Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Jakarta Urgently Needs a Consistent Integrated-Comprehensive Tourism Master Plan

By Yulita

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia that represents the country to the world in a dynamic, exciting, and often confusing way. Most of visitors to Jakarta are for business reasons since the capital is a central of business. Jakarta has so many business hotels, varied from non-star to starred and luxury hotels. Jakarta has only few leisure hotels located near to tourist attractions and resorts such Ancol and Pulau Seribu.

Jakarta’s business hotels are mostly supported by excellent services and facilities of MICE. This will attract more business visitors. However, visitors can still find leisure activities within the hotels, but it is certainly limited. So, how to increase numbers of leisure visitors to Jakarta and hence will be improving Leisure Tourism in the capital?

In my opinion, there at least 6 (six) factors for Jakarta in order to be a good leisure destination. First, Security and Safety. I believe everyone agree that tourist will not come to a dangerous place. Leisure visitors will always travel to secured and comfortable places. The government should be able to guarantee the safety and security of its citizens and visitors. It includes protection from terrorism, crimes and comfortable to use public infrastructures as well as tourist facilities. Tourist should feel safe during the travel, starting from home, in the tourist destination until he or she return to home.

Second, Jakarta needs to improve the quality and quantity of Places of Interest or Tourist Objects or Tourist Attractions. Leisure travelers will only visit a tourist destination if it offers attractive and comfortable tourist sites. In term of quality, Jakarta really needs well managed and well maintained tourist objects, including the quality of services and cleanliness. Unfortunately, we still can find most of museums are not well maintained. We can also see most of tourist sites have very low standard of cleanliness.

In term of quantity, the government has to work together with private sectors to diversify tourist objects and tourist attractions. The government should invite investors to invest in building tourist sites and recreation facilities. The higher numbers of tourist sites/objects the more option to choose to do recreation and hence the more attractive Jakarta as a tourist destination.

Third, Jakarta needs comfortable public infrastructures. If we want to attract tourists, we should make them feel comfortable in accessing and enjoying both public and tourist facilities. This will include comfortable of using public transportation, road and pedestrians, city walk, city parks, phone booth, banking facilities, shopping centre, and telecommunication. Failing in supplying good conditions on the above infrastructures, means failing to attract tourists.

Fourth, Jakarta needs to have aggressive and effective marketing campaign. The government should work hand in hand with related stakeholders to promote the capital as a leisure destination. Aggressive means intensive and proper financial back up. This means the campaign should be done in various channels and integrated. In order to be effective the marketing campaign should be well-planned and well-executed and must be focusing on the specific market segment, which are leisure travelers or business travelers who also spend some time for leisure activities. We should communicate the leisure product to the right market with the right way in the right time in order to obtain great impact.

Fifth, the Jakarta should educate its people on the significance of tourism. To prepare a tourist destination, the government should ensure that the people are aware and ready to accept and hence support tourism. Tourism is everybody’s business. Everyone should support tourism, from taxi drivers, bankers, immigration officers, hoteliers, cops, to students should understand the impact of tourism and they should support.

Sixth, in order to collaborate the above factors, Jakarta needs an integrated-comprehensive tourism master plan. This will enable government to work and coordinate efficiently with all related stakeholders. The master plan will give guidelines and target for Jakarta to achieve. Through the master plan, both government and people will be easier to evaluate and control the development of tourist industry within the capital.

Yulita is an associate of Front Office at Sheraton Media Hotel & Towers, Jakarta.

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