Indonesia president Joko Widodo has been honoured as Father of National Tourism by the Indonesia Hotel & Restaurant Association (IHRA).
The award was presented by IHRA chairman Haryadi Sukamdani at the gala dinner held in conjunction with the association’s 50th anniversary on February 11.
In his welcome address speech at the dinner, Haryadi said the title was given to the president for his leadership in the development of tourism and for his commitment to infrastructural development.
He added that infrastructural improvements during the president’s tenure – including toll roads, 11 new airports, seaports and power plants – directly affected the growth of tourism in the country.
Haryadi also mentioned that the visa free policy granted to 169 countries has helped the country’s arrivals growth surpass the regional average.
Moreover, under Jokowi’s administration, the tourism budget has increased from two trillion rupiah (US$142.8 million) in 2014 to 2.1 trillion rupiah in 2015, and 3.3 trillion rupiah in 2016. In 2018, the budget totalled 3.4 trillion rupiah and went up to 3.8 trillion this year.
IHRA records as of 1H2018 show that investment in hotel and restaurant development increased by 78.6 per cent since the president took his post.