Indonesia will turn to ‘Swiftonomics’ to boost tourism spending

Indonesia will turn to ‘Swiftonomics’ to boost tourism spending

Singer Taylor Swift performs at her concert in Tokyo, Japan on Feb 7, 2024. (Reuters file photo)
Singer Taylor Swift performs at her concert in Tokyo, Japan on Feb 7, 2024. (Reuters file photo)

Indonesia is considering more incentives to bring in more music, sports and cultural events that would attract travellers to spend more and stay longer.

“We need ‘Swiftonomics’ for Indonesian tourism,” said Tourism Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, referring to how neighbouring Singapore will host Taylor Swift’s concert that’s set to bring regional visitors to the city-state. The government has formed a 1 trillion rupiah ($64 million) tourism fund to help it bid for such events. 

Southeast Asia’s largest economy plans to exempt more nationalities from visa requirements while simplifying permits to make it easier to host events in the country. Meanwhile, the government is imposing a new visitor levy for Bali to raise funds that would go toward protecting the tropical island from the impact of tourism.

Those measures have helped raise the number of foreign tourists to 1.1 million in December, close to figures seen before the pandemic.

“I am very optimistic that with some of our transformations in tourism, we will be able to achieve better results in the coming year,” Uno said in the interview with Bloomberg TV’s Haslinda Amin on Monday.

Last week’s peaceful elections in Indonesia, which has a history of violent demonstrations, may pave way for more visitors to the world’s largest archipelago. The country is awaiting official results from the poll, after unofficial quick counts pointed to Prabowo Subianto as the next president.

“I am optimistic that after the results are announced, everyone will support it,” Uno added.

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