Bali, Java Have Most Of Indonesia’s Golf Courses

World-Class Golf Found Across Indonesia

Indonesian golf courses, typically beautiful and challenging, appeal to golfers of all levels. World-class golf courses are found on the shores of picturesque lakes, inside a volcanic crater, on ocean cliffs, surrounded by lush tropical rain forest, on mountain sides, amidst rice paddies, and in valleys with a panoramic views.

Bali golf course Nirwana

Most golf courses are concentrated on the islands of Java near Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, and Surabaya. There are more than 50 golf courses within an hour of Jakarta alone. Bali also hosts three world-class courses.

International professionals, including Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Greg Norman, and Gary Player, have designed many of the golf courses in Indonesia. The courses include clubhouses with amenities, such as international restaurants, bars, showers, locker rooms, and massage services. Many courses and clubs are at higher elevations, which offer relief from the heat below.

Playing golf is relatively affordable in Indonesia. Green fees vary from 75,000 – 200,000 rupiah during the week and 10,000 to 350,000 rupiah (and more) on weekends and holidays.

golf Indonesia

Caddies in Indonesia are predominantly young women. Caddy fees range from 16,000-40,000 rupiah. It is customary to tip the caddy 50,000-100,000 rupiah when your round is complete.

Most golf courses offer a driving range. There also are several driving ranges in Jakarta, including multi-level facilities that reach into the sky like small skyscrapers. Check the Jakarta Shopper’s Guide for current information.

Indonesia has hosted numerous international golf tournaments on Java and Bali. In recent years, these have included the Johnnie Walker Super Tour, The Alfred Dunhill Masters, Volvo Asian Match Play, and the Bali Classic. The Indonesian Open is played in Jakarta and is the largest international tournament in the country.

golf Indonesia

Some courses are very crowded on Saturday mornings. It could take up to five or six hours to play 18 holes on busy days. Some courses are walking courses and some are cart courses. People who cannot handle walking distances in the tropical heat and high humidity should use the cart courses. Heat stroke is a real possibility, so drink plenty of liquids out on the course, and don’t forget your sunscreen and hat.

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia’s Indigenous Communities Embrace Ecotourism

Green Indonesia Helping Save Rain Forests

Six indigenous communities have launched an ecotourism initiative that would show off their ancestral forests. They hope to develop alternate economic models that local governments in Indonesia could embrace, other than extractive industries such as mining and palm oil plantations. The initiative, called GreenIndonesia, would ultimately help the communities secure the rights to their own lands, an elusive goal that they have long pursued.

Sumatra tiger conservation

Indonesia has the third largest area of rainforest in the world, and the Indigenous Peoples and local communities who live in and depend on these forests play an important role in conserving them. With global climate change challenges looming—deforestation is the leading source of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions—the fourth most populous country in the world is searching for a green economic pathway to lift people out of poverty.

GreenIndonesia sees significant potential in community based eco-culture tourism—one recent study found that for 26 percent of the traveling population, sustainability and responsibility play a big part in their decision making.

muck diving Sulawesi

Indonesia is blessed with a more than 400 ethnic groups who inhabit the largest archipelago in the world, over 17,000 islands. The six partner communities of GreenIndonesia are:

  • The Sui Utik Indigenous Forest in West Kalimantan;
  • The Mollo Sacred Lands in Nausus, Timor Tengah Selatan;
  • The Paluanda Lama Hamu cloth weavers, in East Sumba;
  • The Guguk Indigenous Forest in Jambi, Sumatra;
  • The Sawai community in Seram Island, Maluku; and
  • The Jatiluwih community in Tabanan, Bali.

Through GreenIndonesia, women weavers from all over Indonesia connect, share knowledge, and keep their traditions alive. The communities work with many local plants to create unique colors and pay close attention to maintaining the environment where the vegetation grows.

The Sawai community, on the island of Seram, Maluku, have transformed themselves over the last decade from poaching endangered birds for illegal wildlife traders to sustainable forest managers of one of the best birdwatching havens in Eastern Indonesia. Other partners also have inspiring successes. The Guguk Ancestral Forest community, for example, has kept logging and palm oil expansion in their territory at bay. Their forests provide a sanctuary for the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, whose population has dwindled to about 250.

