There’s a lot more to Indonesia for tourists than just Jakarta and Bali: that’s the Tourism Ministry’s message this year as it plans to attract 7.5 million foreign visitors. The plan calls for the opening up of new regions to tourism, ecologically and culturally focused developments, and exploring new opportunities in business travel.

The natural first step, like so many others in Indonesia, is to develop supporting infrastructure. The country needs more points of entry, more hotels and restaurants, and more business facilities. A new international airport at Mataram in Lombok will open in 2011, bringing the nationwide total to 17. The Tourism Ministry will also form a new ‘destination management system’ to ensure new projects are sustainable, serving the interests of local ecology and culture as well as developers. Improved access to the Komodo National Park in West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara was an example of this, the Ministry said.

Indonesia also wants to promote itself as a business destination, or ‘MICE’ (meetings, incentives, conventions & exhibitions) venue. Though both 2011′s ASEAN summits will take place in Jakarta and Bali, the Ministry also wants to develop alternative venues in Yogyakarta, Padang, Solo, Manado and Bangka-Belitung. Indonesia will host around 600 international events this year.

source & article: The Jakarta Globe