Green tourism is becoming a trend and is predicted to be increasingly popular with travellers in 2024. Indonesia with its wide range of potential natural resources and cultural diversity has high potential in the development of green tourism, but to implement sustainable green tourism the country still has to do a lot of homeworks. The Minister of Tourism and Economy Creative together with tourism observers and industry players discuss the challenges and how to attract the investors at the annual seminar Indonesia Tourism Outlook (ITO) 2024.
Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy/Head of the Tourism and Creative Economy Agency (Menparekraf/Kabaparekraf) Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno said that the development of the tourism sector and creative economy in the future, especially in the field of investment, must pay attention to issues of environmental sustainability in the concept of green investment as the main key to success.
Minister Uno, speaking at the Indonesia Tourism Outlook 2024 with the theme Investment Opportunities and Challenges for Sustainable Tourism initiated by the Tourism and Creative Economy Journalists Forum (Forwaparekraf), on 28 November 2023 at the Aone Hotel Jakarta, explained that a number of international institutions predict various challenges at the global level that could affect sectoral growth. Among them are geopolitical conditions, economic turmoil, and environmental crises.
From these challenges, investors’ attention to macroeconomic volatility tends to decrease. However, the issue of climate change is a growing concern for investors. This year, the level of concern increased by 10 per cent compared to 2022.
“With the growing attention to climate change issues, it is high time that the commitment to quality and sustainable tourism development is strengthened.Tourism facilities such as hotels and other tourism should be able to refer to the green economy. It is already proven that the renewable energy sector has attracted the highest total capital investment globally in the last four years. Green Tourism is our opportunity and attraction, and there must be a commitment to quality and sustainable tourism development.” Minister Uno stated.
Minister Uno also added that the various programmes run always refer to quality and sustainable tourism as the main ideals of Indonesian tourism. One of them is through tourism villages, in order to ensure equitable distribution of tourism and revive the local economy.
In addition to the tourism village programme, Kemenparekraf in collaboration with Jejakin presents the Carbon Footprint Calculator as a programme to monitor the carbon footprint production of tourism activities in Indonesia. In addition, under the coordination of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs, the government is working to implement the Blue Green Circular Economy programme.
Tourism Predictions and Challenges in 2024
ITO 2024 presented a number of prominent speakers. One of them was Chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association Hariyadi Sukamdani, who said that there are several challenges that are expected to be faced by the tourism industry in 2024. Among these are the people’s purchasing power that has not yet recovered and the high price of air transport tickets.
Hariyadi said that the important thing is to synchronise joint promotion programmes between the central government, local governments, and tourism industry businesses in order to increase tourist visits.Hariyadi gave an example of the Kharisma Event Nusantara (KEN) programme, including the Kasodo event on Mount Bromo, East Java, which has great potential to bring in tourists, because it is less promoted, so it does not bring many tourists to Malang Raya and surrounding tourist destinations. In fact, if the Kasodo event is well packaged and promoted, it will bring in many tourists and lift hotel occupancy there.
“We welcome the government’s efforts to encourage tourists to travel by road. For example, from Palembang (Sumatra)-Java-Bali which is currently connected by a toll road,” Hariyadi said.
Director of Marketing and Consumer Experience of PT Aviasi Pariwisata Indonesia (Persero) Maya Watono said that the five Super Priority Tourism Destinations (Danau Toba, Borobudur, Mandalika, Labuan Bajo, and Likupang) are a new attraction for tourism to bring in foreign tourists. The government will aggressively promote ‘Bali beyond’ in an effort to encourage the spread of foreign tourist visits from Bali to the destinations.
Maya Watono sees that in addition to the spread of foreign tourists, the challenge that must be addressed immediately is flight connectivity.
“We are trying to provide sufficient aircraft seats to support the target of 14 million tourists. With an average load factor that has reached 70 per cent, around 20 million seats are needed, while currently available are around 11 million aircraft seats. He hopes that by 2024, the shortage of 9 million aircraft seats will gradually be fulfilled.”
Minister Uno also responded that Indonesian tourism this year experienced an accelerated revival. The achievement of foreign tourist visits to Indonesia this year is better even though the magnitude is not like 2019 or before Covid-19, which is around 11 million or above the target of 8.5 million. In 2024 the target is 14 million foreign tourist visits or still below the 2019 achievement of 16.11 million.
Minister Uno also explained that Indonesia has good economic growth that is expected to boost people’s purchasing power and increase domestic travel in 2024 targeting 1.2-1.4 billion.
Green Tourism Investment is a Trend in 2024
According to Andry Satrio Nugroho, Head of the Centre for Industry, Trade and Investment (INDEF), sustainable tourism investment is a future trend, especially in the energy-efficient transition. Future trends in the accommodation sector are encouraged to present the use of efficient devices in producing environmentally friendly energy. Also increase the efficiency of clean water use. “Water management in efficient use of clean water by tourists and integrated waste management are the concerns of tourism and hospitality industry players,” said Andri.
The 2024 tourism trend will experience hyperlocal and slow travel where these tourists do not want to spend time quickly. The time spent travelling is much longer and chooses domestic destinations that offer the concept of nature and green tourism. “Also in the use of technology and personalisation and bleisure or workations,” he said.
Tanakita Founder Eko Binarso said that adventure tourism is a future tourism trend such as adventure activities (hiking, culture, culinary, etc.). The challenges of developing nature tourism, according to Eko Binarso, include infrastructure, accessibility, natural disasters, tourist safety, impact management, promotion and branding, institutional coordination, creating new destinations, pollution.
“We should be proud to have world heritage sites such as Mount Rijani, Komodo, Mount Leuser whose tourism activities are very environmentally friendly,” said Eko.
Meanwhile, AB Sadewa, Corsec of Panorama Group, said that the green economy can be included in tax revenues related to the sale and purchase of carbon by utilising the correct implementation of carbon economic value.
“Sustainability is easy to talk about but it turns out to be difficult to do in practice, therefore we need a joint commitment to realise green tourism,” said Sadewa.
According to him, there are four things that make us committed to realising green tourism, firstly climate change and nature conservation, secondly market demand, thirdly regulation, and fourthly industry needs.