Preparations are underway in Yogyakarta to welcome delegates of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2023, with improvements being made to various tourist attractions, venues and facilities.
For instance, Jogja Expo Center, the official venue for ATF, is currently under renovation and targeted for completion in December 2022.
Other infrastructure improvements include the Malioboro shopping stretch which will introduce a number of electric becak rickshaws, and the Sultan’s Palace museum which is undergoing an upgrade to include 4D technology.
Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Bendara, head of the Yogyakarta Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD) and chairman of the ATF 2023 Committee, shared that the city is keen to showcase its cultural experience to delegates.
That is why the welcome dinner will be held on the grounds of Prambanan Temple, while the closing event will be at the Sultan’s Kraton Palace where a special royal dinner will be served.
In all, ATF 2023 is expected to attract 1,000 delegates, both from Indonesia and overseas.
However, direct air links to Yogyakarta have not been reinstated to pre-pandemic levels. Currently, direct flights to the new Yogyakarta International Airport (YIA) include flights from Singapore (Scoot), and Malaysia (AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines).
Responding to concerns over accessibility, Singgih Raharjo, head of Yogyakarta Tourism Office, shared there will be more direct regional flights starting next month. For instance, Thai Smile will commence operations from Bangkok, while AirAsia plans to mount a Singapore-Yogyakarta service in December.
Singgih added that the government is also working with Indonesian airlines to add more flights from Jakarta and Bali to Yogyakarta. He added that Yogyakarta is also easily accessible from Jakarta and Surabaya by land transport, as well as via trains.
Other preparations include the arrangement of shuttle services for delegates during the summit, as well as transportation from the airport into the city, shared Wayan Suweta Darma, director of Karma Events, the official organiser for ATF 2023.
A total of 10 official hotels and 14 partner hotels will provide accommodation for the ATF 2023 delegates.