The communities hope to show that resilient and green economic development is possible when local community land rights and the integrity of natural ecosystems are equally protected. The national government has been supportive, endorsing the initiative and sponsoring a booth at Norway’s biggest tourism expo in early January. This support reflects the new government’s focus on addressing climate change and Indigenous community rights in an effective and fair way.

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Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia Allows More Tourists To Visit Without Visa

Australians Left Off List Over Human Rights Criticism

Indonesia will soon allow tourists from an additional 30 countries to visit without a visa, but neighboring Australia was left off the list amid a row over looming executions of foreign prisoners.

The move comes as Jakarta seeks to boost a faltering economy, while attracting more foreign income as the rupiah rapidly weakens. Indonesia currently only allows tourists from 15 countries, mostly in Southeast Asia, to visit without a visa. People from a number of other countries can buy one upon arrival.

Mt. Bromo Java Indonesia


The 30 countries added to the list are mainly European, but also include China, Russia and several others in Asia, the United States and some nations in the Middle East and Africa, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said.

“People who want to travel to Indonesia won’t need to worry about a visa any more,” Yahya said on Monday. “We hope that we can attract an additional one million foreign tourists,” he added.

Indonesia has long lagged behind its neighbors in attracting foreign visitors. In 2013, 8.8 million foreign visitors came to Indonesia, according to official figures, compared with 25.72 million in Malaysia and 26.55 million in Thailand.

Australia – which accounted for more than 10 percent of Indonesia’s foreign visitors in 2013 – was not included in the list of countries whose citizens will no longer require a visa. Ties between Indonesia and Australia have deteriorated in recent months as Jakarta prepares to execute two Australian drug traffickers on death row who were convicted of trying to smuggle heroin out of Bali.

Bali Indonesia tourism

Yahya denied the row had played a role, suggesting that Australia was excluded from the list because its own policy required visiting Indonesians to have a visa.

“If we give visa-free travel to Australia, we have to be given the same thing,” Yahya said. “It cannot be that we give it to them first.”

Lombok Indonesia snorkeling

Indonesia’s economy has been hard hit as investors withdraw funds and redirect them back towards more developed markets, which have recently been showing signs of renewed strength. The economic woes have seen the rupiah sink to a 17-year low against the dollar in recent days.

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Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia Attracts Record Number Of Tourists

Indonesia Sets Goal Of 20 Million Tourists By 2019

Indonesia’s National Statistics Board informed that the total number of  international tourist arrivals to Indonesia nationwide during January to November 2014 reached 8.52 million, a growth rate of 7.29 percent year over 2013. Based on these figures Indonesia is confident that the target of 9.3 million for the entire year of  2014 has been achieved and even surpassed. Similarly the target of 251 million trips by domestic tourists has also been achieved , said Tourism Minister Arief Yahya.

Indonesia tourism growing fast

In 2014, the tourism sector contributed US Dollars 10.69 billion in foreign exchange, 10.3 million are employed in the tourism sector, giving a share of  4.01 percent to our Gross National Product (GNP). While Indonesia’s Tourism is ranked at no. 70 in the world according to the World Economic Forum. Based on these achievements, therefore, the 2015  target of 10 million International arrivals and 254 domestic trips are within reach, said Yahya.

November arrivals to Indonesia nationwide actually experienced a decline of 5.32 percent year on year. Highest drop was felt at the airport of Manado, North Sulawesi at – 42.04 percent while lowest slide was experienced in Batam with -0.27 percent. While highest monthly growth was at Jakarta’s seaport of Tanjung Priok expanding 16.69 percent.

Uluwatu temple Bali

Meanwhile from Bali it is reported that direct arrivals to Indonesia’s prime tourist destination experienced a hefty growth of 14.78 percent  reaching 3.41 million direct foreign arrivals, compared to 2.97 million the same period in 2013. These entered mostly by air but also by cruise ships, said Panusunan Siregar, Head of the Provincial National Statistics Board in Denpasar. With a target of 2.9 million tourists for 2014, Bali has already exceeded its annual target.

