route from Mumbai to Denpasar had reached over 82 percent on its inaugural flight.
         The GA-815 flight carried as many as 192 passengers of the total capacity of 222 people, served by the Airbus 330 series 200 aircraft, with a configuration of 36 business-class and 186 economy-class seats.
        "For an inaugural flight, this is a good number," Garuda Indonesia President Director Pahala N. Mansury noted after landing at the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Kuta, Bali, on April 24, 2018, from Mumbai.
         Mansury stated that his office had earlier conducted intensive promotion targeting the Indian market in order to attract as many passengers as possible for the route that holds high potential.
         He expects the occupancy rate to reach more than 75 percent, as tourists from India do not need to obtain visas to enter Indonesia.


Jakarta, April 25, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia is gearing up for the 2018 Annual Meetings of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB), which will be held in Nusa Dua, Bali Province, from Oct 12 to 14, 2018.
         The annual meetings are usually held at the IMF and WB headquarters in Washington, D.C. for two consecutive years and in another member country every third year. The meetings are organized to discuss a range of issues related to poverty reduction, international economic development, and finance.
         During these meetings, the Bank and the IMF organize a number of fora to facilitate the interaction of governments and World Bank-IMF staff with civil society organizations, journalists, private sector executives, academics, and representatives of other international organizations.
         In total, some 15 thousand participants, including Central Bank governors and finance ministers from 189 countries, will attend the IMF-WB annual meetings, which is one of the largest and influential events in the areas of finance and economy.
         They are expected to attend 600 meetings, including seminars, investment forum, focus group discussions, workshops, and cultural events.
         As the host of the meetings, the Indonesian Government has also planned three main events on the sidelines of the main meetings.
         The organizing committee will deploy liaison officers for delegations and offer special tours and entertainment programs for family members accompanying the delegates as well as for the journalists.
         Three one-day tours and cultural packages to northern, eastern, and western Bali will be offered to 600 couples and 100 journalists.

Saturday, April 21, 2018


  Jakarta, April 21, 2018 (Antara) - Another humanitarian tragedy occurred in a remote village in Tembagapura sub-district, Mimika District, Papua Province, when some 20 members of armed criminal groups (KKSB) recently terrorized teachers, following a hostage-taking incident in the same sub-district last year.
         "Indeed, the incident happened. Several male teachers' hands were tied up, and they were hit with guns, while female teachers were beaten, stripped naked, and one of them was raped. This is far too uncivilized, "Iltinus Omaleng, Mimika district head, told the press on April 17, 2018.
         Upon receiving reports on the brutality, the Indonesia Army deployed personnel to Aroanop village in Tembagapura to drive away the criminals and save the teachers who had become victims of the violence.
         Up to April 21, the Army has managed to evacuate a total of 16 teachers from Aoranop and put the remote village under control as the armed criminals have fled to the jungle.
         The evacuation process was carried out in two stages, namely on April 19 and 21, by using two helicopters belonging to the Indonesian Army.
         During the first evacuation process, led by Colonel Frits Pelamonia, commander of the Army's integrated task force to handle armed criminal groups (KKSB), the Indonesian Army personnel managed to evacuate 13 elementary school teachers, comprising seven female and six male teachers, from Aroanop.
         Pelamonia said there were a total of 18 contract-based teachers, comprising nine teachers in Aroanop elementary school and nine teachers in Jagamin elementary school. However, five teachers could not join the first evacuation process because of bad weather.

Monday, April 16, 2018


Jakarta, April 16, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia's government expressed concern over attacks by the United States and its allies against Syria and urged all parties to respect and value the international law, particularly the UN charter on international peace and security.
          "Principles of the international law should be prioritized in response to the military attack," Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi had noted in Jakarta on Apr 13 following attacks by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France in Damascus.
          Indonesia has expressed serious concern over the latest developments in Syria. Last week, Indonesia had expressed strong condemnation over the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the foreign ministry noted in a statement.
          Marsudi appealed to all the parties to exercise constraint and prevent escalation of tensions in Syria.
          The Indonesian government has reiterated the importance of a comprehensive settlement to the conflicts in Syria through negotiations and peaceful means.  
     Indonesia has also called on all parties to ensure security and safety of the civilians, especially women and children.
          "Since Sunday (Apr 15), Indonesia has continued to monitor the situation in Syria, as thousands of Indonesians still live in that country," Marsudi stated.
        Marsudi had continued to communicate with the Indonesian ambassadors in the Syrian capital of Damascus and others, to ensure the safety of Indonesian citizens there.
          "In addition to communicating with the Indonesian ambassador to Syria, I have communicated with other Indonesian ambassadors in the Middle Eastern Region and Europe," he stated.
           She affirmed that the safety and security of Indonesian citizens remained a priority right now.
            "I do not want any victims from Indonesia as a result of the situation in Syria," she explained.
            Besides, the Foreign Affairs Ministry has issued a travel advisory for Indonesian citizens to not visit Syria over the security situation in the country.


