Ex-tourism minister lambasts Indonesia’s associations

INDONESIA’s former tourism minister Joop Ave has called the relevance of the country’s tourism associations into question, urging the industry to be more pro-active in resolving its issues.

Speaking at the Panorama Management Conference over the weekend, Ave delivered a scathing assessment of the current state of affairs of tourism-related associations in the country, declaring that the Indonesian tourism industry “has never been as weak as it is today” and that the “associations were irrelevant”.

He said: “If 40 per cent of the hotels in Indonesia are not part of the Indonesia Hotels and Restaurants Association, then something must be wrong. The ‘restaurant’ part also has no representative even though the Indonesian restaurant industry is booming. Maybe, here in Indonesia, you just need no association?”

Ave added that the Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA) had become irrelevant, saying: “I am sorry to see that the whole of ASITA is kaput (no longer working). The Jakarta chapter, which is the biggest and most productive, is not even recognised by the central board.”

Ave was Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications from 1993 to 1998.

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