Mt. Bromo Java Indonesia

The majority of visitors to Bali came from the following nations:

Australia 895,069 (an 18.7 percent increase and 26.18 percent share of total);

China 539,371 (a surge of 49.28 percent);

Malaysia 198,133 tourists (up from 172,487);

Japan 195,541 tourists (up 1.64 percent);

Singapore 155,892;

South Korea 132,218;

French 121,471;

British 116,800;

Taiwan declined to 106,850; and

United States, 100,414 tourists.

surf Sumatra

The ministry will continue to promote Indonesia’s tourism in the maritime, ecology and adventure sectors, in addition to promoting shopping, sports, body treatment, leisure and culinary activities, among others.

tourism Lombok Indonesia

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Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia’s Top Travel Destinations

Travel To Bali, Borneo, Java, Sumatra

Indonesia is a huge country, in both population and land area, with significant cultural and geological diversity. With 18,110 islands, 6,000 of them inhabited, it is the largest archipelago in the world. The population of around 240 million people is derived from 300 ethnic groups who speak over 250 different languages. While Bali is usually the destination most familiar to foreign visitors, there is a wealth of other top tourist attractions in Indonesia to discover in this vast and varied country.

Lake Toba Sumatra Indonesia

Lake Toba, Sumatra. Lake Toba on the island of Sumatra is an immense volcanic lake about 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide. Formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption some 70,000 years ago, it is the largest resurgent caldera on Earth. Genetic estimates suggests that there were only a few thousand humans that survived the catastrophe. The island in the middle – Pulau Samosir – is the largest island within an island and contains two lakes. Besides visiting “a lake on an island within a lake on an island” tourist also come here to kick back and relax and swim in the volcanically warmed waters.

Indonesia orangutan conservation

Tanjung Puting, Kalimantan. The Tanjung Puting National Park is located on the island of Borneo in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan. The park is a popular ecotourism destination, with many local tour companies offering multi-day boat tours to view wildlife and visit the research centers. Wildlife include gibbons, macaques, clouded leopards, sun bears, pythons, crocodiles and – most famously – orangutans. Unfortunately the park is heavily threatened by illegal logging and forest clearing for agricultural uses.

Dani tribe Papua

Baliem Valley, Papua. The Baliem Valley in the highlands of Papua (Western New Guinea) offers a glimpse into what was recently a stone-age world. The valley was not known to the outside world until 1938 when an aerial reconnaissance flight southwards from Hollandia (now Jayapura) discovered a large agricultural population. Wamena is the starting point for most visitors who come nowadays to marvel at the mountain views, roaring rivers, tribal villages and at the tough but sweet spirit of the warm Dani people.

Mt. Bromo Java Indonesia

Mount Bromo, Java. Gunung Bromo is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java. At 2,329 meters (7,641 feet) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but it is the most well known. The area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Indonesia and Java. The top of the volcano has been blown off and the crater inside constantly belches white smoke. It is surrounded by the Sea of Sand of fine volcanic sand. The overall effect is unsettlingly unearthly.

Bunaken Sulawesi scuba diving

Bunaken, Sulawesi. Located at the north of the island of Sulawesi, Bunaken is one of Indonesia’s most famous dive and snorkeling areas. The island is part of the Bunaken Marine Park where you can see more than 70 percent of all fish species that live in the western Pacific ocean. The best time for diving in Bunaken is between the months of April and November.

Tanah toraja

Torajaland, Sulawesi. Torajaland (Tana Toraja) is a highland region of South Sulawesi, home of the Toraja people. Torajans are famous for their massive peaked-roof houses known as tongkonan and spectacular but gruesome funeral rites. After a person’s death, the body is kept – often for several years – until the actual funeral ceremony which can last for several days. The deceased is then finally buried in a small cave or in a hollow tree.

Gili islands Lombok Beach

Gili Islands, Lombok. Lombok’s most popular tourist destination, the Gili Islands are an archipelago of three small islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. The islands are very relaxed and laid-back, with countless little beachside cafes still playing reggae and no cars or motorbikes to disturb the peace. Note that the name “Gili Islands” is rather redundant as gili simply means “small island” in Sasak and there are many other islands around the coast of Lombok with Gili in their names.

Komodo dragon

Komodo National Park, Komodo Island. The Komodo National Park is a national park located within the Lesser Sunda Islands that includes the three larger islands Komodo, Padar and Rincah, and 26 smaller ones. The park is named after the Komodo Dragon, the world’s largest living reptile that can reach 3 meters or more in length and weigh over 70kg. Although Komodo dragons eat mostly carcass of dead animals, they are formidable predators and will also hunt prey including birds, and mammals. Attacks against humans are very rare.

