To meet growing demand for larger cruise ships to call on the country’s thousands of islands, Indonesia has earmarked ten major sea ports to allow large international cruise ships to berth for passengers’ easy access to the many wonderful attractions, said Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu recently. To implement this plan a team comprising officials from the Ministry for Tourism and the Creative Economy, Ministry for Transportation and the Directorate General for Immigration has been formed.
The expansion of Bali’s Benoa harbour is top priority. Here the access channel will be dredged to a depth of 11 meters, ideally 12 meters. Other ports are the ports of Semarang to allow passengers easy travel to visit the Borobudur temple, the port at Probolinggo near Surabaya for access to Mount Bromo, Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok harbour, the port of Makassar in South Sulawesi as well as a number on the island of Kalimantan.
The ten priority ports earmarked for development are those that are close to major tourist attractions. In this connection, Minister Mari Pangestu calls on the tourist industry to support the plan by creating innovative tour packages, competitive airfares, and hotel rates.
At present Indonesia receives around 118,000 cruise passengers per year, which is expected to reach 600,000 by 2016.
Whlie nationally Indonesia’s direct tourism receipts contributes 4% to total GDP, and 8% of indirect receipts to the country’s GDP.