Indonesia tourism ministry shakes up to play larger marketing role

Arief: the tourism ministry is effectively a marketing body

Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism has undergone a major restructuring effective January 4 to better reflect its role as a marketing body, a move tourism minister Arief Yahya believes is crucial to meeting the country’s arrivals target.

In an official statement from the ministry, Arief said: “I have taken a look at the structure we have been using, and my conclusion is that (if we continue with the status quo) we would not be able to bring in 20 million travellers by 2019.”

Arief: the tourism ministry is effectively a marketing body

The minister explained that the old structure was more administrative and functional, while the envisioned one will take on a greater customer-centric dimension.

“The Ministry of Tourism in reality is a marketing ministry. Its task is marketing the tourism destination products to attract (the target number of visitors). It is not just running a routine governmental activities.

“It is not much different from a company. It has annual targets and a turnover, which is the foreign exchange earned from traveller spend. The difference is that in a company the profit goes back to the company, while the ministry’s turnover is returned to the people for the welfare of the country.”

Going forward, the ministry will focus more on customers, understanding their needs and being nimble to meet these needs.

The new structure comprises four deputies: deputy minister for marketing development zone I and II respectively, deputy minister for tourism destination development, and deputy minister for tourism ministry and institutions.

The deputies for tourism marketing development are divided into zones based on travellers’ origin. FormerIy in charge of all overseas marketing development, I Gde Pitana has been appointed deputy for Zone I – covering Indonesia, South-east Asia, Australia and Oceania. Esthy Reko Astuti, who used to spearhead the marketing development for the domestic market, is now the minister’s expert staff for multicultural affairs.

The deputy for zone II – comprising Asia, Africa, the US and Europe – is yet to be announced.

The deputy ministers will be assisted by directors who are responsible for specific regions such as Europe, Asia and Indochina within the portfolio.

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