Borobudur temple Java Indonesia

Borobudur, Java. Located 40 km (25 miles) northwest of Yogyakarta on Java, the Borobudur is the one of the most famous Buddhist temple in the world. The Borobudur was built over a period of some 75 years in the 8th and 9th centuries by the kingdom of Sailendra, out of an estimated 2 million blocks of stone. It was abandoned in the 14th century for reasons that still remain a mystery and for centuries lay hidden in the jungle under layers of volcanic ash. Today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Indonesia.

Bali rice terraces

Bali. Bali is one of the world’s most popular island destinations and one which consistently wins travel awards. The varied landscape, rugged coastlines, tropical beaches, lush rice terraces and volcanic hillsides all provide a picturesque backdrop to its colorful, deeply spiritual and unique Hindu culture. The combination of friendly people, a magnificently visual culture infused with spirituality and spectacular beaches with great surfing and diving have made Bali the unrivaled number one tourist attraction in Indonesia.

Indonesian tourist destinations


Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Scuba Diving In Indonesia

Indonesia Is Diving Paradise

Indonesia is an epicenter of underwater biodiversity, hosting a greater variety of marine life than anywhere else on earth.

The South China Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean converge here, on the world’s largest archipelago of more than 18,000 islands, and the result is spectacular diving. Thriving off Indonesia’s vast coastline are more than 600 coral and 3000 fish species. While place names such as Bali, Komodo, Java and Sumatra bring jungles and tigers and land-based adventure to mind, the underwater world here is simply in a class of its own.

scuba diving Indonesia

The diving is nothing short of outstanding. There’s exhilarating drift diving, extensive reef diving, fantastic night diving, unique muck diving and breathtaking steep walls. Tec divers probe the deep trenches and wreck divers love the many World War II relics. Still one of the few relatively undiscovered dive locations, Indonesia has something for divers of all levels.

Bali, one of the most popular places for learning to dive, is also a hot spot for giant sunfish encounters and has some stunning drop-offs. East of Bali is Komodo, where nutrient rich currents underpin a vibrant ecosystem and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Off Lombok, the Gili Islands are casual, beautiful and tranquil, with turtles, cuttle fish, octopus, lionfish and scorpion fish to delight new divers.

To the north, Sulawesi features fabulous diving at Wakatobi, Lembeh Strait, Bunaken and Manado. Wakatobi’s world-class drop-off is famed for its action and color, with everything from blue ringed octopus and ghost pipe fish to resident sea turtles cruising past soft corals and gorgonians. Lembeh is renowned for muck diving. With a sharp eye, you’ll find banded snake eels, pygmy seahorses, octopus, scorpion fish and literally hundreds of extraordinarily well-camouflaged critters. Almost anything could be hiding in the black sand.

Best known for its tigers and orangutans, Sumatra’s diving is also stellar. The best sites are found off the northwestern coast in the shelter of islands such Pulau Weh. The deep waters here are home to abundant marine life,ranging from giant pelagics to marvelous macro critters.

The USAT Liberty Wreck, a 119-meters/390-foot US Army transport ship, was torpedoed in the Lombok Strait during the Second World War and lies just 30 meters/100 feet from shore in Tulamben Bay off Bali’s northeast coast. The deepest point is about 30 meters/100 feet. The structure attracts great barracuda, napoleon fish and scribbled file fish among myriad other marine denizens.

Indonesia scuba diving

A National Marine Park, Menjangan Island revels in legions of tropical fish, lush seascapes and pristine coral environments. It also has sea turtles, sharks, rays, eels and great schools of jacks.

Nusa Penida and its tiny sibling, Lembongan Island, are current-washed pelagic attraction devices. Over the healthy hard coral substrate, look for sunfish, mantas, sharks, eagle rays, turtles and big shoals of trevally and sweet lips. The currents can be strong as well as surprisingly brisk.

Just off of Lombok, the three Gili Islands  Trawangan, Meno and Air – are small, casual islands boasting white, sandy beaches and excellent diving. Currents can be quite strong and drift diving is the norm along the walls, ridges, canyons and slopes. You’ll encounter cuttlefish, octopus, lion fish and scorpion fish. If your trip coincides with a full moon, you’ll also get to see the school of huge bump head parrot fish that visit the area. Others critters include a variety of rays, sea snakes, reef sharks, moray eels, the occasional whale shark, masses of turtles (both green and hawks bill) and an immeasurable variety of hard and soft corals. The environment is well cared for as the Gili Eco Trust collects contributions from visiting divers and snorkelers to fund special projects such as beach cleanups, recycling initiatives and reef conservation activities.

