Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi has emphasised that his party is ready to support the recovery of the tourism sector through the development of transportation infrastructure.
His aim is to create connectivity to high priority tourist destinations, being called the “5 new Bali”; Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Borobudur in Magelang, Mandalika in Lombok, Bunaken in Sulawesi, and Bangka Belitung.
At the National Coordination Meeting (Rakornas) for Tourism and the Economy, Budi said that to support the construction of the five new Balis, his team is ready to invest in various transportation infrastructures, such as airports or ports.
“It’s not even limited to development but also the connectivity between cities and tourism objects, as well as between airports and cities,” he said.
He noted that each destination will have a special system and facilities would be prepared to accommodate foreign tourists. “First, we talk about North Sulawesi, there is a potential for tourists from East Asia such as China, Japan, Korea,” he explained.
“Systematically, we make facilities in Manado to accommodate tourists from Japan, China, and Korea. On the other hand, Kualanamu is close to India, therefore we make facilities that accommodate tourists from India.”
In addition, Budi also plans to establish direct international flight connectivity in areas considered to have extraordinary potentials, such as Labuan Bajo and Yogyakarta. Labuan Bajo is planned to be connected directly with Australia. Meanwhile, Yogyakarta can receive direct flights from Europe, the US, and Australia.
Along with air transportation, the Ministry of Transportation will also prepare other modes of transportation such as cruise ships and seaplanes to support the tourism sector.
“We have prepared for cruises. Apart from Bali, we are also preparing in Tanjung Mas, Labuan Bajo, and Manado. Meanwhile, in Lake Toba, we have prepared a seaplane; they will reach Lake Toba, Labuan Bajo, the Banda Sea, and can also reach Manado,” as quoted by Kompas.
According to him, in an effort to support the recovery of the tourism sector, the Ministry of Transportation needs to coordinate with other technical ministries.