Jakarta, April 16, 2018 (Antara) - Central Sulawesi is blessed with beautiful nature comprising mountainous areas, lakes, beaches, and forests.
          The province's main tourist destinations include include Lake Poso; Lore Lindu National Park, which is filled with several megaliths, and has a wildlife-rich jungle; Togean National Park; the Salodik and Saluopa Waterfalls; the Morowali Nature Reserve where the Wana people of the jungle live; Talise Beach; and the white-sand Tanjung Karang Beach for divers and those fond of the beach.
        Standing in splendid isolation in Tomini Bay, Togean or Togian Islands are the prima donna of the province's tourism industry, as they are known for their scenic blue sea, white sandy beaches, pristine waters, impressive landscapes, amazing corals, abundant fish, and friendly people.  
    In fact, Togean is among the world's best diving spots to be found in Indonesia, apart from those in Raja Ampat, Komodo Isle in East Nusa Tenggara, Derawan in East Kalimantan, and Wakatobi, Gilir Air and Bunaken in North Sulawesi.
        Besides, the province has   Lake Tambing in Lore Lindu National Park (TNLL), which has been designated as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO since 1971.    
   Infrastructure such as roads to support the tourism industry has been constructed in 13 districts and municipalities in Central Sulawesi.
           Sectarian conflicts in Poso, Central Sulawesi, from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, had slowed down the tourism industry in Central Sulawesi Province.
           But now, peace has returned to the province, which was once known for its inter-faith harmony and tolerance before the conflicts were provoked.

Saturday, April 7, 2018


Jakarta, April 7, 2018 (Antara) - West Nusa Tenggara is currently gearing up for the 2018 Tour de Lombok Mandalika (TdLM) international cycling event to be held in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province, from April 13 to 15.
         The TdLM, combining tourism and sport events, is expected to promote Lombok Island as an international-class sport tourism destination, after the island has been awarded as  the best halal tourism and honeymoon destination during the World Halal Travel Awards 2015 held in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.
          At least 18 cycling teams from 18 countries have confirmed their participation in the race. They will come from Malaysia, Japan, Australia, Kazakhstan, and China. Indonesia's national team will also take part in the event.
          "Today, we have launched the plan to organize TdLM 2018, and at the same time, we have announced the cycling race route," Lalu Mohammad Faozal, head of the NTB tourism office, stated during the launch in Lombok on April 1, 2018.    
    The TdLM, which has been classified by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) as a 2.2 category race, is divided into three stages.
        The first stage is Kuta Mandalika-Mataram City, spanning 84.4 kilometers. It will start from Kuta Beach located in the Special Economic Zone (KEK) of Mandalika and finish in the NTB Governor Office in Mataram City.
        The participating cyclists will pass through Sasak traditional kampongs in Sade and Ende in Central Lombok, beaches, and rice fields.
          The third stage is a circuit in Mataram City, at a distance of 110 kilometers. The start and finish lines will be in Sangkareang Park. The route includes Ampenan beach and Ampenan old city.
         Faozal is optimistic that TdLM will serve as an effective promotion to attract foreign and domestic tourists.
          Winners of the TdLM 2018 will receive UCI points and prizes worth Rp350 million. 
    He noted that TdLM 2017 was a success, and therefore, the Okio team from Japan, who became the overall winner last year, will again participate this year.


Jakarta, April 7, 2018 (Antara)- Banyuwangi, dubbed as the Sunrise of Java, is located in the easternmost coast of Java Island and is also known as the city of carnivals and festivals for routinely organizing various cultural events to attract domestic and foreign tourists.
         This year, Banyuwangi has planned to organize 77 festivals, including 10 in April.
         Banyuwangi has promised to indulge adventure lovers, with at least 10 festivals ranging from underwater adventures to mountain climbing this April.
         Among the attractions are Banyuwangi Underwater Festival, Banyuwangi Ijen Green Run, Culinary Fiesta, and Clean River Festival, Abdullah Azwar Anas, district head of Banyuwangi, noted recently.
         The Banyuwnagi Underwater Festival was held at Bangsring Underwater Marine Park in Wongsorejo subdistrict from April 4 to 6. The festival features the 48-hour Nemo dancing event, underwater "Gandrung" dance, canoe race, beach run race, and diving photography contest.
         A fishing festival was organized in Grand Watu Dodol beach on April 7.
         The Banyuwangi Ijen Green Run will start from Tamansari resort area located in Licin sub-district on April 8.
         "This trail run race should not be missed, because they offer a lot of beautiful nature sceneries along the route," Anas remarked.