Komodo Island is directly south of Sulawesi. The national park is legendary for its “dragons” – the world’s largest living lizard – but it’s the ocean that draws divers. With strong currents, Komodo is best for intermediate to advanced divers. But, those strong currents also bring nutrient-rich waters and sustain a remarkable variety of marine life. Dive Komodo and you’ll likely see a multitude of fish and some larger pelagics and marine mammals such as mantas, dolphins and sharks.

Labuan Bajo is the gateway to Komodo, Banta and Rinca Islands and Komodo Marine Park. There are dozens of dives sites within day boat reach and hundreds in reach of dive safaris 8-10 hours away. The best known of these, Manta Alley, End of the World and German Flag, lie to the South of Komodo.

Indonesia sailing

South of Rinca Island the water is cooler and more exposed to the Indian Ocean. Dive sites here include Cannibal Rock (a lush seamount covered with extraordinary invertebrate life, pygmy seahorses, frogfish, dozens of nudibranchs and abundant Coleman shrimp) and Batu Tiga (frequented by big pelagics such as mantas, sharks, masses of trevally and eagle rays).

To the north of Gili Lawa Laut are Crystal Rock and Castle Rock, where reef sharks, turtles, barracuda, yellow fin tuna, wobbegong, grey reef and bull sharks thrive. Lighthouse Reef offers nearly endless drift dives (bring a surface signaling device) on a variety of dive sites with sharks, turtles, dolphins, mantas, trevally, surgeonfish and rays regularly encountered.

North Sulawesi offers a plethora of dive sites and is suitable for divers of all experience levels. Near Manado, one of the top dive destinations, Bunaken Marine Park, comprises 89,065 hectares / 220,000 acres and boasts clear water, steep walls and world-class coral gardens. You are likely to encounter large schools of fish, spinner dolphins and pilot whales. You can also spot many of the other 2000 species in the area – including seahorses, scorpion fish, octopus, sea fans, sponges, whip corals, hard corals and nudibranchs. Near Molas Beach, just outside Manado on the mainland coast, you’ll find the wreck of the Molas. This Dutch freighter sank during the World War II and its hull has become home for many fish species.

Lembeh is renowned for macro diving over a moonscape of black sand. The dive sites at Lembeh Strait have wonderful names: Nudi Falls, Hairball, Police Pier and Angel’s Window. Hairy frogfish, stargazers, flamboyant cuttlefish, Ambon scorpion fish, mimic octopus,decorator crabs, seahorses, snake eels and leaf scorpion fish top the list of what divers flock here to view.

Batee Meureuron is a rocky outcrop washed by strong currents. It’s a great place to see clown fish in their host anemones, stingrays, turtles, moray eels and big schools of black snappers hanging out in the shallow water between the rocks. Seulako’s Drift lets you fly while diving. You’ll soar over rocks, hard corals and gorgonians in the deeps and fields of soft leather corals in the shallows. It’s a high voltage dive. For a unique experience, the Hotsprings are a must see. In a small area, hot water bubbles up from the sandy bottom. The cracks and vents change shape and size every dive. It’s definitely worth diving.


Those who make the journey to Wakatobi are well rewarded. Above water, the islands are stunning. Below, the diverse and memorable house reef is home to creatures ranging from the small and strange to giant mantas and resident turtles. In addition, the readily accessible coral garden at Teluk Maya harbors Pegasus sea moths, pipe fish, and an endemic pygmy seahorse species. Many dive sites feature thick forests of vibrant soft corals, which hide lots of animals. Seamounts dominate the extraordinarily photogenic dive at Blade where sea fans, sponges and corals abound and seem to have positioned themselves in the most picturesque places on the reef.

