Indonesia expects foreign investment to pour in for 2014

INDONESIA’S tourism is projected to continue shining this year and draw more international investors, given 2013’s strong performance and the sector’s expected growth in regional countries.

Speaking at the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin yesterday, Indonesia vice minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sapta Nirwandar, said: “Indonesia’s tourism performance last year was quite satisfactory. We have managed an increase of 9.4 per cent in arrivals, reaching a total of 8.8 million international arrivals, which was higher than the 8.6 million last year. Tourism receipts also rose 10.2 per cent to US$10.1 million.”

Sapta added the domestic market charted another achievement. There were 248 million movements with a total spending of US$15.2 billion.

On the investment side, he quoted data from the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), saying the country saw US$602.7 million, of which foreign investment totalled US$462.5 million. Tourism investment ranks 16th and contributed about three per cent of the total national investment.

On a separate occasion in Indonesia earlier, BKPM deputy for investment plans, Tamba Hutapea, said last year the country saw at least 578 tourism investment projects, 42 per cent more than that in 2012.

However, the total investment of US$602.7 million was lower than 2012’s US$869.8 million.

He said this showed investments were not only concentrated in major destinations like Jakarta and Bali, but also in secondary areas where land prices were lower.

“Besides, there seems to be more budget hotel projects in the (secondary) areas,” he said adding that investment on tourism-related facilities have entered areas like Cirebon, Banten and cities in Kalimantan and Aceh.

In a tele-conference from Berlin with the Indonesian media yesterday, Sapta said 2014 is a promising year for Indonesia as regional tourism, especially in the ASEAN and Asia-Pacific regions, continues to grow. He expects this to bring more arrivals to Indonesia as well.

“Therefore, Indonesia needs investments (in tourist facilities), not only to cater for international travellers but the (huge number of) domestic travellers as well,” he said.

Among the Indonesian delegations to Berlin were Teluk Mekaki Indah and Eco Solution Lombok integrated resort projects developer and Carlson Panorama Hospitality (CPH), which has planned to develop 20 hotels in less than seven years with a total investment of US$250 million. Currently, CPH has four projects running.

Quizzed if international investors are ready to inject their capital in Indonesia’s secondary destinations, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group Asia-Pacific president, Simon Barlow, said at the tele-conference: “There are about 1,400 people talking about how to invest in Asia… We are talking about banks and private equity groups (who are) really looking at ways to invest in the countries like Indonesia.

“I think Carlson Panorama has positioned itself well as a JV between Indonesia’s very strong and credible company, Panorama Group, and global hotel player Carlson Rezidor.

“So if you are a global investor from Europe, for instance, looking to invest in Indonesia, I think the Carlson Rezidor joint venture provides a very good platform for building multiple hotels in Indonesia.”

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