Friday, April 6, 2018


  Jakarta, April 6, 2018 (Antara) - April 2018 is the right time for adventure lovers to visit West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), where the Tambora Festival will feature various challenging events, from maritime activities to mountain climbing.
        Comprising the Lombok and Sumbawa islands as well as hundreds of smaller islands, NTB Province is blessed with beautiful white-sand beaches, forest-covered mountains and a distinct culture.
         The Tambora Festival, which was held for the first time in 2015, will mostly take place in the Doro Ncanga savanna field in Dompu District, Sumbawa Island.
         The first Tambora festival was launched to commemorate the massive eruption of Mount Tambora in April 1815.
          Mount Tambora is located on the northern coast of Sumbawa Island. The 2,851m volcano remains active. Before its eruption, Mount Tambora was some 4,300m (14,000 feet) high. After the eruption, a caldera spanning some 6km (3.7 miles) across was left behind.
        The Tambora Festival is expected to attract up to 1,500 foreign tourists and thousands of domestic tourists.
          Taking place between April 1 and 11, the Tambora Festival consists of 24 events in several locations across five districts on Sumbawa Island. Among the events are the Extreme Marathon Tambora Challenge 320K, a surfing festival at Lakey Beach in Dompu, and a buffalo race in West Sumbawa.
        In Bima Municipality, a Mount Tambora climbing event will be organized on April 9. In Sumbawa District, a cultural discussion will be held at Dalam Loka Palace.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


           Jakarta, April 4, 2018 (Antara) - The Indonesian Government and Parliament have voiced their strong condemnations against Israel for killing 17 Palestinians and injuring over 1,500 others recently, and called for an immediate investigation into the attack.
         "Indonesia has strongly condemned the attack by Israeli soldiers on Palestinian people who were staging a demonstration along the border of Gaza and Israel, which has left dozens of Palestinians dead and hundreds other injured," Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on March 30.
          The people and the Government of Indonesia have expressed their deepest condolences and solidarity to the victims and their families following the Israeli attack.
          Indonesia has underlined that the Israel authority has a responsibility, under the international Human Rights Law, to protect any civilian.
          Moreover, the Indonesian Government has called for an immediate investigation following the use of excessive force by Israeli troops on the demonstrators.
         "The effect of violence and brutality of Israeli force continues to become a threat to the peace process in Palestine and the Middle East," the ministry asserted.
          UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has also called for an independent, transparent investigation into the deadly attack in Gaza.
         Another strong condemnation was also voiced by Indonesian lawmaker Abdul Kharis Almasyihari, who is concurrently the chairman of the Commission I of the House of Representatives.
         "The attacks committed by Israeli soldiers against thousands of Palestinian people, who staged a peaceful protest, are indeed inhuman," Almasyihari noted in a statement on April 1.
        The member of parliament expressed his solidarity and deepest condolences to the families of the victims.

Monday, April 2, 2018


Jakarta, April 2, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia is optimistic of attracting at least 74 thousand Vietnamese tourists in 2018, or up from 67 thousand in 2017.
         This sense of optimism grew after the country participated in the Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) 2018 held at the Hanoi International Center for Exhibition, Hanoi, Mar 29 until Apr 1.
         Indonesia has sent seven travel bureaus from Bali and Yogyakarta to participate in the VITM, as Bali and Yogyakarta have become the most popular Indonesian tourist destinations for Vietnamese.
         Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam had visited the Indonesian pavilion following the opening of the Travel Mart on Mar 29.
         Accompanied by Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam Ibnu Hadi, the Vietnamese deputy prime minister held a discussion regarding the booth called "Wonderful Indonesia" that displayed the replica of a traditional Phinisi boat, complete with its screen painted in the national flag colors of red and white.
         Indonesia's pavilion won the Most Impressive Booth award from the VITM 2018 organizing committee.
         The booth was designed on the business-to-customer and business-to-business concepts, so participants could directly sell tourism packages to customers or forge cooperation with other participating industries.
         The Indonesian pavilion also provided tourism information and had a coffee and refreshments corner, batik corner, virtual reality video 360, games, and gift redemption center.
         "Vietnam is one of the countries with a recorded growth of over six percent, while its middle class is increasing," Ambassador Hadi noted.