Indonesia travel information

Raja Empat 

The waters of Raja Empat (not “Ampat.” Spelled correctly, it means “four kings”) boast more than 1200 marine life species. This is generally live-aboard country with some stunning dive sites. The reefs at Kofiau are crammed with colorful soft and hard corals that hide myriad creatures while blue and gold fusiliers flow like living rivers of color overhead. These coral bommies and gardens harbor some of the highest marine biodiversity in the region. At Northwest Misool, a blue water mangrove maze of trees meets the color of the reef. If you’re a photographer who likes over/under images, you’ll want to take up permanent residence. The Passage is a narrow river of sea between Waigeo and Gam Islands, the coral here grows pretty much to the surface and you’ll find piles of nudibranchs, sharks, cuttlefish and octopus among the soft corals.

Indonesia scuba diving

Indonesia Dive Summary

Depths: From snorkeling to beyond 40 meters/140 feet.

Visibility: Six meters/20 feet to more than 50 meters/160 feet, depending on area and timeof year.

Currents: Mild, but currents vary throughout. In some areas,currents can be very strong.

Water Temperature: Temperatures range from 20-28° C/71-85° F throughout the year, depending upon site and island.

Dive Season: All year but the best time to visit is from May to September. The monsoon season runs from December to June. Sunfish sighting season runs from July to October.

Weather: Indonesia is tropical with a consistently warm, humid climate. Temperatures range from 23-30° C/73-86° F in coastal areas throughout the year. At sea or in the mountains, the climate tends to be cooler. The dry season runs from June to October while December and January can be very wet.

Access: There are direct flights from most countries into Bali and Jakarta. You can access the rest of the region from either of those hubs. Shore diving and boat diving – including live-aboard trips – are common.

Skill Level: From non diver to advanced. Certain areas in Indonesia are perfect for learning to dive while opportunities for advanced divers, especially in current-rich environments, also abound.

Scuba Gear: Tropical dive equipment is common. PADI Dive Centers and Resorts frequently offer full hire facilities, usually including dive computers, but it’s always best to bring as much of your own equipment as possible.

Length of stay: Two weeks allows for some travel between the islands.

Featured Creatures: More than 3500 marine species live in Indonesian waters. From pygmy seahorses and schooling hammerhead sharks to manta rays and sunfish (mola mola), the marine animals are spectacular. Octopus, moray eels, cuttlefish, turtles, sharks, jackfish, dolphins, emperor angelfish, groupers, goatfish, sweetlips, frogfish, pipefish, lionfish, scorpion fish and leaf fish abound. Invertebrates also flourish here. Divers can check out sea fans, sponges, soft corals, feather stars hard corals, hydroids, whip corals and colorful nudibranchs.

Indonesia News Source

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia Plans 25 Percent Boost In Tourism

Island Nation Targeting China, Middle East

Outlining its latest five-year development plan, the Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism & Creative Economy said it wants to welcome 12.7 million overseas visitors in 2019. This result would mark a 25% increase compared to the 9.5 million arrivals it is targeting this year.

Over the past five years, Indonesia’s international arrivals increased 35% from seven million in 2010 to the 9.5 million projected for 2014.

Sumatra tiger conservation

“Backed by this significant growth, we’ve decided to increase the growth in foreign tourist arrivals from 20%… to 25 percent,” the Jakarta Post reported the ministry’s director general for marketing, Esthy Reko Astuti, as saying this week.

The development plan will focus on driving more visitors from 15 key markets, namely Singapore, Malaysia, China, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, US, UK India, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Russia. Combined, these markets currently contribute 80% of all arrivals to Indonesia.

Indonesia orangutan conservation

But Esthy said Indonesia could also attract tourists from the Middle East.

“We have to generate more tourists from these countries because based on our experience, when a Middle Eastern airline opens direct flights to Indonesia, they tend to attract more outbound tourists from Indonesia rather than inbound tourists to Indonesia,” Esthy told reporters. “We need to boost our promotion in the Middle East to attract more visitors from the region.”

Mt. Bromo Java Indonesia


Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia Not Ready For More Cruise Ships

Indonesia Boosting Port Capacity For Cruises

Steven Young, a top official with ship operator Carnival UK, visited Indonesia‘s booth during the 2014 Cruise Shipping Miami exhibition with one important purpose: To find out whether there has been infrastructure and facility improvements in the country’s ports and shipping industry.

Indonesia cruise

The Jakarta Post reports that Young, head of port operations & services with the world’s largest ship operator, wanted to make sure that Indonesia had fulfilled its promise to develop its ports and facilities.

“Our ship came to Semarang [Central Java] months ago and was upset with the condition of the port. I came here to find out if improvements had been made,” he said, referring to his cruise line Costa Victoria.

