JOGJAKARTA,. Indonesia’s new capital city, Nusantara in East Kalimantan that shares borders with Malaysia’s region of Sarawak and Sabah is envisaged to boost tourism activities between the two countries to a greater level.

Indonesia’s Tourism and Creative Economy Minister, Sandiaga Uno said the relocation of the capital city from Jakarta, would benefit and bolster the economy of not just Indonesia, but also that of Malaysia’s, with the increasing number of tourists flocking to both cities.

“I think it’s a win-win proposition because tourism activities are going to increase in that part of the country. Tourist flow is predicted and the potential to boost local economic activities.

“We (Indonesia) also believe that this will create rebalancing of growth in not only Java but also benefit Kalimantan and Indonesia as a whole.

“In return, I highly believe that this will also bring the “domino effect” where there’ll be a spillover of tourists coming both ways,” the minister told Bernama in an exclusive interview on the sideline of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2023 being held here from Feb 3 to 5.

Themed “ASEAN: A Journey to Wonderful Destinations”, ATF 2023 is the largest tourism event in the region aiming at developing major regional and international tourism destinations, as well as strengthening the position of ASEAN as an accelerator of economic growth and job creation.

In January this year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during an official visit to the republic also noted that the development of Indonesia’s new capital in Kalimantan would benefit the regional economies of east Malaysian states.

Touching on the ATF 2023, Sandiaga said it is imperative now that all member states of ASEAN collectively work together to boost the regional tourism sectors, especially now during the fast post-pandemic recovery.

In echoing Malaysian Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing’s remarks at the forum, Sandiaga emphasised that collaboration between member states would further help to revive regional tourism together.

“Coming from the private sector, I’ve been trained to always compete all the way. But then, looking as it is now that we’re in the post-pandemic phase, as well as we are also neighbours and brothers, why don’t we look at ways to collaborate in the spirit of ASEAN? I completely support what he (Tiong) said,” he added.

Bernama reported Tiong said that all ASEAN countries must utilise the ATF platform in reviving the tourism sector and it was pointless to compete with each other.

The ATF 2023 also marks the second time Jogjakarta hosting the ATF after previously hosting it in 2002.

Indonesia, which holds the 2023 ASEAN chairmanship, had served as ASEAN’s Chair in 2011, 2003, 1996 and 1976.


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