On his visit to the Indonesian booth, Young was welcomed by and had a discussion with Ali Sodikin, general manager of Benoa Port, whose parent company, port operator PT Pelindo III, also supervises Tanjung Mas Port in Semarang.

golf Indonesia

During the brief talk, Young asked the Indonesian port authority if it had improved port facilities, including dredging the access channel and the turning basin. Improvements would ensure that every ship could enter and anchor in the port safely.

Responding to the inquiries, Ali said the port authority — with the help of the Transportation Ministry — had dredged the access channel and the turning basin in Semarang Port to accommodate larger ships.

The port operator, Ali said, was also in the midst of improving Benoa and Celukan Bawang (Bali), Tanjung Perak (Surabaya), Tanjung Tembaga (Probolinggo) and Kumai in Central Kalimantan.

Young was not the only global ship operator representative who wanted an update on port conditions in Indonesia. Representatives from Holland America Line, Salen Ship Management AB, Carnival Australia and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, to name a few, also met with Indonesian delegates to get updates on infrastructure development as well new tourist destinations in the archipelago.

Indonesia travel and tourism

Data and media reports have shown the potential of the cruise shipping industry in Indonesia and, generally, in the Asia-Pacific region. During the Cruise Shipping Miami conference, Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, also highlighted the potential too.

“Virtually anything is possible,” Goldstein said about the potential for Asia and the Australasia region.

He said Indonesia was home to potential tourist destinations but unfortunately did not provide enough facilities. “The industry is still struggling and infrastructure development is very slow,” Goldstein added.

Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry director for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibition (MICE) and special interests promotion, Rizki Handayani, who also attended Cruise Shipping Miami, said the government needed to develop ports to achieve its target of welcoming 500,000 cruise ship passengers by 2016.

marine tourism Indonesia

“The number of cruise ship passengers visiting Indonesia is on the rise. The issue here is the fact that our ports cannot accommodate large ships,” she said, adding that the number of cruise passengers had reached 200,000 in 2013.

Rizki emphasized that the target of seeing 500,000 cruise passengers by 2016 could be achieved if the government improved some of its ports, particularly Benoa Port in Bali, and also developed new tourist destinations to support the domestic cruise shipping industry.

Hong Kong, which claims to be Asia’s cruise hub, currently operates two terminals: Ocean Terminal and Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. Both can accommodate large ships measuring up to 300 meters in length. They are also equipped with ship repair and engineering maintenance facilities.

Benoa, in the meantime, has been seeing improvements, albeit slowly.

With one of the world’s longest coastlines, Indonesia has plenty of tourist destinations. Unfortunately, many points of interests, such as in Semarang and Bali, are not accessible to large ships. Meanwhile, Sabang Port, in Aceh, which is ready to accommodate large ships, has no tourist destinations to offer.

Mt. Merapi Java Indonesia

Cruise ship passengers who stop at Sabang Port, for example, have to take smaller boats and then buses, before reaching points of interest in the province. This situation has deterred tourists from visiting the area.

According to Rizki, Indonesia has more tourist spots than its neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Thailand. Cruise ship passengers usually only visit Phuket and Bangkok in Thailand as well as Kuala Lumpur, Malaka and Penang in Malaysia.

“Indonesia has opportunity,” Rizki added.

Indonesia has at least 100 destinations to offer, including those in remote areas accessible to mid-sized ships. If the government develops Benoa Port to accommodate larger ships, more passengers would visit Indonesia. “My message is clear. The government needs to seriously work on this issue. The entry of large ships will bring more tourists who will spend more money and eventually drive the economy in tourist areas,” she said.

Purba Robert Sianipar, assistant to the deputy minister at the Coordinating Economic Ministry, criticized the Transportation Ministry for working too slowly.

Robert said the government needed to take the issue of port development into account because it would have positive effects on the economy.


Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Jakarta Now Offers Double-Decker Bus Tours

Jakarta Tourism Gets New Look 

Five new double-decker buses arrived at Tanjung Priok port in North Jakarta this week. The city will offer city bus tours with the double-deckers at the end of January or in early February.

The Jakarta Tourism Agency welcomed the arrival of five double-decker tour buses Monday night as the capital, long listed as a sight best left unseen on a visit to Indonesia, began an aggressive push to double the number of foreign tourists visiting the city.

Jakarta, Indonesia tourism

“We thank God that Jakarta will finally have city tour buses,” tourism head Arie Budhiman said as the buses arrived at Tanjung Priok port in North Jakarta. “We hope with the double-decker tour buses that Jakarta will have a different thing to offer than other towns [in Indonesia]. Hopefully Jakarta will become more attractive and draw more visitors.”

Jakarta logged 2.3 million foreign tourists last year, an 8 percent increase over 2012′s figures, but still short of Governor Joko Widodo’s five-million tourist goal. The capital’s administration spent Rp 17 billion ($1.4 million) to purchase the fleet of buses from China. It plans to expand the fleet to include as many as 20 buses in the near future.

“With the support of the governor, who is very tourism conscious, I’m optimistic that the target [of five million visitors] can be reached in three to five years,” Arie said.

The tour buses will offer visitors a free ride through the capital, stopping at sights like the Hotel Indonesia roundabout, Kota Tua, in North Jakarta, and the Blok M shopping hub, in South Jakarta. Each air-conditioned bus can hold 60 passengers and includes television screens that will be used to show a tourism video.

Jakarta tourism culture heritage

Bus service will begin a trial run on Thursday, with full service going into effect by the end early February at the latest, Arie said.

Jakarta may feature a rich colonial history, but the capital’s congestion and pollution, combined with poor maintenance of its museums and historical sites has done little to help its appeal to foreign tourists. The popular guidebook company “Lonely Planet” describes the capital as “a hard city to love. One of the world’s greatest megalopolises, its grey, relentlessly urban sprawl spreads for tens of kilometers across a flood-prone plain with barely a park to break the concrete monotony.”

The guidebook later lists several sites, including Kota Tua and Taman Ismail Marzuki, as popular locations, calling the city an “essential” stop for travelers looking to experience what Indonesia offers.


Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Bali Expects More Tourists From China

Bali A Top Destination For Asians

Bali will likely welcome more Chinese tourists this year, thanks to a new direct flight by Hainan Airline starting mid-January. The upcoming Chinese New Year will also cause a rise in Chinese visitors until early next month, as many will vacation on the island.

According to Indonesia’s official tourism website, run by the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, Hainan Airline — China’s fourth largest airline — will launch regular flights, three times a week, between Beijing and Bali on Jan. 15.

golf Indonesia

The flight serving the Bali route will operate every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The trip from Beijing to Bali will take around seven-and-a-half hours, the shortest time from northern China to Bali. Bambang Sugiono, a member of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA) focusing on serving Chinese tourists, said Monday that the flight would contribute significantly to Chinese tourist arrivals, which is already high at present.

Chinese tourists unable to get tickets for direct flights were willing to take indirect flights via Jakarta. He estimated that the number of Chinese tourists flying to Bali could be as high as 1,000 per day. In operating this new flight, Hainan Airline is partnering with Caissa Touristic (Group) AG, which will offer unique packages for Chinese tourists to enjoy the island’s beauty, as well as its unique culture.

surf Sumatra

On the inaugural flight, Chinese mainstream media consisting of TV channels, radio stations, websites and newspapers, will be invited, staying in Bali for one week to explore various attractions on the island and in surrounding areas.

The flights are expected to generate 30,000 Chinese tourists. According to the National Statistics Bureau of China, each tourist is expected to spend on average US$3,000. Therefore, with this new flight, Chinese tourists will contribute around $90 million to Bali and other destinations in Indonesia.

During the period January to November last year, Bali welcomed 361,311 Chinese tourists, an increase of 9.68 percent from the 329,425 tourists during the same period in 2012, data from the Bali office of the Central Statistics Bureau (BPS) showed. China ranked second after Australia for foreign tourist arrivals to the province.

Monkey Forest Ubud

Tourism businessman Bagus Sudibya welcomed the new direct flight, saying it indicated that Bali remained a very attractive market for China. He said China continued to have potential for Bali’s tourism, as many of the Chinese people visiting Bali had high spending and a length of stay of between five to seven days.

However, he regretted that many travel agents/tour operators sold tour packages to Bali at a very low price.

“Bali shouldn’t be sold at a cheap price. The tour packages should have been offered at higher prices, so that the high arrival of Chinese tourists really provided a significant contribution for Bali,” he said.


Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia